Space-related LabVIEW applications are definitely some of our favorites to hear about. In JKI’s latest featured application, Chris Roebuck, Software Manager for Test and Validate at Astrium, Ltd., does not disappoint. Astrium Ltd. is Europe's leader in space transportation, satellite systems, and related services. Perhaps their company motto says it best: "Astrium – All the space you need."
Chris’s UK-based team is responsible for designing, manufacturing and testing satellite payload equipments (yes, equipments*!), typically radio frequency (RF) equipment such as frequency converters, power amplifiers, and digital signal processing (DSP) hardware. Their satellites handle everything from Earth observation to space exploration and telecommunications infrastructure.
As Chris so eloquently put it, "there are no field returns from space." If something breaks, it stays broken and it may compromise the whole mission! That means Astrium products must provide 100% reliable in-orbit service. To ensure this level of quality, Chris's team runs tests of all kinds, from physical tests such as shock and vibration to system performance test in a thermal vacuum. They test everything from single hybrid subassemblies (the building blocks) to complete functional systems, such as multi-channel frequency converters and solid state power amplifiers. Some of these test campaigns are months in duration.
Chris's large team had a code base of tens of thousands of VIs with lots of duplication and no clear ownership of the code. They knew they needed a VI reuse library so that team members could own various parts of the code, test them thoroughly, and make them available to everyone.
Chris and his team used JKI's VI Package Manager to promote LabVIEW code reuse, create a central VI repository, and eliminate duplication of work. As an added benefit, they can now instantly recreate any LabVIEW project environment if the shipping product needs support.
Read the case study to learn how.
What's your favorite LabVIEW-powered space application? Leave a comment and tell us…
* "Equipments" is a space industry term! Didn’t you know?