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AUTOTESTCON Proceedings, 2001. IEEE Systems Readiness Technology Conference

Date 20-23 Aug. 2001

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  • 2001 IEEE Autotestcon Proceedings. IEEE Systems Readiness Technology Conference. (Cat. No.01CH37237)

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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Page(s): xxvi - xxviii
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • TPS precision & accuracy

    Page(s): 545 - 557
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (696 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper we discuss the benefits of a Test Program Set (TPS) that can precisely isolate down to the absolute lowest component of a UUT (Unit Under Test) versus a TPS's ability to accurately detect AND isolate a fault to some higher level of the UUT. We touch on the idea of not isolating down to this absolute level just because we can, but only when we need to as an optimum characteristic of the support system. As in all things, the competing ideals of theory, need and desire slam up against the boundaries of reality. Essentially, we try to view the environmental realities that a system must deploy in. The cost of complete, precise diagnostics and fault isolation is high. In this paper we discuss various trade-offs that developers and decision makers make to design, develop and deliver a TPS that supports the user in the most optimal and cost effective way View full abstract»

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  • Lifecycle Operational Flight Program (OFP) loading support for the C-17 Globemaster III weapon system

    Page(s): 962 - 976
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    The advanced avionics computer systems of the C-17 Globemaster III contain operational flight program software which require life cycle loading support systems to accommodate user mission changes and aircraft upgrades. Multiple dedicated software loading platforms are required to load software into the disparate systems. The costs of these dedicated platforms are prohibitive, not only in terms of the hardware, but also in the maintenance of skills required for operating the varied software loaders. The Air Force desired a common platform capable of loading the different Line Replaceable Units (LRU), leveraging the common User Interface to lower user training and life cycle maintenance against the development cost of the loader. The Operational Flight Program Loading System (OFPLS) offers a solution for this situation. The system allows a qualified technician to use a single system to load software into many different LRUs View full abstract»

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  • Instrumenting embedded test software to support system integration, factory production and depot repair

    Page(s): 740 - 745
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (320 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Embedded built-in test (BIT) software typically provides a system-level go/no-go indication and, in the presence of a failure, may provide some level of sub-system isolation. This level of reporting, while meeting the customer's operational requirements, does little to support system integration, production and repair. To support these other needs "instrumentation code" is added to the BIT software to provide detailed test data through an external interface. Since the BIT software already accesses the hardware parameters for testing it becomes the most logical component for the instrumentation. This paper describes the techniques of embedding instrumentation during BIT design and development to support a broad range of program test needs. It explains the costs and benefits associated with the use of instrumentation. It gives specific examples of instrumented software. It also describes how the instrumentation data can be used during environmental tests, factory test, and depot test. The impact instrumentation has on software development time, code size, execution time, and reliability is discussed as well as the cost of retrofitting BIT software to add instrumentation. Some of the benefits as well as the challenges to developing effective embedded instrumentation are examined View full abstract»

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  • AI-ESTATE: a declarative based logic calculator

    Page(s): 378 - 387
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    In the conduct of proposing, building and marketing an IEEE 1232 Artificial Intelligence-Exchange Service Tie to-All Test Environments (AI-ESTATE) based diagnostic engine it has become evident that very few test engineers, program and project managers understand the advanced powers of AI-ESTATE as a declarative based logic calculator. This paper will discuss the nature of AI-ESTATE in several terms. The problem that Al-ESTATE solves - can be seen as a typical type of problem in science and engineering that has a tradition of stimulating the advancement of mechanical/electrical calculation. This tradition starts with the nature and the economics of the calculation problems tackled by Pascal, Leibniz, Turing, Mauchly and Eckert, von Neumann and many others. In the case of AI-ESTATE the advancement is partially stimulated by the economics of system test and diagnosis, the impact of the decoupling of diagnostic decision making from the rest of the "Test Environment", and the impact of the people that worked together to provide the IEEE 1232 Standard. The advantages of declarative languages is discussed over the disadvantages of imperative languages in a general context. The form of the logic calculator is discussed and how the gap between data syntax and model semantics is bridged and the calculator is "programmed" via a declarative or descriptive model editor. A final discussion will focus on how Al-ESTATE might be embedded on a board or cast as an IC View full abstract»

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  • Mitigating COTS obsolescence in military test

    Page(s): 746 - 756
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    This paper seeks to identify the causes of obsolescence in military test equipment, specifically in automated test equipment, while offering potential alternatives to reduce the occurrence and impact of the changes required. The analysis and alternatives is at a system level to advocate a proactive approach rather than the reactive approach forced by individual occurrences. The use of automated tools for predictive analysis is emphasized. An approach to reduce the impact of obsolescence is detailed View full abstract»

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  • Accelerated evolution of the system support paradigm

