DST File Formats

There are two common file formats associated with the DST file type - all Motion Lab Systems applications support the original CAMARC DST file format developed in the 1980's as a part of a European Community Program intended to help aid the European academic and commercial communities.

The other DST format is an embroidery format that is also know as the Tajima format - like the CAMARC format this also uses the .DST file type which occasionally causes some confusion. The Tajima DST format is commonly used to control computerized embroidery machines and has no biomechanics function. Motion Lab Systems applications do not support the Tajima DST format. If you found this page via a "DST" search string in a search engine we suggest that you look at the Buzz Tools web site for the embroidery applications that you need.

The CAMARC DST File Format

The DST format is a file format that has been proposed by CAMARC for the storage and exchange of data. The specification has been given the acronym DST, Data Storage and Transfer. CAMARC is an acronym for Computer Aided Movement Analysis in a Rehabilitation Context and is an EEC (European Economic Community) program that, in their own words:

"CAMARC-II is aimed at establishing a European network of clinical and research centres, strictly interconnected with the main manufacturers of the relevant instrumentation and with important "end-users" like national and private insurance companies, which will allow a standardised approach to the Functional Assessment (FA) of the (dis)-ability of the motor impaired and/or the elderly. The CAMARC-II projects is a continuation of CAMARC from the AIM Exploratory Action. The Consortium collects 8 EC and 2 EFTA countries, 6 industries, 12 outstanding Clinical Centres, 18 universities and research institutions, taking into account contractors, Associate Contractors and Subcontractors."

The DST specification defines a syntax for a file, but does not define its contents. The rules covering DST file contents are contained in a series of companion documents, known as DST lexicons. These are documented in the MLSViewer application that offers a simple way to view the contents of any DST formatted file.

The DST format is extremely simple, and general. It can be used for the transfer of information as simple as a few lines of text, or as complex as a complete 3D kinetic clinical gait analysis experiment. It is not specific to any particular type of data, any make of equipment, or manufacturer.

As they are based on ASCII code, DST files are usually quite large but easy to read. A DST file consists of a string of 7-bit ASCII codes, divided into a series of lines. Each line is delimited by any number of Carriage Return, Line Feed, or Form Feed characters [ASCII codes 13, 10, and 12, respectively]. Lines can be of any length. Each line is either a Header, a Data Line, or may be part of a Comment.

The file is built of a number of sections. Each section begins with a one-line header, followed by an arbitrary number of data lines. A section continues until the start of the next section, or the end of the file.

Vicon Clinical Manager (VCM), a clinical gait analysis package written by Oxford Metrics Ltd, to emulate the Helen Hayes and Newington software applications is one of the most common clinical applications that uses DST files. The output files generated by Vicon Clinical Manager use the GCD lexicon to store the results of the clinical model calculations.

Other applications using DST files are GaitLab for Windows (companion software to Gait Analysis Laboratory by CL Vaughan, BL Davis, JC O'Connor), SIMM, a biomechanical modeling package (Motion Analysis Corporation), and the Whisper EMG Test set and Simulator manufactured by Roessingh Research and Development in Holland.

Complete details of the DST format are available with the Motion Lab Systems MLSviewer application.