Ideal Aerosmith developed a microcontroller-based tester that was approximately one fourth the size of the older generation models. This modern architecture provided advantages not possible with bulkier testers. For instance, its reduced weight and size made it easier to transport around the aircraft, and it took up less space in the toolkit crate. Plus, the tester’s unparalleled measurement accuracy was accompanied by a comprehensive self-test that verified that all of its internal components were functioning properly – before running tests on the evacuation slides themselves.
The ETB featured a menu-driven operation that eliminated operator errors, such as pushing a button in the wrong sequence. The color-coded display made it obvious when tests had been passed, failed or when the operator needed to perform an action. In fact, the tester’s entire operation was so easy that it fit into a six-slide color chart.