Martinen, D., Lagalaye, M., Pfefferkorn, J., and Casteres, J., "Modular and Open Test Bench Architecture for Distributed Testing," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-2117, 2017.
Currently, aircraft system Test Benches are often proprietary systems, specifically designed and configured for a dedicated System Under Test (SUT). Today, no standards for configuration, data communication, and data exchange formats are available for avionics Test Benches. This leads to high Test Bench development costs and redundant activities between aircraft system suppliers and airframers. In the case of obsolescence issues for test system components, it is very costly to replace the respective parts as a high integration and reconfiguration effort is required. In the scope of an R&T project, involving several test system suppliers and aircraft system suppliers as well as Airbus as an aircraft manufacturer, a generic and modular architecture for an open test environment is under development. A further goal of the Virtual and Hybrid Testing Next Generation (VHTNG) research project is to prepare a set of open standards for the interfaces to this architecture. The modular architecture is designed to provide a win-win situation for suppliers and customers alike, driving innovation in Test Bench development and utilization. This distributed architecture is able to support real and virtual testing, and is scalable from equipment to aircraft level. During the course of an iterative and incremental development process, collaborating with all industry partners, a technology demonstrator successfully showed that the functionality of integrated modules from multiple partners could be proven against realistic aircraft system test use cases. As the project continues, further functionality will be added, communication performance between modules will be improved, and the currently implemented interfaces will be brought closer to an open standard.