INTRODUCTION - Champagne and cake as the Alliance celebrate

18 March 2008

Loofie Gutterman
Loofie Gutterman

Loofie Gutterman, President of the PXI Systems Alliance, introduces our supplement this year with a look back at the impact has made since its inception 10 years ago, and how the PXISA celebrated reaching this milestone.

In September, Mil-Aero ATE aficionados made their annual pilgrimage to AutoTestCon (ATC) which this year took place in Baltimore MD. In past years, ATC has become a showcase for PXI and this year was no different, or maybe it was. With PXI celebrating its 10th anniversary, the PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA) chose ATC to kick off its anniversary year activities. This official kickoff included an official toast as well as exciting product demonstrations in the PXISA booth.

In past years, you could always find exciting PXI applications and demonstrations in ATC exhibitor booths. Unfortunately, that could not be said about the PXISA booth. Since the efforts of PXISA members were targeting applications and demos for their own booths, the PXISA booth had to settle for static displays of one or two chassis with some non operational PXI modules. This year, the Alliance decided that for our anniversary, this was unacceptable and Alliance members developed three multi-vendor applications that show cased the open-architecture, robustness, and interoperability of PXI.

The first demo was an 864-channel Jet Engine data acquisition and monitoring system developed by GaGe, KineticSystems, Geotest, Keithley, ADLink, and National Instruments. This 3U/6U combination system monitored temperature, pressure, flow, RPM, and ARINC-429 channels of a simulated jet engine.

The second demo was a compact mixed-signal test application developed by GaGe, Geotest, Keithley, MacPanel, Pickering, and Ztec. This system demonstrated the compact footprint of PXI and its ability to perform a variety of measurements including nonlinearity, channel skew, rise times, harmonic distortion, signal to noise, and spurious free dynamic range.

The Third demo was a Zigbee Wireless Transceiver tester developed by National Instruments, Keithley, Goepel electronic, Pickering Interfaces and MAC Panel. This system demonstrated PXI’s capabilities to perform RF tests including RF signal strength, error vector magnitude and power spectral density as well as JTAG structural tests on Zigbee transceiver components.

With these three exciting fully operational demo systems, there was no wonder the booth received many visitors. Then, to increase the booth attendance, the Alliance celebrated PXI’s anniversary by having champagne and cake at the booth and all you had to do to receive it was to listen to a short speech from yours truly. I initially thought it was my natural charm that brought all these people to the booth but I reconsidered after I realized that we went through 50 bottles of champagne in less than an hour…

The success of PXI over the past 10 years is evident not only in the number but also the diversity of applications using the platform. From testing the controllers of the Microsoft Xbox 360, to testing the electronics on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to operation in nuclear power plants, PXI has a proven track record of delivering highly reliable and flexible automated test systems - demonstrating time and again the interoperability of the standard.

With PXI already being used in a wide range of industries and applications, the adoption of the platform for new applications looks to expand even further with the integration of PXI Express as part of the PXI standard. Announced in 2005, this new addition to the PXI specification offers the highest bandwidth, lowest latency and best timing and synchronization of any test platform, while maintaining full backward compatibility with PXI.

Happy Birthday PXI!

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