Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

VSS Unity spaceplane completes second test flight

Watch Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company's VSS Unity complete its second successful, supersonic, rocket powered test flight to an altitude of 114,500ft and a speed of Mach 1.9.

Click here to watch video

06 June, 2018



Space Launch System - in numbers

Discover how engineers are outfitting the world’s most powerful rocket with sensors, cables and other equipment in this 2:40 video.

Click here to watch video

15 May, 2018



Blue Origin launches and lands New Shepard rocket

Watch Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' space tourism company Blue Origin successfully launch and land a used rocket and capsule.

Click here to watch video

02 May, 2018



 

To watch more videos, click here

At what speed does an aircraft's speed become hypersonic?

Web Exclusive Articles

« back to listing

How hardware-in-the-loop was used to test the Gripen E fighter

Hardware-in-the-loop systems have helped to reduce flight testing of Saab's latest fighter jet, writes National Instruments in this case study

 

Gripen E
(Image: Saab)

 

The Gripen Fighter System is a key product for Saab’s Aeronautics Division in Linköping, Sweden. According to Saab, the Gripen is a smart multirole fighter system that balances operational performance, advanced technology, industrial partnerships, and cost efficiency.

 

Saab is developing the Gripen E as the latest addition to the fighter system with the latest avionics technology, improved radar systems, and advanced communication features.

 

The Gripen E successfully completed its maiden flight over southern Sweden in June 2017 and enigneers have used hardware-in-the-loop to test the aircraft’s systems

 

Hardware-in-the-loop
To help develop the fighters, Saab is using simulators and rigs for its hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems, to test the various Gripen line-replaceable units (LRUs). These LRUs include flight control systems, tactical systems, sensors, and other avionics equipment.

 

In the most complex tests, up to 40 interconnected LRUs must be tested together. Engineers began by looking for a suitable commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product to use as an I/O system in the HIL systems. They selected the National Instruments (NI) PXI and CompactRIO platforms because of their modularity and expansion capabilities, advantageous features when there are many different signal types. The HIL system was built using several CompactRIO systems and NI’s LabVIEW software to control it.

 

The HIL system has enabled the engineers to check that the LRUs work as expected by simulating the real-world environment. The company has run many LRU tests without putting a fighter in the sky, which can be costly and potentially dangerous. In Saab’s HIL system, we use the CompactRIO to produce simulated signals for the LRU and receive the output from the unit.

 

Switching, loads, and signal conditioning
To make the system specific to the application Saab engineers needed custom signal conditioning and functionality between the CompactRIO and the LRU. They did not immediately find a COTS solution for customised signal conditioning along with switching and applying loads, so started an internal development project to integrate the NI equipment with the simulators.

 

During this project they partnered with NI to use the company’s Switch Load and Signal Conditioning (SLSC) system. The SLSC solution extends PXI and CompactRIO measurement hardware with high-power relays for signal switching, power loads, and additional in-line signal conditioning capability. The system consists of a chassis with built-in active cooling capable of hosting 12 modules that can be used in applications such as our HIL testing.

 

The SLSC system was similar to one being developed internally and because NI was already a preferred supplier for Saab easier to obtain. NI defined the ecosystem or “constraints” for the switches, loads, and signal conditioning targeted at HIL applications with the NI platform, reducing man hours spent on the project and costs.

 

Modules for the SLSC can be obtained from a variety of third-parties or created in house. Saab creates its own modules by working with local developer Syncore Technologies.

 

The intellectual property from some of our existing designs can be used within the SLSC MDK and design guidelines. The company also worked with NI to outline its requirements and partnered with aerospace firms Bloomy Controls and SET for modules.

 

Benefits
Saab uses the SLSC system to focus on developing custom circuitry following the constraints defined by NI in the SLSC standard, saving time and development resources.

 

Having a COTS product also means the company can contain development and maintenance costs. Using the SLSC system also allows engineers to focus their attention on building HIL test systems and rigs, not developing advanced hardware.

 

The company is integrating SLSC into a simulator and plans to use CompactRIO and SLSC in a number of new simulators in the near future, to continue testing innovative functionality for the Gripen fighters in a short timeframe and lowering the cost of testing.

 

June 6, 2018

 

 

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

Steve Drake, NDT market manager for Ashtead Technologies, describes how the rapid deployment of the latest borescope equipment to Africa helped a business aviation operator make tough decisions about a grounded aircraft 
Click here to read more

Hardware-in-the-loop systems have helped to reduce flight testing of Saab's latest fighter jet, writes National Instruments in this case study
Click here to read more

An experiment is set to be launched from the International Space Station this month which turns the normal approach to space on its head – instead of putting things into space, this experiment aims to test ways to take things out of space. 
Click here to read more

Ergonomics and human factors is vital in aircraft but can be overlooked during testing and development. Here Nick discusses the latest trends and developments in cockpit design and testing.
Click here to read more

Experts from AMETEK Power provide an update on the latest globally-applied standards for testing avionics equipment under extreme power conditions  
Click here to read more


Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the aerospace testing community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to anthony.james@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email ben.sampson@ukimediaevents.com

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the aerospace testing industry. Want to see your company included? Contact tom.eames@ukimediaevents.com for more details.