White Papers

Speeding Up Design Verification Testing of VPX Systems

February 23, 2016 | BY: Jason Shields

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Today’s aerospace and defense programs are increasingly dependent on Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) solutions. These serve as key foundation elements for a variety of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) and complex systems in land, air and sea platforms. System integrators worldwide rely on COTS-based technology such as single board computers (SBCs) to provide key functionality for everything from graphics processing, motion control, and fire control systems to full mission computers. With pre-integrated COTS technology, integrators can design and build tailored systems for a variety of applications, quickly and cost-effectively without having to deal with hardware interoperability issues. 

However, getting through Design Verification Testing (DVT) is one of the biggest challenges system integrators face as they need to ensure COTS-based boards will work as intended in a specific design configuration. Typically, COTS board-level products are not delivered with system integration support tools that are needed to speed the integration process. As a result, integrators must spend significant time developing and executing test software to properly integrate any COTS board into a system. The additional time spent trying to overcome hardware integration challenges takes time and money away from integrating the final application for the platform ultimately costing the program more money. 

This white paper outlines the key challenges system integrators face when building a system with VPX COTS-based solutions and outlines some possible solutions. 

Learn more about Embedded Test Infrastructure

  • Support for multiple architectures 
  • System level Built-in Test (BIT) 
  • Configurable stress test suite 
  • Hardware-based background BIT 
  • Curtiss-Wright Common Test Set Infrastructure 


A proven, mature integration infrastructure can help get to deployment faster, and eliminate many of the risks associated with COTS solution testing and integration. As a result, integrators can focus their efforts and resources on building the overall system solution and application, rather than testing the COTS-based components in the system.

Author’s Biography

Jason Shields

Product Manager- 3U VPX Systems & SMS-684

Jason Shields is Product Manager for 3U VPX Systems and SMS Switch Boxes for Curtiss-Wright's Integrated Systems group. Jason joined Curtiss-Wright in 2007 and has held roles including Mechanical Designer, Material Management, Configuration Management, Mechanical Engineering Supervisor, Product Development Manager and Program Manager. As Product Manager, Jason works with customers from system specification thru the delivery of a program specific system integration project.

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