The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (CCDC) required the design and development of automatic test system (AT-System) and on-board system test kits to augment weapon system fault detection and fault isolating test requirements. This AT-System would be used on weapons systems including the Paladin M109A6/M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer and its Diagnostic and System Health (DASH) module.
We designed AT-System kit hardware using computer-aided design (CAD) software for 3D modeling of interface device (ID), cabling, and test fixture/adapter designs. Our extensive inventory of components and parts were cataloged and made accessible via state-of-the-art inventory/production management software to adjust build schedules and maximize operating efficiency. Our highly detailed technical data analyses for each individual system component aided in test strategy development. The test strategy incorporated links to the DASH system that performed onboard embedded background monitoring to interrogate line-replaceable unit (LRU) built-in test (BIT) results and initiated BIT (IBIT) results. The strategy also incorporated design reviews and acceptance testing requirements for each diagnostic procedure.
HOW WE INNOVATE
We developed a Wired/Wireless Acquisition Module (WAM) to provide the automated capability necessary to provide LRU signal stimuli and measurement capabilities. The WAM provided forty fully switchable multi-purpose I/O channels, ethernet, and serial ports, as well as weapon system maintainers with diagnostics that isolate system failures to a single repair item. This resulted in great cost savings at the unit level and potentially eliminated no evidence of failures (NEOFs) at the depot level.