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.”

AEROSPACE TESTING

Exact Metrology Now Offers New Artec LEO 3D Scanner

Exact Metrology announces the availability of the Artec LEO  3D scanner, produced by Artec 3D, a developer and manufacturer of professional 3D scanners and software. Artec LEO is the first scanner to offer onboard automatic processing with an integrated touch panel viewer and frees users from being tied to a computer for data capture.

The scanner has a 3D reconstruction rate of 80 frames per second, making it the fastest professional scanner on the market. With its large field of view, Artec LEO can scan and process large objects and scenes quickly and accurately.

Artec LEO features data acquisition up to 4 million points/second, with a working range of .35-1.2 m.  The 3D resolution on this scanner is up to .5 mm and 3D point accuracy up to .1mm. State-of-the-art technologies including the NVIDIA Jetson platform, which is the scanner’s internal computer, featuring Quad-core ARM Cortex  -A57 MPCore CPU and NVIDIA Maxwell  1 TFLOPS GPU with 256 NVIDIA  CUDA  Cores; a built-in 9 DoF inertial system- accelerometer, gyro and compass. The company says this allows the scanner to understand its position and environment; and a two-in-one optical system designed to spec for the most exact texture to geometry mapping.

Artec LEO can scan in sunlight, as well as capture dark and shiny objects. As with all Artec scanners, it uses advanced hybrid technology and texture tracking. Therefore, you can point at your object and shoot. There is no need to stick targets and remove them. The texture resolution is 2.3 mp.

This handheld scanner is equipped with a 4” LCD screen to capture images of the data. The 3D light source is provided by state-of-the-art VCSEL (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) technology. With no need to connect to a computer or to plug in to a main power source, users can hold the scanner and walk around freely, scanning without the worry of wires or additional equipment. Artec LEO’s battery pack allows users to scan for 3.5 to 4 hours. Supplementary battery modules permit unlimited 3D scanning on expeditions or in remote areas. There are 2 cameras on this scanner. One is a range camera for 3D geometry and another is a color camera. The color camera captures color texture data. Besides built-in battery and wireless connectivity, Artec LEO can stream the scanning process to a second device.

According to company tests, the battery lasts for up to 6 hours, depending on external conditions.

AEROSPACE TESTING

Kaman Measuring Highlights SMT-9700 Position/Displacement System Ideal for Analytical and OEM Applications

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products highlights the availability of its SMT 9700 position/displacement system, which provides high resolution non-contact position/displacement feedback of virtually any electrically conductive target.

Kaman says its flexible SMT 9700 features “easy, cost-effective performance customization that provides an excellent fit for customer applications – and at significant cost savings for volume applications.” The SMT 9700 system can be used for optics positioning in photolithography equipment, XYZ stage positioning in atomic force microscopy, and spindle position in precision grinding of bearing races.
The SMT 9700 uses Kaman’s eddy current sensor technology and provides nanometer to sub-nanometer resolution in a small package size. Available with 13 standard sensor options, the SMT 9700 system also enables users to customize sensor type and configuration, cable length, calibration range and offset, as well as performance attributes, linearity, bandwidth, and temperature.

The SMT 9700 is available in 1, 2 and 3 channel configurations. With the 3-channel option, all channels can work off the same frequency and be tuned together. Users can achieve considerable cost savings by reducing mounting costs and saving on machine space and tuning all 3 channels together.

AEROSPACE TESTING

MathWorks Announces $1 Million Donation to Gates Foundation’s Combating COVID-19 Fund

MathWorks, the Natick-based developer of software for scientists and engineers, announced that it has donated $1 million to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Combating COVID-19 Fund, a $250 million initiative to work on COVID-19 globally. The fund supports leading scientific organizations to develop the most promising diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to stop the spread of the virus and help speed people who are sick back to health. In addition, the fund is focused on protecting some of the most vulnerable people living in Africa and South Asia from the immediate impact of COVID-19—while helping their countries prepare for future outbreaks.

“MathWorks wanted to find an organization where we could make a meaningful contribution to scientific and engineering efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Jack Little, CEO of MathWorks. “Over the last five years Bill Gates has become a foremost expert on pandemics and we’re proud to support the scientifically-driven root cause solutions his Foundation is pursuing to fight COVID-19 around the world.”

In addition to the Gates Foundation donation, MathWorks recently assisted other global and local organizations in their efforts to combat the pandemic. This included:

• Directing a $1 million gift to CARE for that organization to use as necessary as it works to protect vulnerable people all over the world from the COVID-19 outbreak. CARE is providing hygiene kits, hand-washing stations and clean water to help stop the spread of disease

• Providing $285,000 in grants to 57 non-profit organizations within the MetroWest region of Boston. Each organization received $5,000 to help them address any pressing needs they themselves identify, including family support, food insecurity.

Evolution Measurement Achieves BSI Accreditation During Lockdown
AEROSPACE TESTING

Evolution Measurement Achieves BSI Accreditation During Lockdown

UK instrument manufacturer, Evolution Measurement, is celebrating successfully having their BSI Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2015 accredited during a period when much of the UK was in lockdown.

Work for the accreditation has been ongoing since October last year, but production manager, Mark Adams, finalized the process with the BSI auditors using an all-day remote video call during which they were able to audit and validate the processes in use.

ISO 9001:2015 specifies the requirements for a Quality Management System when an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

“This is a momentous day for our businesses, having successfully completed our ISO9001:2015 certification,” Paul Crowhurst, managing director, said. “This is not an easy thing to accomplish, the demands in the 2015 edition are much more stringent and demanding than the earlier 2008 edition. To achieve it first time is also a great feat especially in the current circumstances.”

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