ATE / Functional Test Equipment

A typical Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) design process would include
  • Listing of signals of the Unit Under Test at Line Replaceable Unit and Shop Replaceable Unit levels.
  • Segregation based on signal characteristics – Power, digital, analog, and RF Signal categorization.
  • Analysis of performance levels of each of the signals w.r.t accuracy, resolution, impedance, timings, signal quality, safety of UUT and ATE
  • Analysis of acceptance criteria for UUT, if required by applying progression of errors methodology, sequencing of tests, per-requisites and safety precautions
  • Identifying commensurate performance requirement of ATE signals
  • Deciding specific interface circuits appropriate to the signal characteristics
  • Selection of routing matrix, cabling and connectors
  • Selection of I/O cards and instruments for test and measurement
  • Architecture of adaptation jigs and fixtures
  • Formation of software architecture and test plans

Data Patterns has over two decades of experience in design and manufacture of test systems, jigs, interface test adapters, and Test Program sets, covering all these activities, and then some, in terms of being abreast with the newest technologies. This experience is made available to our customers by a strong professional and dedicated ATE design team. Our expertise in signal generation, measurement, switching and routing, signal processing, with the ability to deliver across many form factors, and digital high speed and communication protocols, makes us your preferred ATE source.

With a deep knowledge of sensors, measurements, switching and routing, safety and self-test of ATE, we are ahead in every area of design and manufacturing. Supported by in-house experts in transducers simulation, interfacing and analysis for physical parameter measurements, we have the ability to deliver high speed and time synchronous measurements across multiple boards on multiple racks. We can cater to signals from sub-nano amps to 100s of Amps, sub-microvolt to Kilovolts, DC to 40 GHz. We deliver standalone test systems and rack mounted systems, tailored to customer needs.

The test systems developed may be used for:
  • Functional testing of LRUs for design level verification.
  • Providing I level testers intended for LRU validation, prior to fitment
  • Providing D level testers intended for SRU validation
  • Software assisted fault finding and repair can be carried out using the ATEs developed.

Exhaustive self-test and calibration support are often an inbuilt feature, as we design keeping testability in mind. Quality demands are percolated from On-board quality requirements, and extended to test the complete system. Design of continuous surveillance and automatic graceful shutdowns in case of malfunction; prevents potential damage to LRU or ATE, leading to greater robustness. Safety is engineered into the system to provide mutual protection, between test systems and the ATE, in case of any fault in LRU or ATE.

Harnesses are designed with care using our wide experience with respect to voltage and current handling, cross talk, isolation, shielding and grounding. RF Harness design with minimal cable loss and automatic cable loss compensations are ensured by self-test. Our harness fabrication and testing facility simulate real site condition, facilitating minimal intervention during site integration.

Some of our unique approaches to ATE design and fabrication include performance prediction by propagation of errors analysis in design and configuration phase. Further, our layered software applications are modularly configurable, using an object oriented approach. Also, the same sub-system (4U, 10U and PS) are designed to allow configuration for specific applications. We also provide custom backplanes for high insulation testers. Add to this, some design features like disk drives with shock mounts, custom designed enclosures for airflow and cooling, and our extensive driver libraries, and we have a winning ATE proposition.

Many failure modes are simulated using software applications like Chipscope, to greatly mitigate risk. Moreover, an In-house “CUTE” application for flexible test configuration and development facilitates an automated testing approach through its test automation suite. This can also ensure the relevant customization, specific to the applications being tailored. We use the E3 series by Zuken for designing harness and cabling. This tool integrates with CREO-ProE for an accurate layout and realization of wiring.

ATEs can be supplied with MacPanel and Virginia Panel mass interconnects and receivers. We also serve as a one stop support shop for system AMC that includes interfaces with OEMs for bought out instruments. Our products cover the following configurations and platforms and more on demand:

  • IP, M module, cPCI, VXI, PMC formats
  • Bench top instruments with RS 232, RS 422, IEEE 488, LXI and USB interfaces integrated for higher performance needs
  • Standard 1U, 2U, 4U and 10U chassis available with 2 , 4 ,7,8, 14 and 21 slots for COTS boards
  • COTS drivers in Windows, RT Linux, Linux, and optional VX Works,
  • Application programs in Windows, RT-Linux, Xenomai

Obsolescence management through predictive replacement support and advice, for form, fit, function equivalent in COTS and instruments, ensures an extended life to the equipment. Effective use of DRB (Design Review Board), CMO (Configuration Management Office), FAB (Failure Analysis Board) and SaB (Salvage Board) ensures learning is looped back into the system, continuously enhancing our expertise and ability to support the desired performance objective, including extended use. DRB reviews the PCB for in-depth functional, performance, reliability, safety, testability, standardization, and manufacturability. It provides cross-functional assessment and recommendations. CMO is a single point version control and traceability entity that ensures extensive documentation, which is archived supporting ease of retrieval, and allows for the maintenance of the system, even with change of support personnel. FAB and SAB captures, and grows our knowledge base to preempt and prevent failures.

Periodic refresher initiatives make sure we are at the cutting edge of technology, and knowledge is disseminated to our professionals. Our personnel can be deployed in hard and hazardous site locations when there is a requirement.

We also provide our expertise for outsourcing as consultants for the development of systems requirements starting with UUT specifications as baseline. We cover consulting support for test procedure generation, for LRUs by circuit analysis of LRUS, and for worst case performance prediction of LRU. Additionally, we consult to incorporate engineering for testability into your designs. We offer consultancy by way of training on testing and automated test in different domains.

In addition to our own product line we are also solution partners to KEYSIGHT Technologies offering solutions as single point system integrators and support providers, with PXI, PXI-e, LXI, AXI-e modular products, and support for Labview, HP -VEE, for your ATE requirements.

We also provide turnkey solutions, and offer complete site installation, acceptance, commissioning and continual support. Your need can be transformed to specifications, which are then developed to meet the desired levels of performance accuracy and robustness in your ATE, with superior time, cost and quality advantages. When it comes to testing, partner with Data Patterns for a variety of test solutions, all under one roof. If you demand these from your ATE vendor, it’s more than likely that we are the people who can deliver.