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Integrate Test and Diagnostic Tools via ATML

While the creating of exceptional diagnostic savvy in the eXpress model is unmatched throughout industry, the natural next objective would be to somehow transfer that diagnostic savvy:

  • To an on-board reasoning or Integrated Health Management capability in a vehicle;
  • To critical equipment in an operational environment directly or through an API;
  • In the field on a portable device to step up the Guided Troubleshooting game, or;
  • In a Test Engineering or production application in concert with any capable ATE.

The method to accomplish the diagnostic integration would be to first utilize the diagnostic data transfer or export facilities included with eXpress. The most widely used diagnostic export facility in eXpress is its Diagnostic Markup (DiagML) schema that can be used to export any eXpress-generated diagnostic sequencing in a push of a button!

eXpress DiagML to ATML though ATML Pad

In order to create a flexible and interoperable solution, DSI has been involved, either directly or indirectly, with the industry’s progress and development towards such interoperable aspirations since the 1990’s. Within the past few years, IEEE has been eagerly supporting the development of Automated Test Markup Language (ATML). Currently, it is a robust enough format that the native eXpress DiagML output can be translated to be compliant with the relevant ATML data structures. Reston Software’s ATML Pad provides a seamless translation of DiagML into the compliant ATML structures enabling the diagnostic sequencing for fault isolation to be utilized by Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) that is compliant with IEEE Standard 1671.1-2009.

Introducing DFT to Fault Isolation

Diagnostic tests, provide test coverage, as defined in eXpress, for any design that represents the resulting analyses interpreted from manual or automated tests, and including any mixture thereof. The eXpress modeling paradigm allows for inclusive or exclusive groupings of specific sets of test categories or Test Sets that can be selected to include or deselected to ignore any assessment or consideration. In addition, it is then possible to package a diagnostic strategy export via DiagML) to target an ATE application adhering to the IEEE 1671.1-2009 open interface ATML standards.

There is a growing demand for automated test tools to become more interoperable and adaptable to a broader use of common test data structures for a wider variety of testing environments. That has given rise to the strong support for such Standards-Based solutions.

Defining “Test Coverage” in eXpress

As the captured design entity modeled in eXpress can represent any desired component, grouping of components, CCU’s, assemblies, subsystem and/or any mixtures of any assortment of the integrated systems level of a design, test coverage becomes a critical and a dynamic property, constrained by the diagnostic interrogation method, purpose, or even current operational criteria. In other words, the structure of the eXpress model remains unchanged while the test coverage analyzed in any eXpress model can then be deployed to perform the diagnostic reasoning that is able to suit or adapt to a myriad of evolving diagnostic purposes or technologies. Consequently, eXpressfully establishes the diagnostic inferences throughout the design so that diagnostic conclusions can be determined for all of the elements in a design when a diagnostic test is performed and is then deemed to have passed or failed.

Test Coverage Seeding Diagnostic Conclusions

While adequately suited for narrowly-specific tasks, even the most sophisticated ATE either lacks the ability to establish diagnostic conclusions from its ubiquitous generation of pass or fail test results, or it might be limited to addressing the diagnostic conclusions within the boundaries of digital design domain activities. This severely limits the ATE to be universally applicable for run-time diagnostic reasoning or domain interdependent applications. Furthermore, reliance on the use of any testability or reliability engineering assessment products, usually in the form of spreadsheets, for such diagnostic reasoning purposes is a surprisingly simplistic endeavor.

Since eXpress fully establishes the diagnostic inferences throughout the design, its diagnostic conclusions can be determined for all of the elements in a design when a diagnostic test is performed and is then deemed to have passed or failed. For example, when a test passes many other functions and/or interdependent elements are proven to be good. The exoneration of elements, or being proven good, are enabled by providing diagnostic conclusions with each test result, then enriches the test execution paradigm for the ATE by taking advantage of the benefits of diagnostic reasoning. In this way, test results can then determine comprehensive diagnostic conclusions. That philosophy applies to any diagnostic application or design domain. The use of ATML simply opens the door widely to facilitate a broader range of applications from production test and diagnostic development to on-board integrated systems health management and off-board applications.

COTS-Based Solution for Through-Life Support

The Following is an example of a solution that uses loosely-coupled commercially available software tools, adhering to the open-interface standard of ATML, to enrich the diagnostic savvy of the ATE. In that demonstration, each tool targets a different area of a product’s lifecycle and integrates design and support disciplines—diagnostics engineering, product engineering, test engineering and maintenance.

Example and Video Demonstration of eXpress Diagnostics using ATML

The Video Demonstration of this ATML COTS-based Solution can be viewed below. Links to associated documents and presentations can also be perused for supplementary information. Various commercial tools are depicted in this demonstration of this robust technology, specifically:

COTS Software Products Organization
eXpress, DSI Workbench, Run-Time Authoring Tool DSI International, Inc.
NI TestStand, TD Translator, LabVIEW National Instruments
newWaveX Spherea Technology
ATML Pad Reston Software
OSARTS, Test Standards Support MoD UK
ATS Framework Standards, AUTOTESTCON US DoD (NAVAIR)

COTS-Based Solution for Through-Life Support
BIT to Guided Troubleshooting
Automated Test and Built-In Test Integration


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