Intermittent faults are a growing problem in electronic equipment, and many of the maintenance problems are due to material fatigue and inter-connectivity problems between electronic components or assemblies. Hard failure, where wiring issues are consistent, are relatively routine to detect and fix. However, major electrical issues occur when the electrical fault appears only intermittently, in short duration, and in operational conditions that are difficult to replicate, such as high G-force loading, extremes in temperature or stress, or vibrational states. These faults are the most difficult to identify, isolate, and ultimately repair.
Electrical wiring and avionics backplane and chassis conductive path faults occur in a wide variety of weapon systems across all the services, and hence it an entirely appropriate issue to be addressed by J4 in partnership with industry.
Several newer technologies address the identification and isolation of electrical faults in weapon systems, including intermittent faults. However, there is currently no Joint test protocol to evaluate the capabilities of intermittent fault detection equipment with the Intermittent Fault Emulator. The Joint test protocol will be the validation process for detecting and isolating intermittent faults and assessing the capabilities of intermittent detection and isolation devices offered by industry.
This initiative leverages industry fault detection best practices, industry fault detection and isolation equipment to deliver No-Fault Found fault detection test protocols, isolation, and root cause determination for field and depot level use.
The initiative targets the Joint Maintenance Community to help move the maintenance approach toward condition-based maintenance and away from more costly reaction-based maintenance. It will identify and validate test methods needed to ensure that intermittent test equipment can perform to Joint MIL-PRF specification parameters.
Those interested in participating in this initiative should contact Dana Ellis,