Reducing Operation and Support Costs with PCMCIA Based Automatic Test Systems
Small Business Information
1470 North Main St, Bountiful, UT, 84010
James S. Lynds
AbstractMilitary electronic systems have become so complex that computer controlled Automatic Test Systems (ATS) must be used for their test and repair. These test systems contain a central computer and a series of test instruments. The computer communicates with and controls the instruments via a high level bus. Because of this, automatic test systems have a semi-rigid architecture which can not easily be reconfigured to meet changing reguirements. This limits their usefulness, impacts their mobility and increases the operation and support costs of the electronics systems they support. Recent advances in integrated circuit technology and the introduction of the PCMCIA bus provide an opportunity to develop tightly integrated, highly mobile, automatic test systems which can be configured by the user for different applications. The proposed project will study the feasibility of using the PCMCIA bus in the design of automatic test systems. It will assess all aspects of tester design including reliability, supportability, throughput, mobility, and life cycle cost. It will also assess the impact of the PCMCIA bus on TPS development and retargeting costs. If successful, the project will produce the design specifications for a common, open architecture, set of automatic tester resources which use commercial standards. Reconfigurable automatic test systems will allow electronic assemblies to be completely tested at any location. This could revolutionize the way military electronics are maintained. Reconfigurable test systems would have increased capabilities, making them attractive to the electronics, aerospace companies
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