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Pickering Interfaces’ High-Density PXI Multiplexer Selected for Aircraft Lightning Protection Testing.

Mar 13, 2014

Pickering Interfaces announced today that a major UK manufacturer of aircraft engine control units recently awarded them a contract for a large quantity of High-Density PXI Multiplexers (model #40-651) as the switching solution for use in its new automated production test systems. These systems will be used to test FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Controller) lightning-strike protection components on Airbus’ A330 and A350 as well as Boeing's Dreamliner aircraft.

The customer needed to test the transient-voltage-suppression diodes, or transorbs, used to protect the FADEC’s sensitive electronics from very fast voltage spikes induced on connected wires following a lightning strike on the aircraft. Due to the quantity of transorbs that needed to be tested (one on every I/O connection of the FADEC), a large number of high-power multiplexers were required to connect the UUT to the test instrumentation.

The customer required a compact, modular test architecture for scalability and ease of maintenance and selected PXI as their preferred platform. With no high-density PXI multiplexers of the required performance commercially available, the customer approached Pickering (a preferred PXI switch supplier) to discuss their options. Pickering’s engineers subsequently designed, built and tested a new PXI multiplexer to their specification. Following a successful trial of the initial prototype, Pickering worked closely with the customer to simplify the test system wiring by adding a second connector to the multiplexer for the MUX common connections. This led to a preliminary order for 84 multiplexer modules, with additional future requirements planned.

The 40-651 High-Density PXI Multiplexer is a COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) product and is available worldwide. For specifications and pricing please visit the Pickering web site at pickeringtest.com.


Pickering Interfaces offers signal switching and conditioning for a broad range of applications and architectures. Today, Pickering’s portfolio contains the largest range of switching cards in the industry for PXI, LXI, PCI and GPIB applications. Pickering’s products are specified in both commercial and military test systems installed throughout the world and have a reputation for providing excellent reliability and value. Pickering operates globally with direct operations in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Czech Republic, and engineering support in China, together with additional representation in countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Pickering serves a wide variety of markets, including automotive, aerospace & defense, power generation, energy and commercial electronics industries. For additional information, please visit www.pickeringtest.com.

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