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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of the PXI Newsletter.  Our intent is to educate and inform you about how the PXI standard is being used in modular test systems for a wide variety of industries.

In the New PXI Products section, we are showcasing PXI products recently released by members of the PXI Systems Alliance.

Our thanks go to the Marvin Test Solutions, the sponsor of this month's issue.

Visit for more information.


Leveraging the PXI Platform for Flightline Test

Submitted by Marvin Test Solutions

Historically, flightline test sets have been based on proprietary architectures and purpose-built for specific applications. Military aircraft and their associated weapon systems have very long life cycles, and in many cases those life cycles have been extended beyond their originally-defined service life.  Legacy test sets designed to support these mission-critical systems when they were first deployed are themselves either obsolete or lack the capabilities required for testing today’s advanced electronics and  armament systems, resulting in inefficient use of resources as well as endangering mission success.
The modular, open architecture of the PXI platform can provide the basis for test systems that readily support both legacy and emerging technologies associated with satellite, communication, electronic warfare, armament, and radar systems from the flightline to the depot.

Key advantages of the PXI platform include the ability to configure a test system that can be used in the controlled environment of a production floor, maintenance depot, or backshop, as well as in the field or on the flightline. The modular PXI architecture provides a natural upgrade or modernization path to incorporate additional test capability as new requirements emerge, with minimal mission impact and seamless compatibility. An example of this is the Portable Automated Test Station Model 70 (PATS-70), designed to support flightline testing of the USAF A-10/C’s digital avionics.

Engineering-Design Partnership Ensures Mission Readiness
MTS partnered with the U.S. Air Force, Ogden ALC at Hill AFB in 2014 to design, produce, and deploy the PATS-70 (Portable Automated Test Station Model 70) test set based on its field-proven PXI-based MTS-207 Rugged Field Test Set, replacing the obsolete PATS-30.

The PATS-70/A
The PATS-70 is a robust, flightline-qualified test set designed to perform functional tests on the A-10/C’s avionics. Leveraging the open architecture of the PXI platform, the U.S. Air Force, Ogden ALC at Hill AFB enhanced the capabilities of PATS-70 to support armament and weapon systems LRUs (Line Replaceable Units) by adding additional instrumentation and TPSs (Test Program Sets). The resulting platform, the PATS-70A, enhanced the capabilities of the PATS-70 providing flightline test support for both avionics and armament systems.

By leveraging the flexibility, open architecture, and compact footprint of the PXI platform, test engineers were able to design and deploy a ruggedized flightline test set that could accommodate both current and emerging test requirements.

Read more>>

New PXISA Members in 2019

Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

New PXI Products

The PXI platform continues its explosive growth with many new product introductions. New products introduced in the last three months include (listed in the order received):

SignalCore 26.5 GHz RF Downconverter
The SC5317A is a Ku to C band single stage downconverter, whose input RF range is 6 GHz to 26.5 GHz, LO frequency range is 6 GHz to 14 GHz, and output IF range is 5 MHz to 4 GHz. It features an internal synthesized LO, RF preamplifier, and variable gain control, making it a compact standalone downconverter module.

Keysight M9800A PXIe Vector Network Analyzer, 9 kHz to 4.5 GHz

  • Cascade multiple modules for up to 50 ports on a single chassis  of multiport or multi-site measurement
  • Make accurate multiport measurements with N-port correction capability
  • Perform fast and easy multiport calibration with electronic calibration (ECal) modules
  • Choose from a wide range of measurement application to gain deeper insight into your RF test
  • Features the same intuitive GUI as Keysight’s high-performance network analyzers

Pickering’s New 256 Crosspoint 2-Pole PXI Switching Matrices
This new range of high-density, two-pole PXI switching matrices offer higher performance than competing products. Series 40-580 (32x8) and 40-583 (64x4) matrices are supported by both of Pickering’s relay test tools (BIRST and eBIRST), delivering sophisticated and thorough diagnostics for any relays that are approaching end-of-life or have been damaged by over-specification hot-switching events.

Marvin Test Solutions Expands User-Programmable PXIe FPGA Product Line
The GX3800e is a user configurable, FPGA-based, 3U PXI Express card which supports the 400 pin, VITA 57.1 FMC interface standard. The card employs the Altera Cyclone V GX FPGA, which supports xcvr data rates up to 3.125 Gb/s and features over 300,000 logic elements and 12.2 Kb of memory.  Users can design their own custom interface module or select from a wide range of commercial off-the-shelf FMC modules which can then be integrated with the GX3800e - creating customized instrumentation for analog or digital test applications.  


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