Heurikon board connects Rome antenna test range

Antenna specialists at the U.S. Air Force Rome Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., needed a computer architecture with high-speed data acquisition, support for remotely located measurement equipment, and the ability for users to expand and modify its capabilities to meet test requirements for the Newport antenna test range in upstate New York. So they chose the Heurikon HK68/V4F 68040-based single-board computer for the job.

Antenna specialists at the U.S. Air Force Rome Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., needed a computer architecture with high-speed data acquisition, support for remotely located measurement equipment, and the ability for users to expand and modify its capabilities to meet test requirements for the Newport antenna test range in upstate New York. So they chose the Heurikon HK68/V4F 68040-based single-board computer for the job.

"Using a centralized UNIX-based system would have offered the simplest solution in terms of programming," states John DeRosa, a Rome Lab electric engineer, in an article published in On The Bus magazine. "Most UNIX-based systems, however, can`t respond quickly enough to real-time events to take measurements on the fly while the aircraft rotates."

The need to take 1000 measurements per second led the engineers to consider a distributed architecture with a UNIX system as the operator console and generator of test scenarios and record data, while a dedicated computer handled real-time control of the antenna range and data acquisition. Rome`s engineers decided to use a VME-based control system because it answered all of their concerns of using a PC. Furthermore the widespread availability of VMEbus products from several vendors enabled the engineers to build a system from the predominately off-the-shelf boards. -J.M.

For more information on this board, contact Heurikon by phone at 608-831-5500, by fax at 608-831-4249, by email at info@heurikon.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.heurikon.com.

More in Test