Consolidating Test Resources for Avionics Production Test

Knowledge Base Article # Q200312

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Summary The manufacturing and test of avionics products for military and commercial aircraft presents a unique set of requirements and challenges. A common test platform and consolidation of test resources facilitates development and long-term support of complex, high-value assemblies.
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Manufacturers of avionics products are constantly challenged to develop, manufacture, and maintain / service a diverse range of avionics products, including aircraft data acquisition and recording systems, navigation / communication solutions and aircraft network systems. These types of products which are deployed on virtually all commercial aircraft in operation today require rigorous functional testing as well as a robust test data collection system to ensure overall system reliability and traceability. Additionally, the long product life cycles for avionics products (typically more than 20 years for service and support) requires that the associated test systems be maintained and supported which can be both technically and financially challenging.

Teledyne Controls manufactures a broad product line of avionics products which include:

  • Digital Flight data acquisition/management units
  • Wireless / Quick Access Recorders (WQAR/QAR)
  • Nav-Com systems
  • Network File Servers
  • Network router systems

To address the test requirements associated with these products Teledyne test engineers adopted the PXI platform as the core platform for their manufacturing test solution. Offering a broad variety of instrumentation and providing test engineers with the flexibility to build and easily reconfigure a compact, small footprint test system, Teledyne selected Marvin Test Solutions’ GX7100 PXI chassis, instrumentation and ATEasy® software to provide the basis for their manufacturing test systems.

With over 95 test systems deployed for both production and service applications, Teledyne has been able to address both current and future generation products using a common core system.

Single UUT Modular Acceptance Test Equipment Teledyne Modular Acceptance Test Equipment with Thermal Chambers

                  Single UUT Modular Acceptance Test Equipment

                  Teledyne Modular Acceptance Test Equipment with Thermal Chambers

Previous generations of test stations based on custom or proprietary architectures would have taken years to develop, but by selecting a commercial off the shelf (COTS) platform as the core component, Teledyne Controls was able to complete the system design in a few months.  And by standardizing on a core platform, Teledyne has been able to leverage the current platform over a 10 year timeframe, supporting over 25 avionics systems, 15 circuit card assemblies, and numerous types of UUTs – demonstrating the robustness and longevity of the platform. Currently there are over 95 test systems deployed for test and maintenance of Teledyne Controls products.

In addition, by standardizing not only on a hardware platform but also on an integrated test executive and test development software platform, the development and deployment of multiple test solutions has resulted in a significant increase in test program development productivity with an equally significant reduction in test program deployment time when compared to previous generation systems.  Teledyne’s experience with defining, developing and deploying a common test platform has shown that significant savings can be realized for both development and test maintenance costs.

To learn more about the advantages of a common test platform for avionics production test, a detailed white paper is available:

DownloadDownload the White Paper
Article Date 7/23/2018 , 8/30/2021
Keywords avionics, PXI, COTS, ATEasy

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