TUCSON, Ariz. -- August 4, 2014 -- Ridgetop Group, Inc. (“Ridgetop”) of Tucson, Arizona, announced that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Air Force’s Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) in Georgia. Using the standard Air Force Versatile Depot Automated Test Station (VDATS) automated test equipment (ATE) platform, Ridgetop will develop software-based solutions to extract additional test information to identify faults, and ultimately help mitigate the occurrences of NFF conditions. The focus of this effort will be analog/mixed-signal circuit card assemblies (CCAs) and will fit under Ridgetop’s Expert Troubleshooting and Repair System (ETRS) architecture. The funding award amount is $750,000, extending over a two-year period.
The Air Force must maintain operational readiness for large numbers of subsystem modules and printed circuit boards installed in military aircraft. Often these modules are older and have been gradually degrading. With existing test configurations, some units-under-test (UUTs) pass functional tests in the depot but do not operate properly in the aircraft. These are referred to as “No Fault Found” (NFF) conditions. Ridgetop’s solution will deliver improved speed and accuracy of fault isolation via knowledge-driven Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), leveraging Lean Depot Management System (LDMS) data as well as other historical repair information. It will integrate seamlessly into the VDATS environment to minimize implementation and training costs. With an estimated cost avoidance of $2 million per year per “bad actor” CCA part number, the net savings to the U.S. Air Force from deployment of ETRS technology is quite substantial. This program will also increase asset availability and mission-capable rates for critical electronic systems.
According to Doug Goodman, Ridgetop’s President and CEO, “Ridgetop appreciates the opportunity to further help streamline the Air Force’s maintenance, repair, and overhaul operations with our advanced diagnostic and prognostic technologies. This new contract is a perfect complement to other contracts we have received to improve test program set coverage.”
Working closely with Ridgetop as a subcontractor is ALAE, LLC, with its substantial expertise in delivering solutions to the Air Force. Rich Hardwick, President of ALAE, added, “We are very pleased Ridgetop has again selected ALAE as their systems integrator for applying their innovative solutions to real-world issues that the Air Force faces.”
About Ridgetop Group, Inc.
Ridgetop Group is an established provider of innovative design and test solutions for critical aerospace applications. Founded in 2000, the firm is the leader in addressing harsh environments found in aerospace, medical, and industrial markets. Ridgetop has been certified to demanding AS9100C and ISO9000:2008 standards, and is a member of the DoD’s Trusted Foundry Program for its design work in analog/mixed-signal microelectronics. Ridgetop’s customers include Boeing, Honeywell, NASA, Air Force, NAVAIR, and many others.
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