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Advanced Capabilities of PXI-Based Semiconductor Test Systems

The ongoing challenge for today’s semiconductor test engineers is to identify and create new test solutions that can offer significantly lower test costs as well as address the need for configurable, open-architecture, flexible test solutions that can provide comparable features to proprietary ATE platforms. In particular, for test requirements with low to moderate volumes — such as pilot production, verification, and focused production test applications — the need for flexible and cost-effective ATE solutions is particularly acute. For these applications, test engineers historically have relied upon legacy test systems that have a low acquisition cost, but high operating costs or in-house designed rack-and-stack solutions. However, semiconductor test system solutions based on the PXI platform have made significant advancements in functionality and performance over the past three or four years, offering test engineers a viable alternative for both current and future test needs.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement

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Calibration Requirements for Testing Coupling-Decoupling Networks

Coupling-Decoupling Networks (CDNs) are the unglamorous workhorses that get “hitched up” to an impulse generator in order to perform impulse testing on powered equipment. As such, performance and calibration requirements for CDNs have not been specified to the same level of detail as the impulse generator. This is no longer the case with the Third Edition of IEC 61000-4-5, the international standard for surge immunity testing.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement

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NASA Monitoring Technologies Shake Up Earthquake Prediction

The seconds to minutes of advance warning of an earthquake can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. Earthquake early warning systems use earthquake science and the technology of monitoring systems to alert devices and people when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at their location. NASA has been one of the agencies at the forefront of earthquake early warning technology for many years, and new monitoring techniques developed by NASA are shaking up the way earthquakes are predicted.

Posted in: Articles, Test & Measurement

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Reducing Torque Measurement Uncertainty in Turbine Engine Testing

Torque is among the most important of all the measured quantities in applications ranging from characterizing high-power gas turbines, to determining the level of force required to open a screw cap on a medication container. As anyone who studied physics in high school should recall, torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Loosely speaking, torque is a measure of the turning force on an object such as a bolt or a flywheel. For example, pushing or pulling the handle of a wrench connected to a nut or bolt produces a torque (turning force) that loosens or tightens the nut or bolt. However, measuring torque accurately can be far from straightforward. This article offers an overview of one approach to reducing uncertainty in torque measurement using an example of turbine engine testing to illustrate the process.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Test & Measurement

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Executive Perspectives: Test & Measurement

DR. JAMES TRUCHARD President, CEO, and Co-Founder National Instruments Austin, TX www.ni.com The world of technology has moved to software — it started in the PC industry, but quickly manifested in the smartphone industry with operating systems like iOS and Android. We now see software making its mark in the test and measurement industry where it is revolutionizing how engineers and scientists solve grand challenges. But it wasn’t always this way. We have seen tremendous innovation in the test and measurement industry over the past four decades.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement

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Executive Perspectives: Test & Measurement

JAY ALEXANDER Chief Technology Officer Keysight Technologies, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA www.keysight.com To travel back 40 years in test and measurement, I reached for the paper equivalent of Doc Brown’s DeLorean: the 1976 Hewlett-Packard Electronic Instruments and Systems Catalog. Flipping through the 576-page book, the product photos told a very “analog” story: many front panels featured knobs, dials, and panel meters. Some included a CRT display, and these were circular in the older models. A few featured numerical LED readouts.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Test & Measurement

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A Brief History of Modern Digital Shaker Controllers

Over a period of 40 years, four generations of digital vibration exciter control systems have been developed by various companies in the USA. They are categorized as standalone, PC-based, PC-tethered, and fully networked. This paper discusses the evolution and improvement of shaker controllers and the critical parameters that users should consider during the acquisition process.

Posted in: White Papers, Test & Measurement

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