~Art of War - Sun Tzu
The design, development, manufacture and integration of Automated Test Equipment (ATE) systems is a core technology focus for FES. Our engineers have designed and manufactured complex flight line test systems for military aircraft such as the F-15, F-18, C-17, B-1, B-52 and OV-22 aircraft. In 1994, FES developed the Common Core Test Set to test space systems electronics for the Defense Support Program (DSP). This open-architecture, high-reliability electronics test set has been upgraded over the last 20 years with new hardware and graphics-based software to accommodate the complex testing requirements associated with the International Space Station Rotary Joint Motor Controller and other satellite electronics. Maritime ATE systems designed and manufactured by FES include Radar & Video Distribution factory test systems supporting US and Canadian Navy customer production requirements. Core components of FES-developed ATE systems include the use of PXI/PCI/VXI/VME technologies, National Instruments Test Stand software, Agilent Technologies instrumentation, and Virginia Panel interface hardware. The FES ATE design team employs CMMI level 3 compliant processes throughout the design process from Systems Requirements Analysis through verification and validation of ATE compliance with customer hardware, software, and documentation requirements.
Frontier Electronic Systems is also the supplier of choice for the collaborative development, production, and integration of Closed-Loop Simulation (CLS) Systems for Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and Triton UAV programs and has been since their inception. The innovative technology integrated into these programs has ensured that RQ-4A, RQ-4B, and MQ-4C UAVs are 100% mission ready prior to air operations. Four SINGLE STRING CLS (SSCTS) systems have been delivered to Northrop since 2001 for Fight Computer Software development. The latest version consists of two equipment racks with embedded electronics processing 1,800 platform signals. Five Dual String CLS (DSCTS) systems have also been delivered over the past 14 years for “Real Time Simulation of UAV Flight & Mission Profiles.” The Dual String CLS processes more than 3,200 signals and comes in both a three-rack configuration for USAF support and a “Hot Bench” configuration for USN support.
The technology developed for both the software development and systems simulation platforms optimizes the use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology and open-architecture configuration to ensure affordability without compromising performance. These systems utilize PC/PXIe architecture based on National Instruments equipment, and utilizes RTX real time software for the 6DOF simulation. The continuously adaptable and open architecture characteristics of both the SSCTS and DSCTS are readily capable for validation of the sensor & systems configurations of all classes of UAV systems.
Frontier Electronic Systems was selected for the production of the Interface Test Adapters (ITA) for PAC-3 missile depot missile test systems in 2003. The program began as a “build-to-print” program only, but expanded to include design for manufacturing because of Frontier engineering initiatives focused on improving both quality and efficiency in the build process. The ITAs produced for this program connect the customer’s Units Under Test (UUT) to the Flexible Test and Measurement System (FTMS). Following the completion of the initial sets of ITAs for this program, Frontier was selected to design, qualify and manufacture a suite of Factory Acceptance and Test (FAT) equipment for the PAC-3 circuit card production facility. The purpose of this FAT is to verify circuit card electronics performance during environmental stress screening and vibration testing. FES continues to provide customer software support for this system.
In 2007, Frontier was competitively selected to manufacture Circuit Card Assemblies (CCAs) for the SM-3 guidance system. The program required development and certification of each manufacturing process step, substantial capital equipment investment, facilities modifications, and customer oversight. Frontier integrated automated manufacturing and inspection processes into the production flow which improved first time quality and reduced production cycle time. Based on Frontier's performance excellence, materials engineering expertise, and certifications for acquisition of high reliability space flight parts, Frontier was selected to procure 100% of the material for these CCAs in 2009. We are currently producing CCAs for both SM-3 Block IA and IB programs.