Custom STK Interfaces – “Easy Buttons” for Your Mission

By: Jason Ruggieri
Systems Tool Kit is an extremely powerful software environment that now, with STK 11, is even more impressive with added capabilities like Volumetrics and Phased Array antennas. The software environment is incredibly flexible, enabling experts to model their systems, simulate their missions, and analyze results… from the Kuiper Belt to the undersea floor. Having all of that analytic horsepower at your fingertips or a mouse click away is beneficial to many of our users. But some users want to limit what STK displays and provide access to only those components and/or analyses that are relevant to their mission or program. Do you work in an operational setting? Would you prefer a customized look-and-feel for STK that provides buttons or controls to perform only the analysis you need, when you need it? You’re in luck! In addition to allowing you to configure window layouts in a manner that is most supportive of your mission, Systems Tool Kit allows you to develop custom user interfaces that can be made to perform or automate your specific mission needs. Utilizing the Microsoft COM connection, almost all of the parameters and functions of STK can be controlled by sending Connect commands with minimal scripting code. Wrap that code in some simple HTML, and you can produce custom GUI panels like those shown below.

I am by no means a software developer. If I can write the code to produce the panels above, I’m sure you can as well! Going a step farther is the ability to write a custom User Interface plugin. User interface (UI) plugins provide the capability to extend AGI products at run-time. UI plugins allow you to leverage your own software development environment (SDE) to integrate custom user interfaces that run seamlessly inside AGI products, and exist alongside the standard elements and controls provided by our COTS software packages. There is fantastic documentation detailing both of these methods. Whether you or your organization choose to implement simple HTML panels or more tightly integrated UI Plugins, with a little ingenuity and code, a feature-rich and mission-relevant version of STK can quickly be had utilizing inherent capabilities of STK desktop.
Posted: 5/16/2016 11:00:25 AM