Lockheed Martin Advances eCASS with Bustec VXI Interface

VXI-1 Rev. 4.0 Slot-0 Interface Reduces Test Time, Provides Backward Compatibility for eCASS

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – May 24, 2011 – Bustec announced today that Lockheed Martin has selected the Bustec ProDAQ 3030 VXIbus Slot-0 interface, providing a direct connection from a PC to a VXIbus mainframe using the high-speed PCI Express serial bus in its electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS). With the ProDAQ 3030 controller, Lockheed Martin can deliver a test system capable of testing modern aircraft electronics, reducing test time, and maintaining compatibility with existing hardware and software of the previous-generation system.

eCASS is the next generation of naval aircraft electronics test systems for use onboard aircraft carriers, replacing the CASS systems currently in use. In addition to the requirements for testing new aircraft and reducing test times, the Navy also requires the new system to maintain backward compatibility with existing test program sets (TPSs).

Lockheed Martin designed a hybrid test system including several VXI instruments in multiple VXI chassis, where high-speed data transfers between instruments and the PCI Express host PC, as well as very low first-byte latency were top priorities. A PCI Express host PC was selected since this standard is replacing the PCI bus used in previous systems. Significant changes to either software or test procedures traditionally result in high costs and delays, but with Bustec instruments, engineers at Lockheed could optimize their system for capability and compatibility.

Unified LXI Trigger Bus Delivers Reliable Solution

Engineers at Lockheed Martin chose the ProDAQ 3030-AB PCI Express VXI slot-0 interface to meet the compatibility and performance needs. The ProDAQ 3030-AB has LXI triggering, offering engineers one unified trigger bus for all instruments that gives a highly accurate, synchronized way to link all system instruments together and maintain system reliability.

Hot-plug Capabilities Support Arbitrary Power-Off, –On Cycles

Other PCI Express slot-0 interfaces that Lockheed Martin evaluated required test system components to be powered on in a particular order, and would cause the system to crash if portions were powered off. By supporting the PCIe hot-plug standard, the ProDAQ 3030 interface allows test operators to power up the PC and VXI chassis in any order, as well as power cycle the VXI chassis without requiring shutdown of the host PC.

First-to-Market Support for VXI-1 Rev. 4.0 Standard

As the first VXI controller to support the new VXI-1 Rev. 4.0 standard, the ProDAQ 3030 interface fully supports 2eSST transfers, delivering up to 320 MB/s of throughput and latency of less than 1 µs for single word transfers.

For additional connectivity, Bustec offers the ProDAQ 3261 PCIe host interface card, which connects to the ProDAQ 3030 using a high-speed PCI Express x4 serial bus. In addition, the ProDAQ 3262, an alternative PCI card, delivers backward compatibility for using the ProDAQ 3030 interface with PCI-based host PCs. By using the ProDAQ 3030 interface with the ProDAQ 3261 host interface function card to connect multiple VXI chassis to the PCI Express host PC, Lockheed Martin designed a high-performance system that preserved existing test procedures and compatibility with existing TPSs while meeting new testing needs and reducing test time requirements.

For more information, visit the Bustec ProDAQ 3030 VXI slot-0 interface product page.  

About Bustec

Bustec is a leading supplier of high-performance data acquisition and test products. Bustec products and solutions lead the test and measurement industry in accuracy, throughput, and density, offering up to 10x higher accuracy than the most accurate alternative on the market.

Bustec offers data acquisition solutions for LXI and VXI and uses the same function card in both platforms. This is achieved by providing full interchangeability between the different carriers of both platforms. Function card modules have options for analog I/O including conditioning for ICP and strain, as well as digital I/O, serial, and counter/timers. Bustec products address applications that have needs for accuracy of either static signals such as voltage, temperature, and pressure, or dynamic signals acquired at higher speeds. Applications also cover the need for closed loop control and simulation requirements. Installations of these products include engine testing, automotive and missile testing, wind tunnel data acquisition and control, acoustics, vibration applications, aircraft component testing, and a wide range of other demanding applications.

"With Bustec, from the delivery of the products to the quality of the hardware, software, and support, we are actually getting more functionality for a decreased price."
Lockheed Martin