September 19, 2013. Pickering Interfaces Inc. announced at Autotestcon that Hill Air Force Base recently awarded the company a contract for a large quantity of the Model 45-542 6U high-density matrix modules for the PXI switching requirement that is part of the PATS-70 (Portable Automated Test Station) program for the life extension program of the A-10 aircraft. As part of the life extension program, the PATS-70 will provide ground-based diagnostics for the A-10 avionics systems.
The contract award calls for Pickering Interfaces to provide the 45-542 PXI switching module for up to eighty PATS-70 systems. This is one of the largest military contracts ever awarded to Pickering Interfaces.
Hill AFB was originally looking for a high-density switching module capable of handling 0.5 A and 120 VAC/95 VDC in a 6U PXI module. Pickering’s engineers designed, built, and tested a new module to meet Hill’s specification. During the design process it was determined that a 1,056 crosspoint matrix size (132 x 8) could be achieved in a single-width, 6U PXI module. After extensive testing by Hill, it was determined that the new switch was capable of handling the capacitive load seen on the A-10, and the module performed as required. Quantity deliveries have started, and the modules are being implemented in PATS-70 systems.
The 45-542 PXI switching module is a COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) product and is available worldwide.