    Page(s): 940 - 950
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    A number of trends, including growing prime system complexity, the more widespread use of COTS equipment, an inclination to extended contractor support, and the increasing importance of global diagnostic coverage, all portend changes in the current system support paradigm. These changes will affect support acquisition, development, design and operational practice insofar as they relate to generic diagnostic functions and their realization using modern enabling technologies. Beneficial changes can be accelerated through the coordinated insertion of these technologies within the framework of a systems engineering process View full abstract»

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  • A software architecture for building interchangeable test systems

    Page(s): 16 - 22
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    Test system developers can benefit greatly from a software architecture that allows for easy interchangeability of instruments in those systems. Using open industry standard software architectures such as Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA), and Interchangeable Virtual Instruments (IVI), developers are able to create systems with interchangeable test instrumentation. This paper describes the VISA and IVI software standards and demonstrates how their use within a broader software architecture, which includes standard development environments and flexible test executive software, facilitates the creation of interchangeable test systems View full abstract»

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  • Micromechanical measurement subsystem

    Page(s): 271 - 275
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    The subsystem relates to control, testing and measurement instrumentation with closed digital control loop structure and may be used, in particular, for testing and measurement of smooth displacements resulting from, for example, force or temperature deformation of an object, or for detection of changes in geometric dimensions of an object while monitoring its air tightness, in particular, when monitoring air tightness of integrated microcircuits in cremate packages or water tightness of integrated circuits in a watertight case. Also it may be used with some additions for tactile sensing in robotic systems View full abstract»

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  • Window rip-up for faster testing and fault tolerance in FPGAs

    Page(s): 149 - 158
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (840 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper we present a window based rip-up strategy for incrementally routing signal nets on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). In our strategy we use a variable size window to reduce the problem size when incrementally routing fault tolerant (FT) FPGA circuits. Our methods are suitable for standard FPGA routers as well as specialized routers used to incrementally route circuits in Adaptive Computing Systems (ACSs). We demonstrate our technique on a FPGA based, on-line ACS that is implemented with the ORCA© FPGA available from Lucent Technologies. The effectiveness of the technique for system configuration generation and its associated impact is evaluated across four benchmark circuits programmed on the ORCA 2C FPGA. The results show up to 65.5% reduction in router CPU time and 63.8% reduction in configuration file size View full abstract»

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  • PIP-enhanced "at system" diagnosis on the flightline

    Page(s): 168 - 178
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    Flightline component false removals are costly and add to the logistics tail of every weapon system. Integrating portable maintenance aids (PMAs) and maintenance information systems into the test repertoire can help significantly; however, these solutions do little to augment the information available for failure diagnosis. Adding conventional test instrumentation under PMA control would provide the additional information we seek; however, these hardware intensive solutions are typically large, heavy and expensive. VXI offers an opportunity to consolidate instrumentation into a convenient package, however, the majority of VXI products provide a single function. Therefore many VXI modules are required to provide the needed functionality, resulting in an instrumentation package that is large and awkward to use at best, and quite often just not useable on the flightline. This paper addresses false removals, the challenges involved in addressing this issue, and solutions that are being implemented on the RAH-66 Comanche program. The PMA Instrument Pack (PIP) approach to flightline instrumentation facilitates powerful test techniques that augment diagnostic capability at the weapon system View full abstract»

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  • Paladin's prognostic/diagnostic interface unit (P/DIU) enhancement effort

    Page(s): 584 - 592
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (704 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The Paladin P/DIU enhancement effort is an embedded diagnostics vision shared by PM Paladin/FAASV, PM Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (PM TMDE) and the Automated Test Systems Team (ATST). The P/DIU is Built-in-Test-Equipment (BITE) and has been an integral part of the Paladin (self-propelled howitzer) Automatic Fire Control System (AFCS) for 15 years. With time, come obsolescence issues, and advancements in technology. The basis of this effort is to demonstrate, economically, the potential of an enhanced P/DIU and how it can exemplify the many embedded diagnostic visions presented previously at AUTOTESTCON, Army Diagnostic Improvement Program (ADIP) and other maintenance conferences View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive filtering for calibration of redundant signals

    Page(s): 121 - 136
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    This paper presents formulation and validation of an adaptive filter for real-time calibration of redundant signals consisting of sensor data and/or analytically derived measurements. Individual signals are calibrated on-line by an additive correction that is generated by a recursive filter. The covariance matrix of the measurement noise is adjusted as a function of the a posteriori probabilities of failure of the individual measurements. An estimate of the measured variable is also obtained in real time as a weighted average of the calibrated measurements. These weights are recursively updated in real time instead of being fixed a priori. The calibration and estimation filter is hosted in a Pentium-II platform and has been tested in real time on an operating power plant. The filter software is portable to any commercial platform. The filter can be potentially used to enhance the Instrumentation and Control System Software in tactical and transport aircraft, and nuclear and fossil power plants View full abstract»

