AEROSPACE TESTING

Curtiss-Wright Adds Variable Message Format (VMF) Support to TCG BOSS Tactical Data Link Network Simulator and Exerciser System

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a supplier of tactical data link (TDL) software and hardware solutions, has enhanced its industry leading TCG BOSS (Battlefield Operations Support System) TDL testing, simulation, and platform integration solution with support for Variable Message Format (VMF) messages. TCG BOSS can now be configured to test the VMF message format, as defined in MIL-STD-6017, which operates over a wide range of radio frequency channels to support tactical communications using deployed Combat Net Radio (CNR) networks.

Government and military test agency engineers can now use TCG BOSS to verify VMF implementations and ensure that all VMF elements and assets are communicating with each other correctly during every phase of operation. VMF, which can be used standalone or in conjunction with Link 16 and other TDLs, is commonly used with cost-effective radios that support voice communications in air-to-air and air-to-ground applications, on platforms such as the F-35 combat aircraft. 

“We are very excited to add VMF support to our tactical data link product line,” said Lynn Bamford, president, Defense and Power. “Now TCG BOSS, long recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for simulating and exercising Link 16 and other TDL implementations, is able to support test agencies worldwide seeking to verify the large number of VMF Combat Net Radio implementations.”

AEROSPACE TESTING

X-ray inspection made easy with D-Tect X

D-Tect X is the latest of DURR NDT’s software for industrial radiography and was developed from the ground-up in close cooperation with level 3 experts and users. The result is a software solution that the company says sets new standards in terms of performance and user-friendliness with flexibility. The product covers everything from image acquisition, image evaluation and report generation to data import and export.

With support for graphics and multi-core processors, D-Tect X is extremely fast, stable and easily copes with large volumes of image data. The software remains responsive at all times and also enables parallel working such as image evaluation while acquiring image data from a device. The intuitive user-interface can be fully customized to the user’s preferences and supports working with multiple monitors and touchscreens.

Image acquisition is fast and intuitive. Preset parameters for imaging devices and user-friendly configuration tools, e.g. flat panel detector calibration, allow easy operation. In addition to DÜRR NDT devices such as imaging plate scanners and flat panel detectors, third-party devices such as film digitizers and X-ray sources are also supported.

D-Tect X also offers a variety of tools that support the user in image analysis and evaluation according to standards such as ASME, ASTM and ISO. The software also introduces X-Filter. The company says with just one click the image optimization filter can highlight all decisive details for quick analysis and evaluation. Another handy feature is image history, with every operation applied to an image since it was captured or imported being recorded. Changes can be individually enabled and disabled. This also allows full traceability of all changes to any image.

Images and their metadata are saved in DICONDE format by default. This ensures that all images can be displayed and processed by any other system that supports the DICONDE standard.

Test reports are generated via the DRIVE NDT interface, so an individual and comprehensive test report can be created from the order and test data in just a few steps, according to the company. By integration in a network or connection to a cloud, collaborative processes can also be realized.

AEROSPACE TESTING

Exact Metrology Now Represents GOM CT in U.S.

Effective immediately, Exact Metrology has become a distributor of the GOM CT scanner in the U.S. The announcement was made by company co-presidents, Steve Young and Dean Solberg. GOM is an established global company and leader in structured light scanning technologies. The company develops, produces and distributes software, machines and systems for industrial and automated 3D coordinate measuring technology, 3D computed tomography, as well as 3D testing based on the latest research results and innovative technologies.

The computed tomography scanner GOM CT provides 3D data of internal and external component geometries in exceptionally high resolution. The GOM CT produces the finest details visible throughout the component, simplifying initial sampling, tool correction and inspection tasks during production. It captures complex components including the “inner workings” in a single scanning process, so that the user receives a complete image of the test specimen for form and position analysis or nominal/actual comparisons. The system shows its greatest strengths  when digitizing smaller plastic and light metal parts.

High-contrast X-ray detector and 5-axis kinematics

To achieve a very high level of detail during component digitization, the components of the GOM CT were matched to each other, a high-contrast 3k X-ray detector generates a very fine pixel grid (3008 x 2512 pixels) and thus lays the foundation for high-precision detection of the measured components. 5-axis kinematics with integrated centering table makes it easier for the user to position the component optimally in the measuring volume, so that the measurement is always performed with the best possible resolution. An additional plus, is that within the measuring volume (diameter: 240 mm, height: 400 mm) several objects can be measured simultaneously in one scan, further reducing processing times. Thanks to the proven GOM technology the GOM CT ensures high precision and repeatable measurement results.

