Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Field Test Support Processes
To demonstrate specification compliancy for complex infrared countermeasures (IRCM) systems, Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division (DSD) needed a more effective approach than simply subjecting equipment (including aircraft and pilots) to live fire testing. A diversity of test requirements existed including ground, flight, and simulator features. This environment called for the use of rapid prototyping to enable test equipment to support aggressive schedules, while also supporting a wide range of interfaces.
Initial versions were fielded rapidly using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to support a growing number of analytical demands. Northrop Grumman DSD developed a documentation chain to trace system requirements throughout the test preparation, test conduct, test analysis, and reporting loops. Documentation provided a logical and controlled means by which parameters are allocated to specific tests; results are collected and analyzed; and final compliance is documented to the customer. Data enabled the company to use quick-look tools, combine related events, compile event timelines, and verify specification compliance. Development tests then progressed in a logical and comprehensive manner from component to integrated system levels, permitting a significant reduction in subsequent production testing.
Northrop Grumman DSD’s field test support processes involve documentation and testing chains. By utilizing these chains, the company can locate problems before they cause a significant impact, and bring together four different systems simultaneously with minimal downtime due to unexpected integration problems. In addition, the development path paved the way for the production path in regard to system testing.
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