Automated Susceptibility Test Architecture (ASTA) for the Efficient Determination of RF Susceptibility of Electronic Systems

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Voss Scientific, LLC
418 Washington Street, SE, Albuquerque, NM, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Donald Voss
Principal Investigator
(505) 255-4201
Business Contact:
Donald Voss
Managing Member
(505) 255-4201
Research Institution:

ABSTRACT: Voss Scientific proposes to develop an Automated Susceptibility Test Assembly (ASTA) which will be capable of efficiently determining preferred electromagnetic (EM) source waveforms for inducing effects in target electronic systems. This novel adaptive approach will potentially discover unique waveforms that substantially reduce the intensity of the microwave illumination required to cause upset in electronic systems. The potential benefits of this technique include smaller High Power Microwave (HPM) sources, longer stand-off ranges, more reliable results, improved hardening methods, and reduced collateral effects on unintended targets. By reducing the required intensity, missions scenarios which were previously impractical will be within reach. ASTA system utilizes a fully integrated, computer controlled hardware set, highly agile in both the frequency and time domains, to generate the irradiating EM fields. The hardware is controlled by an intelligent test automation application, which employs a novel rule-based execution scheme that combines both traditional test matrices and optimization algorithms. A broad suite of diagnostics will be implemented for damage assessment, including sensors, custom software resident on the asset, remote EM emission sensing, and asset specific diagnostic boards. The Phase II work will conclude with a demonstration of an automated test at L-band on multiple versions of fully instrumented assets. BENEFIT: The capability to explore the RF illumination parameter space with both increased breadth and detail using an automated system will provide substantial benefit to both the military HPM community and the commercial electronics industry. The primary benefit to the military is the capability to identify and exploit susceptibilities, allowing performance of previously impossible HPM and EW missions. ASTA testing can also provide the information needed to improve RF shielding and hardening for US systems, providing an increased confidence level on battlefield operations. In addition, the customized waveform produced by the system is unique to the target asset class. This greatly reduces the probability of undesired collateral effects on unintended targets. The commercial EMI industry will also benefit from improved hardening capabilities provided by this approach and by the general test automation methodology. The improved efficiency and reduced manpower required for susceptibility and EMI compliance tests will be an advantage to both military and commercial users.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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