Automatic Test Systems

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Michael Fortenberry
G Systems, Inc.

"Through the use of advanced software architecture and NI hardware, G Systems was able to provide Lockheed Martin Aeronautics with a highly-configurable, expandable system to meet current and future requirements of the F-35 VSIF."

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Since Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, became the first National Instruments customer, NI has been providing innovative solutions to aerospace and defense organizations. As a leader in computer-based instrumentation and automation since 1976, NI has focused on developing open, modular platforms that deliver the most advanced commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) test technologies so you can design and implement critical test, measurement, and control systems.

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Integrating NI’s graphical system design approach with its modular hardware and software platforms simplifies system development from research and development systems to deployed mission systems to operations and maintenance support systems. This integrated start-to-finish solution decreases program costs while producing reliable, precise results.

For ATS applications, high-performance PXI instruments coupled with open test management software and powerful test development software make it possible to design flexible, cost-effective systems that meet the requirements of high-mix testing. Small-footprint, rugged PXI and NI CompactRIO hardware is ideal for remote and portable systems that must stand up to the rigorous requirements of field and flight-line applications.

High-Performance Mixed-Signal Automated Test System

PXI is the standard platform for automated test applications. With a Windows or real-time controller, chassis, and I/O specific to the device under test, a PXI system is the ideal solution. Select the appropriate chassis, controller, and modules for your application and view the PXI Advisor to generate recommendations for the necessary components and accessories to complete your system.

  • Customize your test system by choosing only the components you need
  • Save your own parts list and share it with colleagues
  • Contact an NI expert or request an on-site demo

View an example system

NI MIMO Test System

The preconfigured NI MIMO Test System helps you prototype up to 4x2 and 2x4 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) systems in a single PXI chassis. With the shared local oscillator (LO) architecture, you can achieve tight channel-to-channel synchronization. In addition, with the high-speed PXI Express backplane, you can stream signals to and from RAID disk drives.

  • Tight synchronization with <0.1 deg typical channel-to-channel jitter
  • Up to four channels of phase-coherent RF signal generation in a single PXI chassis
  • Ideal prototyping platform for up to 4x4 MIMO systems
  • Ready-to-use LabVIEW example code

View an example MIMO test system

Software Defined Radio (SDR) System

The FPGA-based NI PXIe-5641R RIO IF transceiver provides a flexible platform for SDR design. Using the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, you can create or reuse LabVIEW FPGA or VHDL communications IP. The IF transceiver module integrates with the NI PXI-5600 downconverter and NI PXI-5610 upconverter modules for full transmit-and-receive capabilities.

  • 9 kHz to 2.7 GHz RF frequency
  • 20 MHz instantaneous bandwidth
  • Integrated digital downconversion and upconversion
  • Xilinx Virtex-5 SX95T FPGA
  • Interoperability with VHDL and LabVIEW FPGA code

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Benefits of the NI Platform

  • Explore how graphical system design software and a common hardware platform deliver high-performance success from factory to field.

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Designing Automated Test Systems

View a practical guide to software-defined test system development and test engineering.

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