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  • Visual programming versus textual programming in automatic testing and diagnosis

    Page(s): 658 - 671
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1256 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The present paper investigates the categories of functionality implemented by software in Automatic Test Systems and the programming paradigms that are commonly used for implementation. Building on the conclusions of this analysis, the paper proposes a combined development paradigm, where visual programming is used at diagnosis level, while both textual and visual languages are supported for implementing test and instrument control functionality. This approach offers important benefits in reducing development and maintenance costs for ATS software, while maximizing its potential for reuse. The proposed development paradigm is illustrated by an actual ATS architecture, implemented in software product View full abstract»

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  • A prime contractor's perspective on total ATS development and life cycle cost (LCC) support responsibility

    Page(s): 313 - 318
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (304 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The prime Weapon System contractor's utilization of existing Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) either in government inventory or available COTS items is truly critical to the success of any Automatic Test Systems (ATS) acquisition activity. The ATE decisionmaking process must be done in harmony with the customer (Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines) in a total Integrated Product Team (IPT) environment in order to reduce proliferation of any unique ATE. The ATE selection process must consider cost, performance, and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) supportability/maintainability and must minimize proprietary data issues. The critical path in managing a complex ATS contract is establishing a systems engineering program/methodologies that will track, monitor the health of the program, and mitigate total program system risks to produce a quality product with customer satisfaction. The remainder of the paper addresses the program management methodology and practices necessary for a successful LCC support systems contract View full abstract»

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  • Routing algorithms for programmable logic device design and manufacturing test development

    Page(s): 214 - 228
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    A Computer Aided Design (CAD) tool consisting of two new interconnect network routing algorithms is developed. It was developed to assist in manufacturing test development for any Programmable Logic Device (PLD) such as Complex Programmable Logic Devices (CPLDs) and/or Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices which utilize any interconnect network structure whose definition/connectivity and control can be described in a presented manner. The CAD tool utilizing the new routing algorithms supports manual and semiautomatic explicit, non-explicit, and net routing and was extensively tested on the interconnect networks of the Cypress Delta39KTM series CPLD for the purpose of manufacturing testing of the programmable interconnect networks within the device as well as all programmable logic functions of the device. The two routing algorithms were developed and experimentally proved to work correctly with the best one chosen based on both theoretical and experimental complexity analysis and the particular routing scenario to be solved. The resultant routing CAD tool will produce the configuration bits necessary to program or configure PLD devices for the extensive tests that must be applied to ensure that the manufactured PLDs are defect-free. The router CAD tool can also be extensively used in the verification of the design process of PLDs as verified via experimental testing View full abstract»

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  • Integrated reliability analysis, diagnostics and prognostics for critical power systems

    Page(s): 416 - 440
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2176 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Critical power systems, such as data centers and communication switching facilities, have very high availability requirements (5 min./year downtime). A data center that consumes electricity at a rate of 3 MW can have a downtime cost of $300,000 an hour. Even a momentary interruption of two seconds may cause a loss of two hours of data processing. Consequently, power quality has emerged as an issue of significant importance in the operation of these systems. In this paper, we address three issues of power quality: real-time detection and diagnosis of power quality problems, reliability and availability evaluation, and capacity margin analysis. The objective of real-time detection and diagnosis is to provide a seamless on-line monitoring and off-line maintenance process. The techniques are being applied to monitor the power quality of a few facilities at the University of Connecticut. Reliability analysis, based on a computationally efficient sum of disjoint products, enables analysts to decide on the optimum levels of redundancy, aids operators in prioritizing the maintenance options within a given budget, and in monitoring the system for capacity margin. Capacity margin analysis helps operators to plan for additional loads and to schedule repair/replacement activities. The resulting analytical and software tool is demonstrated on a sample data center View full abstract»

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  • Residual stress measurement of thermal barrier coatings using laser fluorescence technique and their life prediction

    Page(s): 593 - 603
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    Non-destructive determination of the remaining life of coatings of gas turbine parts is highly desirable. The present paper describes early attempts to prove the feasibility of doing this based on the optical measurement of the stress in the oxide that attaches the coating to the metal component. Both standard regression methods and neural network methods are compared and it was found that the neural network approach was superior for the case where multiple signal features were present. All methods provide useful predictions for the idealized case considered View full abstract»

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  • Recent developments in the NIST ac-dc difference calibration service for thermal transfer standards

    Page(s): 105 - 114
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (840 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a brief summary of the ac-dc difference calibration service for thermal transfer standards at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. Related topics discussed include automated calibration systems, research into a new cryogenic thermal transfer standard, fabrication of thermal converters using semiconductor processing techniques, and a high-voltage comparator system based on a binary inductive voltage divider View full abstract»

