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AMETEK Programmable Power, the global leader in programmable AC and DC power test solutions, announces that its ReFlex Power™ (RFP) System is now qualified for use in standard Department of Defense (DoD) Automated Test Systems (ATS) across all major military branches. It is the only power system on the market that satisfies all of the military services’ test protocols, including the Navy’s electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS), scheduled to be deployed in 2015 as well as the Marines’ Reconfigurable Transportable CASS (RTCASS) program, the Army’s Next Generation Automatic Test System (NGATS), and the Air Force’s Versatile Depot Automatic Test Station (VDATS).
AMETEK’s RFP System is a high-density, modular power system with a full complement of power and load modules for designing flexible and scalable power solutions. Comprised of a mainframe, a controller module and various plug-in power modules (DC modules, AC modules, and active loads with scalable power levels), the ReFlex Power system can be configured for control of discrete, power supplies and loads, and it can be extended to as many as eight mainframes and 95 power modules, all controlled through a single controller module.
The RFP System uses digital control loops that allow users to tailor system performance to match application requirements. In addition to the high power densities available, the ReFlex Power system provides series, parallel, or multiphase operation, and high-speed up/down programming capability. Communication interfaces include an LXI™-compliant Ethernet interface, IVI drivers and an embedded Web server.
The ReFlex Power system’s highly integrated architecture reduces cost of ownership and logistics with its minimal space requirements and low maintenance, a common software interface and the ability to create “virtual assets” with various voltage/current combinations through one controller.
In April 1994, the DoD released a memorandum on ATS acquisitions that directed the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to use designated ATS families. The memo named the Army’s Integrated Family of Test Equipment (IFTE) and the Navy’s CASS system as the initial ATS families. It also specified that Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) testers and components were permitted for use at the depot and factory levels of maintenance. Since then, the services have all updated and standardized their ATS systems. The goals of this directive include:
- reducing the total cost of ownership of automatic test systems for weapon systems support at DoD field, depot and manufacturing operations
- reducing the logistics footprint of automatic test systems
- promoting joint service automatic test systems interoperability
- improving the quality of tests while reducing repair cycle times
AMETEK has played an important role in these military ATS programs from the beginning, providing power supplies for both the early CASS and IFTE programs. For the Marines’ RTCASS program, AMETEK worked with prime contractors to develop a power system that was small in footprint as well as modular and configurable. AMETEK’s experience with military ATE power systems helped its engineers distill the requirements and design a power solution that provides the power range and flexibility needed with the fewest number of modules.