Test Connections - December 2022

SmartCanEasy – Enabling ACE with 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 a 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, test programs for 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.

SmartCan Kit
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.

SmartCanEasy 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, creating and maintaining 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 Training
Comprehensive training for SmartCanEasy users is delivered via a three-day course that includes an overview of the ATEasy development environment as well as the SmartCan-specific functions of the software toolkit.

Students will become familiar with the program development through practical exercises and learning of best practices for test program development, using the software development station (right).

Training topics include:
• SmartCan Overview
• ATEasy Overview
• The SmartCan Driver
• Performing Measurements
• Controlling the Hardware
• Cable Design
• TPS Writing
• Error Handling

TPS Development Platform

Streamlining Test Development and Maintenance
• Full source code for the SmartCan existing test program is available.
• ATEasy commands use English-like statements, with code completion allowing fast coding and updates.
• Rapid application development with the ATEasy development system allows short development cycle: code / run / load firmware / test.
• SmartCanEasy enables the ability to develop TPS for classified/sensitive programs as the data needed for TPS development does not need to be shared. 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.