National Instruments to develop disruptive ‘system-on-demand’ test platform for aerospace

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National Instruments is partnering with aerospace test equipment and services suppliers SET and Tech180 to develop a system-on-demand  methodology that aims to disrupt how test systems are designed, developed, and maintained.

The partnership will develop new products, hardware and software frameworks, an open systems reference architecture, and the accompanying system-on-demand methodology.

As part of the partnership, Luke Schreier, vice president and general manager of aerospace, defense and government business  for National Instruments (NI), has been appointed to the board of Germany-based SET, which supplies Hardware-in-the-loop (HiL), functional and power semiconductor test systems, and electronics.

Schreier said, “Conventional approaches for aerospace and defence test are badly outdated and in need of disruption. Engineers and enterprises are looking for new ways to leverage test as a competitive advantage, using it to reduce costs and accelerate product introductions while maintaining agility and equipment utilization.

“We are confident that NI’s collaboration with SET and Tech180 will deliver the right approach and system-level capability necessary for our customers to meet test requirements at an accelerated rate.”

According to NI, aerospace and defence companies are challenged with soaring development costs and complexities due to the amount of embedded software, design, and integration challenges required in areas such as manned / unmanned aircraft, space launch vehicles, and urban air mobility.

At the same time, the pressure to develop faster continues to rise. Dated test approaches and equipment further exacerbate these challenges, making it difficult to adapt quickly to changing requirements and test earlier in the product life cycle.

The systems-on-demand and model-based test approach that this industrial partnership aims to deliver will help to shorten time-to-market, reduce operational expenses, integrate laboratories and optimize data and assets so engineers can spend less time on building test systems.

Frank Heidemann, founder and CEO of SET said, “Customers can no longer afford long processes as they strive for a faster time to market. By working together, this collaboration is expected to develop these new answers and fill a critical gap in the industry.”

Chris Bakker, CEO of Tech180, which supplies modular, reconfigurable test systems to the aerospace sector said, “Incremental improvements to the status quo are not good enough.

“There’s an enormous amount of duplicate engineering spent on test, consuming resources that can be put to better use in R&D. Achieving the velocity of innovation companies need requires a fundamentally different approach to test. A streamlined test strategy is the key to a better product strategy, and this collaboration provides the path to this evolution at scale.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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