The Department of the Air Force has awarded its first Commercialization Pilot Program (CPP) to ITCN, Inc., of Centerville, OH. The established program involves a $700K investment to transition prototype 1553 databus network test equipment, the Bus Characterization and Integrity Toolset (BCIT), developed by ITCN, into a ruggedized, deployable, commercial preproduction design in order to test embedded military systems under rigorous field conditions.
The BCIT is an all-in-one test instrument for troubleshooting cables, diagnosing bus health, and monitoring system performance. The BCIT was originally developed through an Air Force Small Business Innovative Research contract. During prototype testing, the need for a more rugged unit was identified to allow field engineers and technicians to troubleshoot MIL-STD-1553 buses and embedded avionics systems on the flightline without concern for mechanical or environmental constraints.
Bus characterization testing provides data bus health monitoring for protocol errors, loading, status exceptions, and terminal response for up to four dual redundant MIL-STD-1553 buses. This feature helps capture faults that impact bus protocol, such as faulty stubs or terminals.
Bus integrity testing provides electrical analysis of cable networks via a high performance Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR). The TDR allows technicians to analyze MIL-STD-1553 cabling to locate opens, shorts, and faulty shields and couplers within six inches of the fault location for cables of up to 1,000 feet long. The BCIT can find intermittent faults easily by capturing data only when an anomaly occurs, such as when a cable is "jiggled."
The BCIT's database driven user interface allows users to save and recall bus topology, test data, and historical reference data. This Windows-based software allows users to do comparative analysis with data cataloging A historical database makes it easy to compare data over long periods of time by overlaying cataloged data with active tests. This makes it useful for both diagnostics and prognostics support.
"We are pleased and excited about being the first to receive the Air Force CPP award. The BCIT is a great test tool for maintenance and troubleshooting of embedded systems. It can pinpoint wiring and cabling problems to within 6 inches, and is a versatile, programmable test tool as well," said Roy Penwell, President of ITCN, Inc. "Now with more rugged features added through the CPP, it will also be a tough, weather-resistant piece of instrumentation, suitable for field maintenance" He added, "With military cutbacks and fewer personnel available, this tool will prove to be even more valuable as time passes. The BCIT will make development, maintenance and troubleshooting quick and accurate."
For more information about ITCN, Inc. or the new BCIT instrumentation, contact:
Mike Bolton, Corporate Development
Tim Myers, Sales
About ITCN, Inc.
ITCN (itcninc.com) has provided embedded system test products and engineering services to customers in the Military/Aerospace market since 1991. Our products deliver time-correlated system-wide test data, collected non-intrusively, in real-time. ITCN's staff of engineers stands ready to assist customers with requirements definition, up-front development, and complete product support. The result is both time and money saved at every stage of the product life cycle. ITCN, Inc. is ISO 9001:2000 certified.