Pinecone Engineering - VME Thermal Test PCA

Customer: Thales Underwater Systems Ltd

Project: VME Thermal Test Board

The aim of the project was to provide a software programmable VME card capable of representing different VME pca designs in order to test the thermal characteristics of an equipment shelf or crate. The benefit of this unit is to allow economical thermal testing of a complete shelf without putting expensive production cards at risk.

Pinecone Associates Solution :
The solution was to produce a variant of an existing design by increasing the maximum dissipation capability from 30 watts to 70 watts. The card conforms to the VME 64 x specification having a double euro card outline requiring two 160 way backplane connectors for P1 and P2. The first activity of the project was to hold a requirement review with the client and list any actions. Following the minuted review, the requirement was updated and issued. The detailed design including assembly, layout and parts lists drawings was completed in four weeks from the receipt of contract. On completion of detailed design a final design review was held to confirm that all the 29 Thermal Test Board specification requirements had been implemented correctly.

Design release was authorised and components and PCB's were ordered. Several long lead items were identified and this resulted in the main build being deferred. Two boards were built within 10 weeks of contract award for test and software development purposes. Test equipment was built in parallel with the purchasing / manufacturing timescale and made available to the project to support the development programme. All component shortages were cleared and assembly of the remaining Thermal Test Boards (TTB) was completed 14 weeks into the project.

On completion of the test software, some 20 weeks into the programme, the test rig was used to test all 21 production units to the agreed test specification. Documented results were produced for each board and delivered to the client, complete with a Certificate of Conformity, only 22 weeks from contract award.

Pinecone Associates achieved all its deliverables within the agreed time frame and the delivered boards have since been independently type tested without failure.