Next Generation Compact Flight Test Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Oct. 27, 2015

ITC/USA, LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Booth #209) - October 27, 2015 – Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced its next-generation compact Axon Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) for Flight Test applications. Axon combines unprecedented flexibility and scalability with outstanding reliability for demanding flight test applications. The innovative modular Axon DAU builds on Curtiss-Wright’s heritage as a leading supplier of rugged reliable data acquisition. Optimized for size, weight and power (SWaP), Axon works seamlessly with Curtiss-Wright’s widely used Acra KAM-500 DAU chassis, while reducing volume by 55% and weight by 70%. Axon is ideal for use in aircraft Flight Test Instrumentation, Airborne Telemetry, Flight Data Monitoring and Space Data Handling applications. 

Designed to deliver maximum reliability, Axon’s hardware-based acquisition engines eliminate data loss, support deterministic operation, and ensure immediate recovery in the case of power brownout. Axon’s high-speed serial backplane (1 Gbps dedicated link per module) enables off-the-shelf data acquisition modules to be placed in ultra-miniature Axonite housings and located remotely, separated from the chassis by up to 20 meters. Locating data acquisition closer to the sensors can significantly decrease the installation time and cost of the instrumentation while simultaneously reducing wiring weight. Using Axonite housings (< 8 cubic inches in volume), flight test engineers can place their data acquisition hardware in any location on the flight test article. Further flexibility is provided by Axon’s dual Gigabit Ethernet outputs, which simplify the addition of Ethernet nodes or allow multiple DAU chassis to be daisy chained. An on-board processor speeds configuration, pre-flight checks, and in-service firmware upgrading. 

“Our innovative new Axon data acquisition platform lets Flight Test Instrumentation engineers lower the weight of equipment and wiring, gather more data, and meet demanding time schedules while ensuring that none of their critical data is lost during flight test,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Defense Solutions division. “With its miniature size and unprecedented flexible installation options, Axon lets flight test engineers place data acquisition in remote locations never previously possible.”  

Axon’s solid chassis design provides environmental ruggedness and supports rapid configuration changes. The DAU’s high-speed serial backplane ensures that the chassis’ throughput can scale with future increases in data source bandwidth, protecting the customer’s investment in the current generation of acquisition modules.  

Configurations built with a combination of Axon and KAM-500 DAUs are able to support the synchronous sampling of every channel in the system. Because Axon supports the same data formats as the KAM-500, data from both the remote and main DAUs can be simultaneously analyzed and correlated. Like the KAM-500, Axon is configured using Curtiss-Wright’s powerful and intuitive DAS Studio setup software.  

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 9,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit

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