Test Solutions: Linear Actuator End-Of-Line Testing

Challenge

Create a universal test system to test various aircraft linear actuators to ensure proper stroke, load, current draw, and other operational parameters are within specification.

Solution

A custom 500lb load test system built from off-the-shelf components and based on the National Instruments NI cRIO-9063 platform with LabVIEW applications for control, safety monitoring, data collection, and reporting. 

Summary

Linear actuators are used throughout aircrafts to perform actions that are both flight (e.g., landing gear deployment) and non-flight (e.g., cargo bay door release) critical. Actuators are typically electrically driven and apply a range of forces to move a piece of the aircraft into a desired position. Components must be tested through their range of expected operation and at safety limits that exceed the norm.

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Topics: Automated Test

Automotive: Laser-Powered Tire Tread Depth & Alignment Instrument

Challenge

Replace a hard-wired, drive-over laser tire scanner for fixed installations with a rugged, portable, handheld, rechargeable battery powered, wireless, precision laser scanning unit with a sunlight readable, touch-screen display user interface.

Solution

An ARM Cortex-M4 microprocessor controlling dual precision laser distance sensors, high-throughput roaming Wi-Fi module, flexible antenna, autofocus camera, USB rechargeable protected Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries, and a low-power proprietary transflective-like backlight portrait mode WVGA TFT LCD with resistive touch panel.

Summary

Consumers are often weary of automotive service representative's claims that tire alignment is required. Laser tire scanners that precisely measure the cross-sectional tread wear criticality or wheel alignment necessity.

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Topics: Electronic Engineering

Power Electronics: Digital Pump Drive

Power Electronics Digial Pump DriveCHALLENGE

Power a laboratory pump system occupying only one-half the bench space with one-quarter the volume of the current product, and increase performance while also reducing cost.

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Topics: Electronic Engineering, Motor Drives

Power and Energy: Compact Size Three-Phase Control

Compact Size Three Phase ControlCHALLENGE

Create an electrical power utility control to monitor sensors for a three-phase distribution bus that fits in the mechanical package of an existing single-phase control, leverage the extensive legacy firmware functionality, and add harmonics monitoring.

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Topics: Electronic Engineering, Industrial Controls

Test Solutions: Automating a Complex Process with NI cRIO

Automating A Complex Process with NI cRIOCHALLENGE

Automate a precise chemical process to ensure critical timing of valve operations and measurements. Provide a robust solution that can run over extended periods of time without failure.

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Topics: Automated Test

Endurance Testing: Quick-Turnaround Software for Life Cycle Test

iStock_000013476514_SmallCHALLENGE

Create test software for a one-time duration test of a high-voltage, high-current automotive product. Full functionality was necessary within 5 days while test rack hardware was concurrently developed.

SOLUTION

National Instruments LabVIEW with client-supplied hardware including MagnaPower high voltage supply, Neslab heater/chiller, and Wago Kontakttechnik digital I/O. 

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