The military and aerospace industries has some of the toughest electronic testing requirements of any industry. Test engineers face intense demands to find the most advanced test technologies so they can design and implement critical test and measurement systems. Pickering understands these testing challenges, for over 20 years we have designed and manufactured commercial and custom switching systems and instrumentation for many different military and aerospace applications.
Our PXI and LXI products for aerospace functional test and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation have been specified into companies like: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, Orbital Sciences, Rockwell Collins, BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace, NASA, Airbus and many more.
Our product offering vary from the highest density switching matrices (our PXI BRIC modules and LXI matrix modules), RF and optical switching products, RTD simulators and programmable resistance modulesfor military and aerospace applications. Below you will find a number of modules optimized for the military and aerospace industries.
Virtually all aircraft systems communicate with other systems for functionality and diagnostics and human interface via one or more serial bus channels. OmniBus supports high channel counts of single or multiple protocols and is available from Ballard in both PCI and PXI formats.
Aerospace Load Management
The testing and verification of aircraft electrical and electronic systems often requires the connection of high current loads to the Unit Under Test (UUT). Pickering provides a wide range of switch Modules that can support up to 40 Amp load switching within a PXI or modular LXI chassis. For higher current requirements, our relay driver modules allow the test system to control external relays.
Whether you are testing low level or higher frequency signals, fire control systems, RADAR, or avionics equipment. Uncommitted relays, multi-pole multiplexers and cross-point matrices are available with voltages up to 1000 VDC and bandwidths up to 65 GHz. Fiber Optic switching is also available.
Testing of complex aerospace systems in an environmental chamber requires the sharing of external instrumentation/resources to stimulate and collect data from the UUT’s over the cycles of the test.
With pressure on product lead times and the need to reduce development costs simulation can be an important tool in the engineer’s
tool set, but only so much can be done through the use of computer simulation. Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation adds
to the simulation tools by including real pieces of hardware in the system that are representative of the product design.
By emulating sensors, solenoids, power sources and other devices a representation of the product hardware can be simulated
that is closer to reality and it can be tested for response under different conditions. More development work can be
completed concurrently with the product development, speeding up time to market and reducing the debug time in control
systems. Pickering manufactures devices which emulate sensors and I/O devices that interface with the control systems.
Support for real time operating systems ensures you can control these devices in accurate and predictable ways to ensure
the response is as close as possible to the hardware under development. Complementing the sensor and I/O solutions we
also provide a wide and expanding range of fault insertion and signal conditioning devices.
The ability to simulate the resistive nature of many of the environmental sensors in the engine compartment and vehicle cabin is important when it comes to Engine Management Unit (EMU) test. Pickering’s line of programmable resistor / potentiometer modules feature down to 2 milli-Ohm resolution on multiple channels. Custom resistance ranges are available from the factory for an additional charge. We offer the only strain gauge emulator in PXI .
Our digital I/O modules allow you interface directly with high current loads such as solenoid coils. Our modules have fully protected outputs that can withstand high current and voltage surges without damage and include thermal protection that ensures that even long term connection to a faulty load will not cause instrumentation damage. Our digital inputs feature adjustable dual thresholds that allow you to easily establish if a digital input is in a low, high or indeterminate state. Their high input voltage capacity makes them an excellent choice for monitoring systems working from high voltage power supplies commonly found in aerospace applications.
Most PXI signal/arbitrary waveform generators lack the amplitude necessary to drive signals that simulate peripherals. Pickering’s high voltage amplifier (41-650) features multi-channel, gain selectable amplifiers that work with many instruments including our function generator (41-620) . Our high voltage attenuator (41-660) features selectable input ranges that accept up to 600 volt waveforms.
Fault Insertion in Product Development
When designing new safety-related ECUs, it is important to verify how the ECU responds in both a good and a faulty working environment. Pickering’s fault insertion modules allow for testing with known good signal conditions or alternatively injects faulty signals or stuck bus lines under program control. This speeds up your certification programs and provides repeatable fault testing.
RF and Microwave
Our RF and microwave switching solutions range from having a maximum frequency of 300MHz all the way to 65GHz. Solutions are based on use of reed relays, EMR's to 3GHz, solid state switches to 6GHz and microwave mechanical switches to 65GHz. We also offer a programmable attenuator from DC to 3GHz and an attenuation depth of 63dB in 1dB steps.
Just providing the switching and instrumentation modules for military and aerospace testing is not enough, you need fast and effective ways of connecting your investment to the device under test. The modules in our PXI, PCI and LXI systems are fully supported by a comprehensive range of connector and cable accessories
At Pickering we know that military and aerospace electronic modules have unique testing needs that are driven by requirements for long operating life, high reliability and hostile environmental conditions. Please contact us to discuss your military or aerospace test application in detail or feel free to download our aerospace catalog.