Data acquisition and evaluation in one software package

As with all GOM metrology systems, the control of the device, data acquisition and evaluation are combined in a single software package. This means that no further software is required; the chain from recording the raw data to creating the measurement report is greatly simplified.

Exact Metrology will house a GOM CT scanner at their Brookfield, Wisconsin location. Once there, it will be used for customer demonstrations and educational purposes, as well as contract scanning.

AEROSPACE TESTINGINNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

GE9X Engine Achieves FAA Certification and Ten GE9X Engines Have Been Delivered for Boeing’s 777X Flight Test Airplanes

GE Aviation announced that its GE9X engine has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities, a key milestone in its journey to power the new twin-engine Boeing 777X family. 

The FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) Part 33 certification involved eight test engines. This certification achievement culminates GE Aviation’s renewal of its commercial jet engine portfolio, including the GEnx for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the CFM LEAP engine. 

“It takes the world’s best talent in jet propulsion to create a game-changing product like the GE9X engine,” says John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation. “There is no substitute that can achieve the combination of size, power and fuel efficiency of the GE9X. This engine will deliver unsurpassed value and reliability to our airline customers. I want to congratulate the entire GE9X team and thank Boeing, our partners and suppliers for the collaboration on this incredible achievement.” 

The GE9X test engines completed just under 5,000 hours and 8,000 cycles for certification. 

“Just as the GE90 pioneered new technology for commercial aircraft engines more than 25 years ago on the Boeing 777, the GE9X sets the new standard for engine performance and efficiency thanks to the incorporation of GE’s most advanced technologies developed over the last decade,” said Bill Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager of Commercial Engines Operation for GE Aviation. 

The GE9X engine is designed to achieve 10 percent lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) compared to the GE90-115B and five percent better SFC than any other engine in its class. The engine will also operate with less smog-causing emissions than any other engine in its class. 

“This milestone has been accomplished thanks to the tremendous efforts of the GE9X team and our partners,” said Karl Sheldon, GE9X program general manager. “The GE9X engine has been through a rigorous and thorough certification and testing process. We are pleased with the performance of the engine, which has been validated through extensive ground and flight testing. We are excited to deliver a mature, state-of-the-art product to operators around the world.” 

GE’s focus remains working with Boeing to complete the 777X flight test program and entry into service. Eight GE9X test engines and two test spares have been produced and delivered to Seattle for Boeing’s four 777X test airplanes. Several GE9X production engines have been assembled, and GE Aviation is in the process of completing factory acceptance tests. 

GE Aviation is currently conducting 3,000 cycles of additional ground testing on the GE9X engine to support Extended Operations (ETOPS) approval. The GE9X team is also conducting maturation testing to help GE engineers prepare to support the engine in service. 

For service and support of its customers, GE has established GE9X engine training courses at its Customer Technical Education Center (CTEC) facility in Cincinnati. A GE9X engine currently at CTEC is being used to develop lean maintenance practices that will be implemented in customer training modules and GE training procedures. Course work includes line maintenance, borescope and boroblend repair procedures, as well as fan stator removal and installation. The CTEC team is also working augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) training courses to supplement the in-person training. 

GE reports receiving orders and commitments for more than 600 GE9X engines. 

AEROSPACE TESTING

Rohde & Schwarz Offers Precise AESA Testing Options

Modern active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars are a strong focal point of the global aerospace and defense industry. The performance of state-of-the-art AESA radar systems depends strongly on the performance of the individual transmit-receive-module (TRM) assembled in the antenna array. Rohde & Schwarz offers new test and measurement solutions for TRM performance validation, enabling the customer to maximize their radar system capabilities.

Typical TRM test cases can be covered with a single Rohde & Schwarz network analyzer as a turnkey solution, such as the R&S ZNA. If higher performance such as the pulsed noise figure is required, the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer is added to the setup. When combined with the integrated calibration routine, R&S says this simplifies the setup, ensuring full accuracy and high repeatability. Users benefit from reduced test procedure complexity and a minimized cabling assembly.

The R&S TS6 TRM test library optimizes Rohde & Schwarz test equipment for top speeds, in combination with fast control handover. Due to fast frequency sweeps and multiple measurements within one pulse, the number of required TRM state changes is reduced and overall test time minimized. With the R&S ZVAX- TRM signal conditioning unit, tests run automatically without interaction, including port multiplexing.

R&S highlights the calibration routine in the R&S TS6 TRM test library. It collects all the calibration requirements from the test and runs an optimized precise calibration. The support of multiport calibration units enables the efficient calibration of devices under test (DUTs) with many ports. This combination of a simplified test setup with a high degree of automation ensures reliable and reproducible measurements by a scalable solution. It offers a variety of use cases, from manual testing of components to complete module characterization in development and to automated production testing.

