Beyond the Skies: Unveiling the Precision of Military Avionics Testing Equipment

Military aircraft operate in diverse and often harsh environments. Avionics testing includes environmental testing to simulate conditions such as extreme temperatures, humidity, and high altitudes. This ensures that avionics systems can withstand challenging environmental factors without degradation in performance. Military avionics, encompassing communication, navigation, radar, and electronic warfare systems, must undergo rigorous testing to meet stringent military standards and specifications that have unique requirements for defense applications in performance, interoperability, and security.

A significant benefit of military avionics testing is its contribution to cost savings and resource optimization. By detecting and addressing issues early in the design and development phase, as well as follow up testing as a result of recurring maintenance issues, avionics testing helps prevent costly system failures and extends the lifespan of avionic components. This “preventative maintenance” approach reduces the frequency of unexpected breakdowns and the associated expenses of unscheduled repairs. Overall, the thorough and systematic testing of military avionics not only enhances operational readiness but also provides long-term economic advantages through improved reliability and efficient resource utilization by strategically allocating resources and prioritizing investments in the most critical areas.

Testing equipment for military avionics serves various purposes, including functional testing, environmental testing, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing. These tests are essential to validate the functionality of avionics components under diverse operating conditions and to verify their resilience.

Advancements in military avionics testing equipment have been driven by the increasing complexity of avionics systems and the need for more sophisticated testing methodologies. Automated testing systems with built-in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities are becoming prevalent, allowing for quicker and more accurate testing processes. These advancements not only enhance the efficiency of testing procedures but also contribute to the overall reliability of military avionics, ensuring that aircraft can perform their missions with precision and dependability in challenging operational environments.

Conducted Susceptibility Testing

Conducted Susceptibility (CS) testing, evaluates the ability of a device or system to operate properly in the presence of conducted electromagnetic interference (EMI). The CS test involves subjecting the equipment under test (EUT) to intentional electromagnetic interference induced through its power and signal lines. This interference is generated by the CS test generator. The CS generator is designed to produce controlled and repeatable interference signals, replicating the types of electrical disturbances that military equipment might experience during operation.

Military standards, such as those defined in the MIL-STD series (Military Standards), set forth the requirements for CS testing, including the characteristics of the interference signals, test methods, and performance criteria. CS generators are crucial tools in ensuring that military equipment is robust and can operate effectively in the presence of electromagnetic interference, which is particularly important in mission-critical scenarios where reliable performance is essential.

EMC Partner’s MIL-MG3 conducted susceptibility test system is specifically designed to meet the test requirements outlined in MIL-STD-461 – CS06, CS106, CS115, and CS116, along with compliance with RTCA DO 160 Section 17 and Section 19. The system is provided as a turn-key solution right out of the box, inclusive of a calibration jig and all necessary accessories for seamless operation.

Montena’s PG1275E is specially designed for conducted susceptibility/transient tests to voltage surges and spikes of 28 Vdc electric units in military vehicles according to MIL-STD-1275E. The generator can be fully controlled by a computer through an RS232 or a USB interface.

Indirect Lightning Test System

Compact indirect lightning testers serve as essential tools in assessing and mitigating the potential adverse effects of lightning strikes on electronic systems. Designed with portability in mind, these testers offer a convenient solution for engineers and technicians who need to conduct field tests or evaluate the susceptibility of electronic equipment to lightning-induced interference. Their compact design does not compromise their testing capabilities; rather, it enhances versatility by allowing users to assess a variety of systems, including avionics, communication equipment, and sensitive electronics, in diverse operational environments.

EMC Partner’s AVI-LV3, a cutting-edge test system, ensures full compliance up to level 3 for PIN injection and Cable bundle tests, encompassing Single Stroke, Multiple Stroke, and Multiple Burst, in accordance with DO-160 Section 22 and MIL-STD-461 CS117, while also meeting CS117 test levels for internal equipment.

