049 – “Achieve DoD 80% Mission Capability Goals with VIFD”

Author: Ken Anderson and Nate Johnson
Company: Universal Synaptics
Phone: (801) 731-8508
Email: ken.anderson@usynaptics.com, nate.johnson@usynaptics.com

The Department of Defense (DoD) sustainment & logistics budgets cannot afford to waste a single dollar. The Services are seeking ways to reduce No Fault Found (NFF) and increase Mission Capability by 80% for the F-35, F/A-18, F-16 and F-22. OSD has established the Joint Intermittence Testing IPT and has calculated the negative cost impact of NFF at $2 billion to $10 billion annually, with intermittent faults cited as the primary cause. For many DoD weapon system components that cause operational failures, less than half have the actual root cause problem identified and repaired—the other half test NFF. The negative implications for critical combat equipment that form the backbone of our tactical air power are stark according to the Sep 2018 GAO Report “Weapon System Sustainment: Selected Air Force and Navy Aircraft Generally Have Not Met Availability Goals”.

Conventional ATE is not designed or optimized to detect momentary intermittent failures that cause NFF. The discovery that conventional ATEs inability to detect and isolate intermittent faults led to the development and deployment of the Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System™ (IFDIS™) which was designed to detect and isolate intermittent faults in avionics component interconnections and wiring. IFDIS testing of F-16 Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) and F/A-18 Weapon Replaceable Assemblies (WRAs) has more than tripled operational reliability and realized over $70M in maintenance cost savings. Consequently, the DoD is procuring additional IFDIS systems to exploit the benefits of increased materiel readiness while reducing maintenance costs through intermittent fault detection.

Universal Synaptics has taken the advanced diagnostic capability contained in the IFDIS and made it portable so that it can be applied rapidly, easily, and cost-effectively at O and I levels of maintenance for Electrical Wiring Interconnect Systems (EWIS). Voyager Intermittent Fault Detector™ (VIFD™) meets the DoD requirement for single-man portable, is MIL-PRF 32516 compliant, and can be powered with AC or DC power supplies. Collaboration over the last twelve months with the Army, Navy, Air Force, OSD and CTMA has produced unprecedented results. VIFD has been applied to the F/A-18, V-22, A-10, H-53, AH-64, UH-60 and Patriot Missile Systems, with intermittent faults detected and isolated in 97% of the 30 wiring systems tested. All wiring systems tested had been tested by currently deployed wire test sets and passed. Benefits of VIFD testing are providing a clear and comprehensive outcome to the maintainer, reducing NFF and increasing materiel readiness.

The VIFD can be applied to the complete maintenance spectrum of electrical, electronic and avionics components/wiring across the DoD maintenance enterprise. Increasing Mission Capability to 80% is possible with the VIFD.