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  • The re-configurable ID [interface devices]

    Page(s): 757 - 769
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (672 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes the use of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology in the design of Interface Devices (ID's) for multiple UUT's. FPGA's have been intensively applied in the development of TPS's in CASS for the US Navy AV8B+ aircraft under contract N68335-93-G-0159/0003. Amongst their benefits are a high degree of integration and easy changes during design and support phases. After discussing the classic UUT interface approaches and the introduction of the new re-configurable ID concept, some applications, utilized in the referenced TPS development contract, are presented to show how this technique has helped to solve interface problems. The paper concludes with a brief explanation of the design methodology, and the expanding possibilities of this concept to other type of devices. The final goal is having available a catalog of components and techniques that can be easily reused in Interface Device development View full abstract»

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  • Optimum performance comparative study of combined gas turbine partial oxidation cycle and reheat cycle

    Page(s): 389 - 400
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (560 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The present paper studies the general characteristics and evaluate the optimum performance of 2-stage POGT cycle augmented by a recuperation process. A comparative study of the performance of POGT cycle with that of a reheat cycle (RHGT) is discussed. The ranges of values of the controlling parameters of both cycles that give optimum performance (e.g. first law and second law efficiencies and net work output ηI, ηII, and wnet respectively) are determined and fitted into functional correlation equations. The effects of irreversibilities of the different composing units of the two cycles are accounted for in the study. The present findings can form a very important basis for a complete phenomenological design of POGT and RHGT cycles to achieve optimum performance. The study shows that for POGT cycle, at constant θ, the effect of x on q is very small compared to its effect on ηI and ηII , reaching their maximum values at about x=2.8. Mass ratio in has a constant decreasing effect on all cycle performance characteristics. Higher values of θ result in higher values of all cycle characteristics. For the RHGT cycle, x greatly effects all performance characteristics and has some limiting values at which wnetI=0. Variation trends of cycle characteristics are similar in regards to the effect of θμ with their optimum values tends to lie between values of x of 1.6 and 2.6. Higher values of x decrease cycle performance. The comparative study shows that ηI for the RHGT cycle always exceeds that of the POGT cycle only at low values of x. Beyond these values of x, the POGT is better than the RHGT. The correlation equations relate optimum values of both cycle characteristics to the controlling parameters of each cycle. Irreversibilities of different units of each cycle have been accounted for in these equations View full abstract»

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  • Re-configurable hardware for "synthetic" wideband instruments

    Page(s): 632 - 647
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    Using current commercially-available programmable devices, ranging from ASICs to PCs, it is possible to configure a single set of hardware that can serve as the measurement kernel for software-defined instruments suitable for the creation and/or analysis of modulated signals up to 80 MHz - bandwidth. Furnished with an appropriate software interface, such a device can replace individual instruments in many cases, and in other cases can be used to respond rapidly to changing measurement needs View full abstract»

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  • The forces changing automatic testing for DoD depots and what lies ahead

    Page(s): 319 - 331
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    This paper will discuss the four major forces presently shaping automatic testing at the remaining Department of Defense Depots. It will explain the history of how automated testing has evolved and the changes that have resulted from the forces of the last 10 years. Additionally it will discuss what challenges and opportunities are ahead for the many Test Program Development Agencies and Automated Test Equipment (ATE) designers. These forces are the result of government down sizing, weapon system life cycle extensions, introduction of Commercial Off The Shelf and the infamous 50-50 legislation. As a result many tough challenges and consequently opportunities lie ahead for the ATE community View full abstract»

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  • Remote diagnosis server architecture

    Page(s): 988 - 998
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1048 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Modern systems such as the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, or nuclear power plants are examples of mission critical systems that need to be monitored around the clock. Such systems typically consist of embedded sensors in networked subsystems that can transmit data to central (or remote) monitoring stations. At Qualtech Systems, we are developing a Remote Diagnosis Server (RDSTM) to implement a remote health monitoring system based on received data from such systems. RDSTM can also be used to provide online monitoring of sensor-rich, network capable systems such as jet engines, building heating-ventilation-air-conditioning systems, and automobiles. This paper presents the various components and architecture of the RDS TM. The RDSTM is built on a three-tier architecture with a "Broker" application in the middle layer, and multiple TEAMS-RTTM and TEAMATETM based reasoners at the backend. The client layer consists of sensor agents. that collect test results and transmit them over a message-passing network, or technicians with web browsers being guided through intelligent troubleshooting sessions. A database in the backend, TEAMS-KBTM , is used to manage models and content, and collect diagnosis logs for data mining. the solution scales easily to hundreds of sessions in any modern workstation or server View full abstract»

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