New Data Acquisition Unit for Demanding Flight Test Programs

The low-SWaP Axon Pico is Curtiss-Wright’s first DAU to support Power over Ethernet By Mike Ball / 17 Jun 2024
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Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions Division has launched the Axon Pico (AXP/ADC/401) 8-channel ADC data acquisition unit (DAU), the latest addition to the company’s broad range of data acquisition systems designed for use in demanding flight test programs such as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and eVTOL testing.

Flight test engineers seek to reduce their FTI (flight test instrumentation) system’s wire weight and complexity while easing the installation process. They also want to leverage distributed architectures that enable remote data acquisition from hard-to-reach places on the test platform, while being able to acquire accurate data in locations that experience extreme shock and vibration. The Axon Pico, Curtiss-Wright’s first DAU to support Power over Ethernet (PoE), helps address all of these challenging requirements.

The size, weight, and power (SWaP)-optimized Axon Pico DAU is designed to be as small as possible without compromising key features. It significantly reduces wiring weight and complexity, and enables the remote capture of critical data and supports daisy-chain connectivity to other Axon Picos without requiring a switch. Axon Picos connect to each other using IEEE 1588 PTP system synchronization, delivering data throughput rated at 50 ksps per channel (maximum) on each of the 8 analog input channels, while providing support for all typical FTI analog sensor types.

The Axon Pico supports a programmable input range of ±2.4 mV to ±10V and delivers high accuracy up to 0.02% FSR (typical). The DAU supports full-bridge, half-bridge, differential ended, single ended, RTD, thermocouple, ICP, and AC coupled measurements, with both voltage and current excitation. Data is packetized directly out of the unit, eliminating the need for a separate chassis. Each unit features two ports that carry both 100BASE-TX Ethernet and power over CAT5 (or better) cable.

Brian Perry, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, commented; “We believe the Axon Pico is the FTI industry’s first miniature standalone analog data acquisition unit with support for Power over Ethernet and daisy-chain connectivity. Our Axon data acquisition systems for critical flight test applications provide flight test engineers with high-speed, flexible solutions for demanding FTI programs. With the introduction of the Axon Pico, we further demonstrate our commitment to delivering the most comprehensive FTI product range available.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact