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Air Force looks to Geotest-Marvin to provide PXI-based test equipment for nuclear weapons

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, 19 April 2013. Air Force nuclear weapons experts needed electronic test & measurement equipment to help test and maintain Air Force nuclear weapons systems, particularly the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). They found their solution from Geotest-Marvin Test Systems Inc. in Irvine, Calif.

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, awarded a $5.7 million contract to Geotest Tuesday for PXI electronic test and measurement equipment as part of the PATS 70-Chassis program.

The contract includes the Geotest MTS-207 portable PXI platform; the GX6315 45-channel high-current relay PXI switching board; and the GX2065 single-slot PXI digital multimeter card. The $5.7 million contract orders 83 each of the Geotest MTS-207, GX6315, and the GX2065.

The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, based at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., is responsible for buying, upgrading, and maintaining nuclear system programs for the Air Force, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Hill Air Force Base hosts the AFNWC's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Systems Directorate, which is responsible for managing, upgrading, and maintaining Minuteman ICBMs.

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The Directorate develops, acquires and supports silo-based ICBMs and provides program direction and logistics support. The Directorate also is responsible for acquisition, systems engineering, and depot repair. They manage equipment spares, provide storage and transportation, and modify and replace equipment to sustain silo-based ICBM systems.

PXI stands for PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI), and is a rugged PC-based test and measurement system and form factor. PXI combines the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) electrical bus with the rugged, modular Eurocard mechanical packaging of CompactPCI and adds specialized synchronization buses and software features.

PXI also defines complete systems for test and measurement, data acquisition, and manufacturing applications, including military and aerospace test equipment, manufacturing test, machine monitoring, automotive, and industrial test.

The Air Force is awarding the contract to Geotest sole-source, because the company is one of the few qualified suppliers of the kind to test equipment the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center needs to do its job, officials say.

The Geotest MTS-207 is a portable PXI platform for field testing and data acquisition, and has been deployed on military programs such as the MTS-206 Maverick missile system flight line tester, the MTS-209 Common Armament Test Set, and the AN/TSM-205B Hellfire system test set, Geotest officials say.

The MTS-207 comes in a compact, ultra-rugged, flight-line qualified enclosure for test and data acquisition applications requiring operation under harsh environmental conditions including flight-line, back-shop, or airborne applications.

The MTS-207 is a PXI-based ruggedized design that includes a shock-mounted, 14-slot, combination PXI chassis with seven 3U slots and seven 6U slots. Slot 1 is for a 6U PXI controller, slots 2 through 7 are for 3U or 6U PXI or CompactPCI test instruments, while slots 8 through 14 can accommodate 3U PXI and CompactPCI instruments only.

The MTS-207 also can be controlled via an optional integrated liquid crystal display and touch screen, via a remote control and display unit (RCDU), or via a Tablet PC. The RCDU and Tablet PC allow operation of the MTS-207 from distances as far as 25 feet and eliminate the need for a keyboard or mouse. The MTS-207 also can be remotely controlled via Ethernet by any external device.

The GX6315 is a 45 channel, high current relay board that plugs into any 6U PXI slot. The card provides nine transistor-driven channels for external relays, and its outputs drive external loads such as heavy-duty relays, lamps, or other devices.

The GX2065 is a universal, multifunction digital multimeter (DMM) and provides VDC, VAC, 2- and 4-wire resistance measurements, and current measurements. The card has a 3 MHz, 16 bit, isolated input digitizer which enables users to acquire and analyze waveforms.

The card's built-in analysis and waveform functions include RMS, average, peak to peak, and peak to average measurements. The card can store as many as 8,192 samples in the digitizer’s memory.

The GX2065 comes with the GXDMM software package that includes a virtual instrument panel and a Windows 32/64-bit DLL driver libraries. A separate software package, GtLinux, provides support for Linux 32/64 operating systems.

For more information contact Geotest-Marvin Test Systems online at www.geotestinc.com, or the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at www.kirtland.af.mil/units.


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