HGL supplied a 128-channel acquisition system with embedded analysis and storage features for use with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Initially, this system consisted of a single 128-channel acquisition unit and a single 4-screen HawkEye display system. After eighteen months of operation, the system was upgraded to 4 32-channel acquisition units and 4 distributed HawkEye units to provide increased real-time safety monitoring.
The main benefit introduced by this system was the ability to analyse the acquired data overnight, prior to the following day's acquisition. This allowed the project team to modify the test plan if necessary based on the measured dynamic characteristics in between back-to-back testing days. In some cases the users were able to analyse data from one part of the test run whilst acquisition was still continuing, and the second half of the test plan was modified as a result, all without interrupting acquisition.
A second system has been installed more recently in another test cell at the same facility. The main benefit introduced by this system was the introduction of real-time monitoring for safety monitoring purposes as well as for display. By splitting the acquisition across multiple units, increased processing power was made available for real-time updates of 20 Hz and alarm-based monitoring on all acquired channels.
These two systems have between them acquired over 30 terabytes of good-quality data, all of which has been analysed in both the USA and the UK. Over 20 terabytes of data have been transferred by tape alone and imported into a Hercules data storage facility in the UK, with very little manpower involved.