The U.S. Navy needed new automated test systems to support their MK41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) missile upgrades. From requirements, G Systems designed and built a new ATE with full wrap-around self-test coverage and a built-in self-calibration routine.
The MK 41 VLS is a modular, below deck missile launching system that was originally designed for the Navy’s Aegis-equipped guided missile cruisers to provide air threat protection for naval battle groups.
The new solution included the following upgrades to support high channel counts and easy repairs and maintenance:
- An integrated circuit board to perform scaling operations
- A self-calibration routine using NI TestStand and LabVIEW enabling calibration of input channels to a calibrated DMM reference
- Wrap-around self-test system with 100 percent coverage for more than 2000 test points to ensure safe and accurate operation
- Comprehensive report generation and assistive messaging for root cause analysis in case of self-test failure
- The ability to easily replace obsolete components with minimal disruption
Upgrading the VLS custom test system using NI TestStand sequences and associated LabVIEW code modules not only provided the U.S. Navy with a great system, but it also saved us an immense amount of time during our test system development process. For example, a completed code module we developed reduced an 80 man-hour post-fabrication ring-out test to just a few minutes. Additionally, we were able to repurpose our calibration VIs to conduct similar time-saving measures in assessing the quality of the completed scaling boards.
Learn more about G Systems’ approach to developing this rugged custom test system by reading the full case study.