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NI LabVIEW / TestStand & PXI Enhances Aircraft Motor Drive Qualification & Production Test

 

Company: VSK Test Solutions
Author(s): Puneet Kapoor MIET
NI Product(s) Used: 

Hardware: NI PXIe 8105 Chassis 16 Hybrid Slots, PXIe 8840 Controller, PXI 4300, PXI 6363, PXIe 5114, PXI 2569

Software: NI LabVIEW, Teststand & Signal Express
Industry: Aerospace


The Challenge 

 

 “Development of a common hardware & software architecture for various motor drives unit qualification and production test”

 

The Solution 

 

 “Used NI PXIe Hardware platform with LabVIEW & Teststand Software to develop efficient and robust solution for Environmental, Power Quality & Production Testing of Motor Drive Control Unit”

 

Introduction

 

 VSK Consultants Limited was established in 2016 to provide consultancy services for test development in various domains like telecommunication, green energy, aerospace and smart metering. We hold LabVIEW architect & CVI developer status since 2014 and have been using NI hardware & software platform for more than 12 years.

 

Our main challenge was to develop a common hardware & software architecture for various aerospace companies motor drive control system. Due to the vast capabilities of NI PXIe hardware which supports a maximum bandwidth of 24GB/s and software which can accommodate wide ranges of measurement and automation capabilities. It was selected for the tests needed for various motor drive units needing a single test solution.

 

It was very important to address the issue of  having different test solutions for similar motor drive units for various aircraft manufacturers. This solution saved millions of investments to have single test solution for various Motor Drive Units.

 

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Application Description

 

 The test solution for testing the motor drive units consists of Test rig and Test software:

 

Test Rig: Consists of NI PXI hybrid platform with various PXI cards (Analog Input Output / Scope / Digital Input Output / Single Pole Single Through Relay / Digital Multimeter / Avionics data communication). All other instruments are daisy chained through GPIB interface connected to the PXIe controller.

 

Software test solution for automated motor drive unit test is developed in LabVIEW & Teststand. The software is also split into two parts –engineering test software and automated test software.

 

  • Engineering test software is a LabVIEW application based on event/producer-consumer architecture to provide custom interface to control various hardware/instruments and monitors various data from the unit-under-test to debug, do power quality tests and qualification tests.

 

  • Automated test software is based on Teststand with sequential process model that have various custom step types for various instruments and LabVIEW APIs used in the sequences. There are sequences for each and every test required for various Motor Drive Units to test.

 

Impact/Results

 

 This solution has sped up various tests for motor drive units. Also, the software is scalable and maintainable for other hardware test rigs with different hardware configurations. Due to NI PXI card’s measurement capabilities it can support wide range of accuracy, samples rate and number of sample for various motor drive units.

 

For example NI DMM can be used as a scope in certain tests so it be used in parallel with NI Scope if simultaneous acquisitions are required. 

 

Conclusion

 

The Test Solution was successfully released to production & engineering department to be used for all kind of required tests.

 

It’s again proven that National Instrument’s wide range of test and measurement product can make big difference in development and improvement of the test solutions.

 

By using LabVIEW & TestStand it is very easy to make changes or debug test sequences for engineering qualification test. Engineers who have never used LabVIEW and Teststand can make changes to the software as per their requirements.

 

 

Author Contact Details

 

Puneet Kapoor MIET

VSK Test Solutions

Website: https://www.vskconsultants.com/

Phone: +44 (0) 1296872529

Email: puneet.kapoor@vskconsultants.com

 

Address: The Gatehouse

Gatehouse way 
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP19 8DB

United Kingdom

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