Palo Alto, Calif., 28 June 2005. Agilent Technologies Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif., won a $1.4 million U.S. Air Force contract to provide transmission line and antenna cable test sets (TACTS) for characterizing B-2A aircraft RF communications cabling and antennas, company officials announced June 27.
Agilent will provide its N1906A-E05 test sets, which Air Force officials chose for their performance, ease of use, and small form factor, Agilent officials say.
The test sets, which measure amplitude and phase characteristics of cables in aircraft communications and radar, will enable the Air Force to reduce test time by a factor of five and reduce uncertainty by a factor of 10, Agilent officials say. The speed and accuracy facilitate basic go/no-go status checking and enable performance tracking over time.
"There are hundreds of cables on the B-2A, and being able to test the critical ones quickly is essential to aircraft mission success," says Wes Wietelman, B-2A avionics program manager for the Air Force. "Agilent's TACTS system does that, while also increasing our productivity."
The system is comprised of Agilent's N5230A PNA-L Series microwave network analyzer, ECal electronic calibration module internally mounted in the remote measurement unit (RMU), an RF interface and controller, and system software.
The system replaces four large transit equipment cases with one unit, and enables aircraft maintainers to benchmark test data, providing a means for assessing cable integrity over the aircraft's lifetime, typically 30 years.