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4 Approaches to Solve Today’s Obsolescence Challenges in Aerospace and Defense

October 17, 2019

Unlike conventional consumer products such as cellular phones, which have a lifespan of only a few years, “products” in aerospace and defense are produced and supported for decades. For example, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress was first introduced in 1954, and is expected to remain in service until the 2040s after nearly a century on the market. This poses unique challenges to test engineers who must maintain a fleet of test stations based on legacy and, in many cases, obsolete equipment. Test engineers spend as much as 50 percent of their time (or even more in some cases) actively dealing with obsolescence in their test program sets (TPSs). To make matters worse, these TPSs were often written in ancient software languages, with little to no documentation, by someone who is likely long retired.  Given this massive challenge, many vendors want to help test engineers develop their next test program sets, but that doesn’t overcome the obsolescence challenge these engineers face right now. You, as a test engineer, can take four different approaches to solve your obsolescence challenge today.

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