Rohde & Schwarz has developed solutions which reduce the number of parallel running systems during production by their efficiency. The R&S TS6 TRM test library, together with the R&S TS6710 TRM radar test system, deliver the fastest possible speeds for TRM testing, in combination with a fast handover between measurement and device programming. A typical test time for a complete TRM characterization can be reduced from hours, required by the legacy TRM test systems, to a few minutes.

The parameters of TRM designs are radar specific and are considered confidential. Each TRM must be controlled by a specific interface, protocol and trigger for testing. The R&S TS6 TRM test library has an open software interface for TRM control, which makes it possible that the whole test configuration can be carried out locally. This also allows faster on-site adaptations and optimizations. An efficient option is the R&S CompactTSVP test system versatile platform with flexible and fast control interfaces, plus digital and analog measurements. This configuration enables very short test times in setups, without any field-programmable gate array (FPGA) programming.

All solutions for TRM and AESA testing are available at Rohde & Schwarz.

AEROSPACE TESTING

Olympus and Lavender Collaborate to Support Advanced NDT Training

Olympus has provided its new OmniScan X3 phased array flaw detectors with full matrix capture (FMC) and total focusing method (TFM) to Lavender International’s U. S. facility to support their advanced training courses. Lavender is an NDT training provider, offering courses in NDT techniques for internationally-recognized central and employer-based certification programs at their training facility in Houston. They were one of the first to provide a high-temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) detection training course designed to educate experienced technicians to more reliably detect the early stages of HTHA. Lavender says they also offer other advanced NDT courses in time-of-flight diffraction (TOFD), phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) and manual ultrasonic testing (MUT).

With this collaboration, Lavender and Olympus hope to help ensure that the next generation of inspectors are equipped with the latest technology and knowledge to become experts in full matrix capture (FMC) and total focusing method (TFM) techniques, they say.

“We’re excited to provide Lavender International with new OmniScan X3 flaw detectors with FMC/TFM to continue supporting their global training requirements,” says Steven Berube, executive director of Global NDT Sales and Marketing at Olympus. “Lavender has been an Olympus Training Academy member since 2004 and continues to use the OmniScan flaw detectors as part of their advanced phased array and TOFD course syllabus. Our collaboration has proven to be an excellent support for various industries and inspection service providers as OmniScan flaw detectors are some of the most widely-used PAUT instruments in the world.”

“We are pleased to be an Olympus Training Academy member and will continue to invest considerably in technical equipment to ensure that the Lavender training experience continues to be of the highest quality at our US and UK training centers and satisfies the demand for  new NDT inspection technology,” adds Tim Armitt, managing director at Lavender International.

AEROSPACE TESTING

Element and GE Aviation Team Up to Expand Product Qualification Test Services

A new agreement between Element Materials Technology (Element) and GE Aviation provides Element customers with access to GE’s comprehensive product qualification testing (PQT) capabilities.

Building on a 50-year relationship between the two companies, Element expands its current capabilities, providing PQT customers with a broader range of testing in GE Aviation’s 40+ global testing facilities. GE Aviation’s unparalleled capabilities include testing at temperatures above 1400°F and pressures up to 1000 psia to simulate the extreme conditions that exist inside today’s advanced engines. Combining the capabilities of GE Aviation’s test services with Element’s existing PQT capabilities gives customers access to one of the most comprehensive arrays of product qualification testing available globally.

“We have a proud history of supporting GE’s core businesses – aviation, power, renewable energy and healthcare,” Rick Sluiters, EVP for Aerospace at Element, said. “I am delighted that we have been able to further cement our relationship through this unique partnership. Combining Element’s access to customers with GE’s testing strength is a win-win for both companies, as well as for aerospace PQT customers across the world.”

Nate Roedig, general manager of Test Systems Engineering & Flight Test Operations for GE Aviation added, “We are excited to be working with Element to provide the same high quality testing capabilities and service to Element customers that we use every day to test GE Aviation’s engines, materials and components.”

AEROSPACE TESTING

Astronics Signs Agreement with Gap Wireless to Distribute Land Mobile Radio Test Products in Canada

Astronics Corporation a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense,and other mission critical industries, announced that it has signed Gap Wireless as its new Canadian distributor for the company’s FREEDOM branded line of Land Mobile Radio (LMR) test products. Astronics acquired the FREEDOM line of communications system analyzers in July 2019, which falls under the Test solutions group.

