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When you hear simulation, emulation, or real-device-testing does it mean anything, or are they just fancy engineering terms? Well, the fact is these terms have meaning which can greatly affect your test result outcomes within a digital environment, and create a large test gap.

Even more troublesome is the fact that many Air Force armament test sets are simple analog lamp test sets, which only display an absence or presence of a set value, like stray voltage or continuity, to the user. This type of test set provides very little understanding of what the system is doing, and in the digital environment creates a huge test gap.

On the other hand, emulation and simulation utilize software variables to mimic real-device-testing parameters. The main difference is emulation also attempts to mimic all the hardware features required during system operations thus nearly eliminating the test gap. This provides the user with the highest level of parametric data available.

In the case of the MTS-3060A SmartCan, the test set is a smart munitions emulator, mimicking hardware features found in munitions such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) or the AIM-120 missile. This allows users to truly load and test armament circuitry obtaining the most realistic test results, by activating the entire munition digital communication protocol (MIL-STD-1553 / MIL-STD-1760).

SmartCan allows the users, in many regards, to become the operators, representing real device testing as closely as possible. Results from the SmartCan contain the highest levels of fidelity seen with a handheld O-Level tester. The SmartCan test set, with munitions emulation, has closed the armament test gap.