Leonardo is automating the end-to-end testing facility for fighter jet radars

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<p>Described as a 'one button' solution to achieving 24-30 hour radar antenna testing, the test facility - called the Production Short Range (PNFR) - is fully automated and located at Crewe Toll's site in Edinburgh.

"The purpose of this ground-breaking automated near-field range is that it literally allows us to take a newly built radar array and fully test it, and get to the point where we're ready to deliver it without human intervention," Kers said.

"So half an hour of work to set everything up, and 30 hours later we have a fully tested and functional array."

<p>The company hopes the PNFR facility – with its ability to quickly switch between an alignment laser and various RF waveguide probes – will be a "game changer". By automating a complex test procedure, more radar antennas can be processed in a shorter period of time with more consistent controlled results.

"Our team has completely automated the entire process, virtually eliminating all human intervention," Kers added.

“In the past, it took an average of 120 hours over 5-7 days to test and generate a test report for each array, with someone constantly present. The duration is reduced to about 30 hours, and there is no need for any presence except for the very beginning and the end.”

The system actually went live earlier this year, Leonardo says.

Source: electronicsweekly.com

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