R&D and Production Testing
Used in the Aerospace Industry
In the aerospace industry, test systems often need large amounts of high voltage/current channels. Often, products undergo continuous development and test systems must adapt to reflect these changes. This makes system cost, flexibility and throughput key priorities.
A rack mounted (19”) fully modular PXI based test station which allows new instruments to be added in software and hardware. This system handles more than 2500 channels with voltages up to +300V and sample speeds of up to 1.8MS/s.
This is a standard configuration for aerospace testing which uses custom made test platform. The system is primarily designed for R&D testing but can be repurposed for production testing when the product enters the production phase. This reduces cost for our customers, while not compromising on system quality.
To ensure that the test system will be suitable for both today’s and tomorrow’s products, a concept for a large variety of instruments is linked in a common connection interface (as seen in the bottom of the image above). This interface (a Virginia Panel Corporation [VPC] interface) is attached directly to a UUT or onto a smaller test fixture which can handle multiple products. This means that existing products can be changed or entirely new products can be created, that can still be used with the same test fixture provided they use the same VPC interface to communicate with the test station.
In addition to designing test stations, we also design or can assist customers with designing test fixtures that communicate using VPC interfaces. One such example is currently used in the satellite industry in Sweden for testing parts designed to resist the strain of being in space. The fixture uses common connectors (such as D-sub) to interface with UUTs. 3D printed components for holding UUTs can be easily and cheaply replaced by QESTIT or in-house. This reduces the cost of adapting fixtures to developing products. All of our fixtures use standard components and are delivered with document packs describing product assembly and maintenance requirements.
This design is then coupled with QESTIT's object oriented framework (QATS) to ensure scalability and flexibility in the test system. The system was designed with reusable software modules developed using LabVIEW. Modules can be added or removed as needed (using GUIs and XML config files) making the system flexible and capable of handling a wide array of products. Furthermore, it makes integrating new products/features a simple process.
All channels of the test system can be calibrated and validated using a custom made loop back adapter. The loop back adapter can easily be connected to the test system using the Virginia Panel Corporation (VPC) interface. This means hardware systems can be tested before delivery while still ensuring accuracy and repeatability.
In summary any Aerospace test systems we produce are reliable and have high throughput. They can be easily calibrated when needed, with a universal VPC interface for connecting to different products. The software is modular and configurable, with new products or variants being easy to add.