Marvin Test Solutions Looks to Make Test Easy

“Why do we go to work every day? To make test easy.” That’s according to Steve Sargeant, Major General, USAF (Ret.) and CEO, Marvin Test Solutions. He described his company as a vertically integrated test solutions leader serving military, aerospace, and manufacturing organizations offering solutions for flight-line, intermediate-level, depot-level, and manufacturing test.

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Steve Sargeant, Major General, USAF (Ret.)CEO, Marvin Test Solutions

His company, formerly Geotest-Marvin Test Systems, has changed its name in conjunction with Geotest celebrating its 25th anniversary while parent company The Marvin Group celebrates 50 years of service. Sargeant echoed the slogan accompanying the name change: “New name, same aim”—adding that the aim is to deliver total solutions that meet customer requirements with an emphasis on aerospace test and measurement. Sister companies within The Marvin Group include Marvin Engineering, which focuses on airborne armament equipment; Aerospace Dynamics International, which focuses on machined structures and components; Marvin Land Systems, which develops and manufactures a variety of products for ground combat vehicles; and Flyer Defense, which provides specially designed and customized advanced light tactical vehicles.

Marvin Test Solutions offers a variety of products and systems based on the standard PXI architecture, but Sargeant said a key company goal is to offer customer-centric custom solutions for mission-critical applications. The PXI architecture, he said, enables such custom solutions while reducing maintenance and sustainment costs. He said Marvin Test Solutions looks to understand customer test requirements, develop and deploy test solutions, and provide ongoing long-term support. He noted that systems under test undergo a cycle extending from introduction through growth and maturity and on to decline—that cycle might extend from four to seven years for commercial applications but can reach up to 25 years for government and military projects.

Marvin Test Solutions also offers its ATEasy Test Executive and Test Development Environment, with ATEasy 1.0 having been introduced in 1991. The company now is on version 8.0, but, indicating the importance of backward-compatibility in military and aerospace applications, Sargeant said the company is still supporting version 2.0 for 16-bit applications. ATEasy, he said, is fully forward- and backward-compatible.

In other historic notes, the company then known as Geotest introduced its first two PC-based instruments in 1992. It was acquired by The Marvin Group in 1997 and, in 1999, joined the PXI Systems Alliance and released multiple PXI products. The company is not strictly focused on PXI. It also offers the SmartCan advanced flight-line tester for smart and legacy equipment. The handheld “beer-can” tester is compatible with legacy beer-can testers to preserve compatibility with legacy cables and adapters.

Sargeant cited some successful projects: the U.S. Army flight-line Hellfire missile test system in 1992, the Apache depot test system in 1994, the TSM-205 standard U.S. Army flight-line test system for Apache in 1995, the F-16 Falcon test system in 1997, and a MIL-STD-1760 depot test system in 1999. He described the GTXI system, deployed in 1994, as one of the first PC-based test platforms. He added that the company built the world’s first PXI-based flight-line test system in 2004. Recent accomplishments, in addition to the SmartCan, include the Geotest Basic Automated Test System (GBATS) preconfigured PXI-based functional test system (PFTS) in 2009, the TS-900 semiconductor test system in 2011, and the PXI-based Geotest Enhanced ATE System (GENASYS) high-performance PFTS, also in 2011.

Sargeant also cited domain expertise, saying that the company combines domain expertise with customization capabilities in a way that outshines the competition. Marvin Test Solutions deploys domain experts in more than 15 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and Australia.

Specific projects, he said, include a $4 million contract to provide flight-line and depot test systems for Korea’s fleet of FA-50 and TA-50 aircraft; the contract involves MTS-3060 SmartCan flight-line test systems and a PXI-based Stores Suspension Units Tester (SSUT) depot test system. In addition, he said, in April the company was awarded a $5.7 million U.S. Air Force contract for a PATS-70 system for the Portable Automated Test Station (PATS) program for A-10 avionics flight-line test. The system is based on the MTS-207 ruggedized PXI platform. Its configurable architecture will enable the Air Force to address future needs with the same platform.

In conclusion, Sargeant said, the goal of Marvin Test Solutions is not to sell everything to everybody but rather to act as a customer-centric, vertically integrated test solutions leader that makes test easy for military, aerospace, and manufacturing organizations.    

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