Case study: Streamlining multi-site aerospace validation & production test systems

Author : Michael Crespin | Sales Director for Mediterranean region | Pickering Interfaces

01 February 2021

Pickering-LGM_aerospace T&M case study
Pickering-LGM_aerospace T&M case study

A world-renowned player in the aerospace industry was seeking to streamline development & production of its avionics LRUs (line replaceable units) at multiple sites, by specifying a new test system architecture that addressed both the design verification & production test functions.

The full version of this case study was originally featured in the February 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

Pickering Interfaces, a specialist in modular switching solutions for test, was approached by partner and test bench development expert, LGM Engineering, one of the systems integrators bidding on the project, to collaborate on the switching and cabling requirements for the new system. In this case study, Michael Crespin, Sales Director for the Mediterranean region at Pickering Interfaces and François Cheritel, Test Bench Project Manager at LGM Engineering explain how their companies’ close cooperation resulted in a hybrid PXI and LXI architecture that delivered the required industry-standard, flexible switching in a compact, cost-effective solution.

The primary strategy of the avionics company’s programme was to use reliable, industry-standard test and measurement resources to deliver compact, flexible, integrated solutions that were easy-to-use and sustainable over a long period – typically 15 to 20 years. To cover all of the required existing and potential future testing requirements, the system architecture needed to be highly flexible, in order to allow various instruments to be switched to each LRU input/output channel – over 400 points in total. The ability to inject simulated faults (for instance, short and open circuits) at all of these connections was also required.  

The PXI platform, which is supported by over 60 suppliers worldwide, was the preferred option for the test system architecture, due to its flexibility and widespread acceptance by the aerospace industry. In technical discussions with LGM Engineering, Pickering presented both its PXI BRIC large matrix family and modular fault insertion solutions. However, due to the large size of the matrix required (over 1,700 2-wire cross-points) and the end customer’s test system size and budget constraints, it was determined that one of Pickering’s LXI matrix offerings would potentially be a more appropriate solution.

The ideal product selected was Pickering’s high-density LXI 4x448 2-pole switch matrix, with dual internal analogue buses and integrated self-test (model: 60-556-027), housed in a compact 1U, 19” rack-mount enclosure. The unit is fitted with high-quality electro-mechanical relays rated at 2A/60W/300V.

Read the full article in EPDT's February 2021 issue...

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