Integration Test Rigs Take Flight

When a key supplier to a next-generation aircraft platform project needed to prove the operational readiness of its components for jetliner service, Ideal Aerosmith put its engineering expertise to work.

How we solved it.

the challenge

An aerospace project always requires the highest level of accuracy and reliability. When the development of a commercial passenger aircraft is involved, the stakes are even higher.

Ideal Aerosmith was approached by an important supplier in a next-generation aerospace development project. The supplier needed integration test rigs that would validate the software and hardware performance at both the air framer’s facility and its own. Ideal Aerosmith’s engineering team would need to move quickly and work concurrently with the supplier’s teams in both Europe and the United States in order to design and develop a solution. Furthermore, it was critical to rapidly implement aircraft system design changes while keeping the integration test rig changes to a minimum.

the solution

To meet the project’s requirements, Ideal Aerosmith designed and manufactured custom electrical and mechanical assemblies, as well as harness assemblies. This included five high-level assemblies, 22 major subassemblies, more than 120 harness assemblies, several custom-designed Circuit Car Assemblies (CCAs) and eight simulation computers (PCs). In addition, Ideal Aerosmith’s team provided the self-test Interface Test Adapters (ITAs) and software to verify system operation, an important element in certifying system integrity and diagnosis in case of system failure.

During its efforts, Ideal Aerosmith’s engineering teams came up with creative ways to minimize specification changes to the design. Modular hardware architecture, removable magnetic silk screens, dedicated personality modules and reconfigurable switching were some of the tactics that helped to reduce development costs, improve system scalability and keep the project on schedule.

the outcome

In the end, Ideal Aerosmith delivered fully-compliant integration test systems on time. The systems were deployed successfully at the air framer’s facility as well as the supplier’s engineering facility.

In total, 14 of these advanced IMO engineering test rigs are now in service, verifying software and hardware for both an open-world server function cabinet and an avionics server function cabinet for the new aircraft. These test systems were created in several configurations, ranging from one dual-bay rack to two dual-bay racks with a three-bay Control and Display Console (CDC) that emulate the display arrangement inside the airplane’s cockpit.

“Modern day aircraft projects fly before flight using integration systems such as these developed by our team. This particular aircraft certification was performed on schedule, and the supplier’s contributions to the project have been exemplary,” says Moses Koyabe, Vice President of business development at Ideal Aerosmith. “When our customers are able to test their products and systems with the utmost accuracy and reliability, that’s a job well done for our team.”

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