Gap Wireless will offer the full range of FREEDOM test solutions to its Canadian customer base, including the FREEDOMR8100 communications analyzer and the recently introduced FREEDOM R8200,the industry’s first full-featured LMR test instrument to include a vector network analyzer (VNA).

“We are honored to partner with Gap Wireless,an industry leader in Communications Test Equipment,” commented Jim Mulato, president of Astronics Test Systems.“The company’s strong technical staff and broad reach will greatly expand our presence in Canada.”

Gap Wireless is a leading distributor of products and services for the mobile broadband and wireless markets, serving carriers and contractors throughout North America. The company works with the industry’s top suppliers to stock and distribute thousands of wireless infrastructure and Test & Measurement products. Gap Wireless also provides value-added technical/engineering services.

AEROSPACE TESTINGAVIONICS

Ansys Achieves Certification of its Multiphysics Solutions for TSMC’s 3nm Process Technology

Ansys achieved certification of its state-of-the-art multiphysics signoff solution for TSMC’s most advanced 3nm process technology. This enables mutual customers to satisfy key power, thermal and reliability requirements for the world’s largest AI/ML, 5G, HPC, networking and autonomous vehicle chips.

Achieving power integrity and electromigration (EM) reliability for 3nm process technology remains a challenging signoff milestone. Traditional discrete EM and voltage-drop methodologies are no longer sufficient for signoff of the 3nm process, which integrates billions of transistors and delivers tremendous power and performance on a single die. 3nm requires a comprehensive power integrity, thermal integrity, and reliability analysis platform that Ansys delivers with Ansys RedHawk-SC and Ansys Totem.

The certification of RedHawk-SC for TSMC N3 process encompasses power network extraction, power integrity and reliability, signal EM, thermal reliability analysis for self-heat, thermal-aware EM and statistical EM budgeting. Redhawk-SC will analyze huge 3nm network designs by leveraging the elastic compute, big-data analytics and high capacity of its underlying Ansys SeaScape infrastructure. Totem is similarly certified for transistor-level custom designs.

“We’re pleased with the result of our latest collaboration with Ansys in providing multiphysics design solutions on TSMC’s most advanced 3nm process technology to help our mutual customers address the design complexity and technical challenges,” said Suk Lee, Senior Director of the Design Infrastructure Management Division at TSMC. “This joint effort combining Ansys’ cutting-edge solution and TSMC’s advanced process helps our customers unleash their silicon innovations for next-generation 3nm chipsets that will power many applications.”

“The latest certification continues Ansys’ close collaboration with TSMC to pioneer solutions for our joint customers,” said John Lee, vice president and general manager, Ansys. “Ansys’ broad range of multiphysics simulation and analysis technologies — from chip-level to system-level — makes us ideally placed to enable larger designs with lower power requirements for AI/ML, 5G, HPC, networking and image processing applications.”

AEROSPACE TESTING

SAKOR Technologies Provides New Dynamometer System to General Atomics

SAKOR Technologies recently provided a dynamometer test system to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for use in testing starters/alternators for military remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) of the Predator class and larger. The system features a 58 horsepower (Hp) AccuDyne AC 4 quadrant motoring dynamometer and other subsystems configured for starter/generator testing and is automated by SAKOR’s DynoLAB test automation controller.

The SAKOR test system will be used by General Atomics for testing the motor that starts the RPA turbines. Once under turbine power, this motor then turns into a generator that produces electricity for flight controls and sensor suite onboard the RPA.

The AccuDyne four-quadrant dynamometer is capable of full bi-directional braking or driving the device under test. It can also provide full rated torque at stall (zero RPM). The dynamometer has been configured with 58 Hp bi-directional motoring and absorbing; line-regenerative power absorption; and a maximum speed of 12,600 rpm. The system is equipped with a heavy-duty test bench; vertical rack enclosure; and a four-phase power analyzer configured to measure the DC input and three-phase AC voltage, current and power output from the DUT motor controller (inverter). SAKOR also provided on-site installation supervision, commissioning, and training services.

The system is automated by SAKOR’s DynoLAB test automation controller, a powerful system that enables test engineers and/or technicians to design and implement complex test procedures without the need to learn a programming language. Operators can quickly configure and run tests using the easy to use, menu driven interface.

“We are proud to be involved with the effort to provide our military with the most advanced equipment in the world,” said Randal Beattie, president of SAKOR. “RPAs are at the forefront of modern technology and this test equipment will help ensure it remains state of the art far into the future.”

LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE

Enter you REGISTERED email

Aerospace Tech Review Magazine - Subscription Popup

Already a subscriber? Log in