Features:

  • 7″ Color Touch Screen GUI
  • All 6 waveforms in one generator
  • Guaranteed Level 3 under all load conditions
  • Built-in phase synchronization up to 800Hz.
  • Integrated AC/DC de-couplers for powered PIN testing
  • Man-portable unit for on-site testing
  • Automated test process, no need to change generator
  • More efficient testing with less user intervention.
  • Full compliance testing without additional hardware
  • Increased system availability, higher throughput

Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (NEMP) Test System

Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (NEMP) testing is a critical component of assessing the resilience of electronic systems to the electromagnetic effects produced by nuclear detonation. EMP testing involves subjecting electronic devices and systems to simulated electromagnetic pulses that mimic the intense, high-voltage radiated electric field generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion. This type of testing is particularly crucial for military and critical infrastructure applications, as EMPs have the potential to disrupt or damage electronic components over large areas, impacting communication systems, power grids, and other vital infrastructure. The objective of EMP testing is to ensure that electronic systems can withstand and continue to function effectively in the aftermath of a nuclear event, thereby enhancing the overall survivability and reliability of critical infrastructure.

Montena’s NEMP generators are developed and manufactured according to MIL-STD-461 E/F/G and can be designed as transportable for temporary outdoor or indoor use, or fixed, weatherized simulators for permanent outdoor installations. Montena’s design can be adapted to customers’ requirements to fulfill other standards, for other fields of application, or for the refurbishment of existing NEMP test installations.

Features:

  • Triangular transmission line design with distributed load resistors for bounded wave propagation with minimal reflection
  • Indoor transportable small test systems; outdoor permanent large test installations
  • Automated management and test report generation for simple measurement
  • Low risk of operator’s handling mistakes
  • Other pulse shapes according to other standards such as IEC or national standards on request

Pulsed Current Injection (PCI)

Pulsed current injection tests, a method employed to assess the susceptibility of electronic systems and components to electromagnetic interference (EMI), involve injecting short-duration pulses of current to simulate real-world transient conditions. Particularly pertinent for evaluating resilience to electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) and other transient phenomena, these tests play a vital role in ensuring the reliable operation of electronic systems. This is especially crucial for systems used in critical applications such as aerospace, defense, and industrial environments.

Montena has developed a full range of pulse generators according to MIL-STD-188-125-1 & 2. The systems provided cover the short pulse (E1), intermediate (E2), and long pulse (E3) tests.

Features:

  • Unique fully compliant test solution to cover the entire standard requirements
  • Transportable for on-site verification tests
  • Control and pulse management software package to simplify the test procedure

ESD Test System

Helicopter Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) tests are crucial assessments conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of helicopters and their associated systems to electrostatic discharges, particularly in challenging operational environments. These tests are essential because helicopters, as they traverse the atmosphere, can accumulate static charges due to friction between rotor blades and air molecules and precipitation, especially during flight. The discharge of accumulated electrostatic energy, especially upon landing, can potentially interfere with sensitive avionics and electronic systems, and present safety hazards to any ordnance onboard. Helicopter ESD tests typically involve subjecting the aircraft to controlled electrostatic discharges to simulate real-world conditions. These assessments aim to identify vulnerabilities in the helicopter’s design and electronic components, allowing engineers to implement measures to mitigate risks associated with electrostatic discharges, and to ensure the safety of personnel and reliability of the aircraft during operation.

The testing procedures for Helicopter ESD tests often adhere to established standards and guidelines, such as those outlined in military specifications or aviation regulatory requirements. Through Helicopter ESD tests, engineers gain insights into the effectiveness of protective measures, such as bonding and grounding, as well as the overall electromagnetic compatibility of the helicopter’s electronic systems.

Montena has developed a system for electrostatic discharges up to 300 kV, to test personnel and helicopter-borne electrostatic parameters. It is built on two separate movable trolleys with the discharge electrode mounted on a piston which is adjustable in height and angle.

Features:

  • Multi-purpose movable test equipment on separate trolleys
  • Electrode adjustable in height (from 1 to 4 meters) and angle ( ± 60°)
  • Remote controlled operation for hazardous tests
  • Positive and negative polarity available
  • One system for ESD and P-static tests
  • Pulse current measurement
  • Possible charging of the EUT with the electrode grounded
  • Computer-controlled or manual operation

Trigger Generator

Montena’s GT50K generator is a trigger source for Marx generators and trigatrons (triggered spark gaps). The advantages of the GT50K generator include solid-state switching, a high repetition rate, an exceptionally long lifetime, independence from an external high-voltage power supply, and the ability to be triggered by either a 5V digital signal or fiber-optic control.

Features:

  • Solid-state switching
  • High repetition rate
  • Very long lifetime
  • No need for an external high-voltage power supply
  • Can be triggered by a 5V digital signal or by fiber-optic control
  • Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 17 cm

 

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