Aerospace and Defense

The aerospace and defense industry is advancing on multiple fronts. Deloitte cites several trends: the adoption of digital-thread and smart-factory technologies, the drive for decarbonization, the leveraging of digital technologies for proactive and predictive maintenance, the pursuit of opportunities in the space market, and the development of advanced military capabilities for aircraft, spacecraft, and ships.

VTI Instruments addresses a wide range of aerospace and defense applications, providing mission critical functional testing hardware and data acquisition systems designed to acquire large amounts of data at high data rates and with industry leading accuracy.

Specific applications that VTI Instruments serves include structural and fatigue testing:

  • VTI Instruments has deployed its EX1629 and EX1403A as primary instruments designed for large-scale structural test of large airframes including aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft.
  • A rocket-launch-vehicle manufacturer chose a VTI Instruments data-acquisition system incorporating the EX1403A, EX1048A thermocouple instrument, and EMX4250 high speed digitizer to measure strain, temperature, and vibration on a solid rocket motor.
  • A manufacturer of aircraft landing gear chose the EX1403A because of its ability to handle the high channel counts and sample rates necessary to acquire data from sensors including load cells, strain gauges, and pressure transducers.
  • The EX1629 and EX1403A have served in aircraft drop test applications, which make use of the instrument’s high sample rates (up to 128KS/s) and support for hundreds of channels synchronized via an LXI trigger bus or IEEE 1588.
  • The EX1403A 16-channel bridge and strain-gauge measurement instrument specifically serves structural and fatigue test applications, providing high performance and the flexibility to provide both constant-voltage and constant-current excitation while being easy to distribute around the test article to reduce cable length and cost.

The company’s products also find use in jet-engine/turbine testing:

  • Industry-leading aircraft and power-generation turbine manufacturers and associated test facilities employ VTI Instruments’ solutions for test and validation of their products. VTI Instruments’ data-acquisition systems can measure and record the broad range of signals required for turbine test, including temperature, flow, pressure, rotation, strain, and vibration.
  • One manufacturer well known for building largescale turbine test cells chose a data-acquisition system that leverages the trusted EX1000 advanced full-featured thermocouple and voltage-measurement instruments. For this customer, VTI mounted its EX1000 hardware inside a NEMA4 enclosure using a shock suspension system to protect the instruments from damage and errors caused by the test cell’s harsh environmental conditions.
  • The EX1401 16-channel isolated thermocouple and voltage-measurement instrument with its industry-leading accuracy and flexibility along with the EX1403A are designed to serve in jet-engine/turbine test applications.

     

VTI Instruments offers a range of products for line-replaceable-unit (LRU) functional test based on a common-core ATE philosophy. The core ATE approach simplifies maintenance and reduces spares overhead through the use of interface test adapters (ITAs) to connect different LRUs to a single test system:

  • Engineers at a prime aerospace manufacturer needed to replace several ITAs used to test multiple LRUs used in an Air Force program. They conceived of an internal integrated RF interface system (IRIS) to contain the necessary RF components and establish a communications interface to the host. They tasked VTI Instruments with providing the IRIS assemblies and selected the EX7000 scalable microwave subsystem built on an open-architecture Ethernet/LXI platform as the COTS core for all IRIS assemblies. Tight collaboration between the prime manufacturer’s engineers and VTI’s engineers resulted in a flexible ITA infrastructure that included 100% RF COTS components and a COTS LXI-based communications and control interface.
  • Additional VTI solutions that can serve in LRU test include the SMX switch family, the EMX family of instruments that leverage the PXIe platform, the EX12xx family of very high density modular and scalable multifunction switching and instruments for the LXI platform, and the VXI Series, including the SMIP signal-switching series and VMIP high-performance instrumentation series.

VTI Instruments is committed to delivering test and measurement solutions for the most demanding aerospace and defense applications, including commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft and ranging from submarines to satellites. With its decades of experience serving the aerospace and defense industry, VTI Instruments offers a wide range of standard high-performance products, and it can work with customers to develop custom systems based on COTS technology. For related information, visit the Aerospace and Defense industry page of AMETEK Programmable Power.