My guess is that the original collection of test stands was created as each different type of helicopter was designed, probably by the first builders of each model. It often happens that way. And so there is a collection of test stands, each representing a different approach to different requirements and built over a span of many years. Designing a different stand to test all of the models with a different set of requirements is a great idea, but it is quite different from what the first projects were. And as system requirements change a lot, the original systems are not able to meet the new requirements. Not bad engineering, just "long ago and different specifications" engineering. Change will bury us if we aren't careful.
Thanks for the interest and question. RedViking has developed a test stand control and software platform called RedRaven that incorporates a supervisory host system, PLC based machine function and safety control, high performance drive control, and integrated high speed data acquisition. The manufacturers of the hardware can very but in this case we integrated Rockwell AB PLCs, NI data acquisition hardware, and Siemens drives and Motor. The host system, which includes the HMI software, is all custom LabVIEW code.
I would have thought that the old system would have, at the least , had test pallets where the device under test could have been loaded, off the test stand, and then put on the test stand and the test stand connections quickly made.
It sounds like the original stands were made to maximize cost at the expense of efficientcy.
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This is part one of an article discussing the University of Washington’s nationally ranked FSAE electric car (eCar) and combustible car (cCar). Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow, which will discuss the four unique PCBs used in both the eCar and cCars.
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