5-D Systems develops and supports Test Sets and Test Support Environments for aircraft system (both manned and unmanned) test and software development/evaluation tools. These test sets are integrated based on COTS components to interface with the product under test. Examples of systems 5-D has designed and integrated include the 5th Generation Aerial Target (5GAT), XQ-58A Valkyrie, QF-4 Full Scale Aerial Target, various Subscale Aerial Target systems, and several military jets and rotor-wing aircraft.
Our Test Set offerings include:
The Software Evaluation Station (SWES) is a software development test station used to evaluate a specific aircraft’s autopilot software. The SWES consists of two components, a Matlab/Simulink simulation and the Test Support application. The Matlab/Simulink simulation provides a hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) capability to support software evaluation. The HWIL simulation capability sends and receives all signals to/from the autopilots under test. This capability may be utilized via predefined, script-driven automation or via direct operator control using the specific aircraft’s ground control station’s simulation interface; typically, the datalink interface. The Test Support application allows a user to query the internal state of the autopilot to retrieve current sensor inputs and autopilot outputs. The Test Support application also provides the ability to override individual sensor inputs and/or autopilot outputs therefore enabling a “stimulation” mode where the user can create specific conditions. The Test Support application may also be used with the aircraft on the flight line, independent of the SWES test stand.
The top-level diagrams for the Matlab/Simulink simulation and Test Support application are depicted below.
The Analysis and Test Support Environment (ATSE) is an automated test set for evaluating a specific aircraft’s autopilot control and mission management software. The ATSE includes both the hardware and software necessary to validate aircraft flight control and mission management software for the autopilot computer using both automated and interactive interfaces. The ATSE can be contained in a 19” equipment rack, or in a transportable Pelican case. It interfaces directly with the aircraft autopilot and injects initial conditions via external (hardware) and internal (software) stimuli and compares the observed test results against the expected results and provides a corresponding test report. The ATSE is a next‑generation test set that replaces legacy aircraft software test sets to substantially reduce the average system test time, to enable increased test case flexibility, and to simplify and enable digital output and log data, along with conclusions determined by the system.
The Airborne Systems Test Set (ASTS) is a comprehensive maintenance and test set used to configure, maintain, repair, and test a specific (manned, unmanned, or optionally piloted) aircraft. The ASTS provides automated, script‑based acceptance testing of the aircraft. It is housed within a portable trailer to support both hangar and flight line use and facilitate transport. Multiple interfaces to the aircraft include an RF data link, serial communications directly to the aircraft autopilots (through standard or custom interfaces), and analog, discrete, and synchro I/O for stimulus and monitoring of aircraft test points enable the system to test and evaluate the range of aircraft functions. The ASTS also provides comprehensive manual control and monitoring of the aircraft under test to support system improvement verification and troubleshooting.
For replacement or upgrade of existing aircraft test sets, 5‑D applies a system engineering approach beginning with the ultimate purpose test and constraint requirements and produces a corresponding requirements document. Next, we analyze the current system and develop the new design either based on a clean sheet approach, or on a modification of the existing system. These modernization efforts typically result in improvement to the capabilities, efficiency, and sustainability of the test system. 5‑D will perform the systems engineering, obsolescence analysis, design, software engineering, material procurement and/or fabrication, integration, and final system selloff testing; or any mix of these depending on the customer requirements.
The Comprehensive Hangar Operations Notebook is a portable, aircraft‑level maintenance test set used to configure, test, and evaluate a specific aircraft type and is effectively a “light” version of an ASTS with less integrated I/O and a focus on communication at the autopilot level rather than all of the interface points in the aircraft system. The software interfaces directly with the aircraft’s autopilot via (standard or custom) interfaces a capture fault data, perform autopilot calibrations, and perform aircraft subsystem tests. Testing can be performed manually using menu‑driven control/monitoring or automated via user‑defined or pre‑established test scripts.
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