Cable Testing in Airframe
Aviation Application for Systems Integrator in France
After a specified number (thousands) of flying hours, every airplane, be it private or commercial, has to be dismantled and fully checked to ensure it continues to be airworthy. A commercial airplane company required a switching system that would provide the ability to test for continuity and insulation integrity of cables in the entire aircraft. Insulation tests needed to be performed to 1kV. The switching system used for the test had support cold switching at 1kV and also be suitable for use with small voltages consistent with continuity testing. The switching system needed to be an 800x2, 2 pole matrix.
The first approach was based on GPIB backplane chassis with several switch cards using high voltage Reed Relays. This solution was too expensive and occupied more than 18U of rack space.
There was a solution based on the use of PXI modules. The PXI solution required 4 chassis since 52 PXI cards were required, the 4 chassis needing around the same rack space as a GPIB solution. The end cost of the PXI solution was also prohibitive.
Pickering Interfaces proposed an LXI solution to reduce both the cost and space required. The application required a great number of crosspoint switches and LXI solutions are much more effective at implementing these large matrix systems because of the lack of restrictions of the mechanical aspects when compared to modular solutions. With no LXI solution in the market, Pickering Interfaces decided to develop a standard product (Released as the 60-310) for this type of application. A 2U box with 3 density options at 100x2, 200x2 to 300x2, each with 2 poles, was developed.
The entire system was implemented in 6U of rack space. The system could be implemented using just three 2U LXI Devices to construct a 800x2 2 pole matrix with simple and cost-effective inter-Device cabling to link the products.
This solution was 30% cheaper than the alternative approaches and occupied just one third of the space of alternative approaches.