Test Environments

QF-4 ATSE – Software Application Tests

 

The Analysis and Test Support Environment (ATSE) (see Figure below) is an automated test set for evaluating the QF-4 autopilot control and mission management software. The ATSE includes the hardware and software necessary to validate aircraft flight control and mission management software for the QF‑4 autopilot computer.  The ATSE is contained in a 19” equipment rack and interfaces directly with the aircraft autopilot.  It injects initial conditions via external (hardware) and internal (software) stimuli, and validates the observed test results against the expected results.  The ATSE is a next‑generation test set that reduced average system test time from two weeks down to three days.

 

5‑D Systems developed the ATSE system and software design.  This effort included systems engineering, system design, software engineering, material procurement and fabrication, and system testing and validation of the ATSE automated test equipment.   In addition, 5‑D personnel utilize and maintain the ATSE to verify/validate any necessary upgrades/changes to the QF‑4 flight control system software.


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Analysis and Test Support Environment

 

QF-4 ASTS – Aircraft Level Test Set

 

The Airborne Systems Test Set (ASTS) is a comprehensive maintenance and test set used to configure, maintain, repair, and test the QF‑4 aircraft.  The QF‑4 is an F‑4 fighter aircraft modified to enable both manned and unmanned flight.  The ASTS (see Figure below) provides automated, script‑based acceptance testing of the aircraft.  It is housed within a portable trailer to support both hangar and flight line use.  The ASTS has multiple interfaces with the aircraft including an RF data link, serial communications directly to the aircraft autopilots (RS‑422 and MIL‑STD‑1553), and analog, discrete, and synchro I/O for stimulus and monitoring of aircraft test points.  The ASTS also provides comprehensive manual control and monitoring of the aircraft under test to support system improvement verification troubleshooting. 

 

5‑D Systems personnel designed and developed the original ASTS system, as well as performed a recent modernization to improve the capabilities, efficiency, and sustainability of the ASTS.  For both efforts, 5‑D performed the systems engineering, design, software engineering, material procurement and/or fabrication, and system testing to meet/exceed the system requirements and the specific needs of the customer.  For the refurbishment effort, 5‑D Systems thoroughly analyzed the legacy ASTS system to determine which components could be reused, and which components were obsolete and needed to be upgraded.  5‑D Systems also upgraded the Simulation Control Computer (SCC) and software to automate many of the manual tasks and provide a graphical user interface that increased operator efficiency and reduced test time.  The SCC also monitors the aircraft analog and digital I/O in real time and immediately notifies the user of any hardware failure that occurs.  In addition to developing the ASTS upgrades, 5‑D installed the new hardware/software in each ASTS at their respective customer facilities, and performed acceptance tests to ensure proper system operation.  5‑D Systems also trained operations and maintenance personnel on the new features of the upgraded ASTS.

 

5‑D Systems continues to provide onsite field support to the QF‑4 maintenance teams to improve the effectiveness of the test equipment (e.g. automated test script improvement) and aid in using the upgraded test set to diagnose QF‑4 system anomalies. 



Airborne System Test Set

 

QCHON – Portable Aircraft Test System

 

The QCHON (QF-4 Comprehensive Hangar Operations Notebook) is a portable, aircraft‑level maintenance test set used to configure, test, and evaluate the QF‑4 system.  The QCHON software interfaces directly with the aircraft autopilots via two serial (RS‑422) interfaces and is used to capture fault data, perform autopilot calibrations, and perform aircraft subsystem tests.  Testing can be performed manually through the use of menu‑driven control/monitoring or automated via user‑defined or pre‑established test scripts.

 

5‑D Systems developed the original QCHON test set as well as the upgraded QCHON (see Figure below) test set and software.  For both efforts, 5‑D Systems performed the systems engineering, system design, software engineering, material procurement and fabrication, and system testing and validation.  5‑D Systems procured COTS computer components and fabricated a custom wiring harness to interface with the QF‑4 autopilots.  For the upgrade effort, 5‑D Systems utilized ruggedized computers, upgraded the legacy software to include a Windows™‑based graphical user interface with touch screen capability, and included hardware enabling simultaneous access to both autopilots.  In addition, 5‑D developed and performed comprehensive validation testing on the new QCHON to ensure proper system operation.  5‑D Systems also delivered and trained operations and maintenance personnel on the features and uses of the upgraded QCHON maintenance test set.

 

5‑D Systems provides field support to the QF‑4 team for all aspects of their operations including the use of the maintenance test equipment such as the QCHON.  5‑D continually strives to improve both the effectiveness of the test equipment (hardware and software) and operator efficiency.

 

QF‑4 Comprehensive Hangar/flight‑line Operations Notebook (QCHON)


 

 

MQM-107E Target Test Set

The Target Test Set (TTS) (see Figurebelow) is a comprehensive aircraft maintenance test set used to test the MQM‑107E aircraft in both the hangar and on the flight line.  The MQM‑107E is a subsonic, jet powered, sub‑scale unmanned aerial target used by the U.S. and allied defense forces.  The TTS is a hardware and software based system used to perform comprehensive pre‑flight testing of the MQM‑107E.  The TTS also serves as the primary system‑level troubleshooting tool and is designed to fully exercise the aircraft through all stages of performance.  In addition, 5‑D designed the system control software to include a GUI to enable a single aircraft maintenance technician to perform pre‑flight testing while providing full visibility to the health and status of the target system on a single user display.  5‑D engineers also incorporated extensive built‑in‑test functionality so the TTS can identify system hardware failures and report those failures to the operator.

 

5‑D Systems developed the TTS system and software design.  This effort included systems engineering, system design, software engineering, material procurement and fabrication, and system testing to meet the system requirements and the specific needs of the customer.  5‑D Systems procured COTS components and fabricated a “personality” panel enabling the TTS to interface with each specific MQM‑107E variant (U.S. Army, Taiwan, and Australia).  5‑D personnel installed and configured each TTS at their respective customer facilities, as well as performed acceptance tests to ensure proper system operation.  5‑D Systems also trained operations and maintenance personnel on the proper utilization of the TTS.



Target Test Set

 

 

 

 




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