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Dave Baker | February 25, 2019

Three Tools for Managing Your High-Channel-Count Test Systems

When it comes to high-channel-count test systems, maintaining the system and data collected can be extremely difficult if you do not have the right tools to simplify and manage the process. Organizations often try to cut corners because it can take just as much time and resources to develop the right management tools as it takes to develop the actual test applications.

By taking advantage of three features – a configuration management interface, configurable user interfaces (UIs), and derived channels – you can help ensure your high-channel-count systems are designed to be highly configurable and easy to integrate with other systems in your facility. Let’s take a brief look at each one of these features.

Feature 1: System-Level Configuration Management

When it comes to a high-channel-count system, configuration management needs to be approached at a high level across the whole architecture of the system. Based on the nearly three decades of experience G Systems has developing high-channel-count systems, we typically use a four-part structure for configuration management tools. This structure includes developing and assigning user privileges, managing hardware inventory, implementing a system configuration management process, and performing data administration including data cleanup and archiving.

Feature 2: Configurable User Interfaces

Chances are, there are multiple people interacting with any given test and measurement system, and each person has their own unique job function that requires access to different data at various times. Thus, there is not a standard UI that works for every person in an organization, which means the UI needs to be highly configurable for the end user. It’s best for users to have the ability to select the object type they wish to add to their UI as well as the flexibility to reposition and resize the displays and configure specific cosmetic settings as needed.

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A screenshot of the highly configurable Lockheed Martin VSIF Graphical UI developed by G Systems.

Feature 3: Derived Channels

Derived channels, which are channels that are calculated from information contained in other channels, are important features to incorporate into many high-channel-count systems as well. If users want to see information in its native form, but they also need to combine those physical channels in a way that provides some meaningful information, derived channels can be a useful solution.

In general, when you need to manage thousands of channels, you cannot do this in a spreadsheet or table manually, it’s just not feasible. Thus, a high-level configuration management system is necessary. Additionally, a test system cannot be initially configured to satisfy the requirements of every “customer” in the organization. Therefore, it is important to integrate features that allow high-channel-count systems to be highly configurable such as configuration management tools, configurable UIs, and derived channels.

For more information on these features, download the Three Must-Have Features for Your High-Channel-Count Test Systems white paper.  

Download the Paper