Test Connections - December 2021

Agile Test Program Development at the Point of Need

Agile Combat Employment (ACE) is a USAF operational concept that enhances warfighter effectiveness through the use of streamlined logistics footprint to support forward deployments of multiple types of aircraft.  ACE demands multi-capable support equipment and fewer Airmen who can perform tasks across a number of systems supporting aircraft without the traditional support found in the past. ACE supports faster response to threats, reduced vulnerability to attack, and the ability to operate from austere locations for extended periods of time.

Marvin Test Solutions’ MTS-3060A SmartCan™ Universal O-Level Armament Test Set enables ACE, providing comprehensive flightline armament test capability in a compact handheld test set that is easy to deploy, use, and maintain. The SmartCan is the most advanced handheld, cybersecure flightline armament test set available, delivering significant reductions in test time, training hours, and logistics footprint, while replacing multiple legacy test sets and improving test performance and reliability.  For example, multiple aircraft – manned and unmanned, rotary and fixed wing – that are equipped with armament can be loaded into a single SmartCan, eliminating the traditional need to deploy a multitude of aircraft-specific armament test sets on the flightline.

A Smarter Approach to Maintenance and Sustainment
The SmartCan enables ACE at the hardware level, but the ability to respond to change demands the same level of agility from the maintainer’s software toolkit. The SmartCan features an innovative test language that further reduces development and integration costs, allowing users to develop, create and integrate their own test programs.

Software Development Cycle

Figure 1- SmartCanEasy Development Cycle

Agile Test Program Development with SmartCanEasy
Marvin Test Solutions has created the SmartCanEasy development system toolkit for ATEasy with this issue in mind. SmartCanEasy allows the user to develop, create and integrate their own SmartCan test programs. With this capability, maintaining and creating test set programs at the program-office level without the need for external contractor support is easily achievable, ensuring that the SmartCan test programs can be updated as requirements change.

SmartCanEasy Development Environment

Figure 2 - SmartCanEasy/ATEasy Development Environment

Other advantages to employing this level of solution include:

  • Full source code for the SmartCan existing test program is provided.
  • ATEasy commands providing English-like statements, and code completion allowing fast coding and updates.
  • Rapid application development with the ATEasy development system allows short development cycle: code-run-load firmware and test.
  • Owning the test program source code provides the ability to support classified programs without giving up the required sensitive information to create the test programs. This can be highly advantageous to organizations like AFSOC, who quite often have a one-off need which not only contains sensitive information, but also might have a condensed employment timeline needed for a high-value mission set.
  • The adoption of test set programs brings an added cost savings benefit to any organization or service who may choose to utilize this capability. No longer would that organization be limited by yearly allocated contractor support funds or cycles. These limitations can trickle down into delays during Developmental Test & Evaluation or Operational Test & Evaluation, ultimately delaying the fielding of much needed capabilities.

Bottom line: Unlock the agility needed to advance at the speed of relevance, rather than playing catch-up with test equipment.