High-Performance Test and Measurement Equipment Hits The Flight Line

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by Jamie Whitney

When commercial and military flightline crews ready equipment and pilots take to the skies, they want the sense of safety born out of rigorous testing of systems with trustworthy equipment. With modern flightline crews being asked to do more with fewer crew members on equipment packed with more technology than ever, reliable and accurate test and measurement has become even more vital.

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen Sargeant, who is the CEO of Marvin Test Solutions in Irvine, Calif. says that robust test and measurement equipment, “is all about mission readiness, but frankly, that’s the key to being successful as a military, and it requires comprehensive and accurate testing of very complex systems that the warfighters rely on to accomplish their objectives across the target the first time, and that’s very, very important.”

Marvin Test’s Sargeant says that ensuring the munitions being carried onboard today’s military aircraft are sufficiently tested to hit their target keeps warfighters on the move and in less danger.

“So, they don’t have to go back a second time if things don’t work properly. That just ups the odds that things don’t go well for the people involved either on the ground that or our folks are flying in support of those folks that are flying across the target a second or third unnecessary time because things didn’t work the first time,” Sargeant says. “So, it’s very important that we send people into battle with fully tested equipment that is fully mission capable.”

He continues, “So you need the very accurate, comprehensive test equipment to check out that aircraft and its systems, and then over time, precision guided munitions have really become the weapon of choice for militaries around the world ... They’ve got much more electronics both on board and on and off for guidance, which makes the testing much more complex. And so, the test sets have to be up to the challenge of today’s weapons.”

Eyes on cost

Test and measurement can bring monumental expenses to getting an aircraft into service in civilian and military capabilities, says Patrick Quinn, senior product line manager for data acquisition at Curtiss-Wright Corp. based in Davidson, N.C.

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