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Agilent Technologies Launches Platform for Effort-Saving Test-System Creation, Deployment in Aerospace/Defense Applications


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the release of the latest version of the Agilent Virtual Rack platform. This software provides an interactive way for aerospace/defense companies to create flexible system frameworks with radically less effort in the integration, automation, maintenance and evolution of test systems.

“As system requirements become more complex, previous-generation tools may leave users stuck inside a maze of complexity,” said Lim Chee Beng, general manager of Agilent’s Measurement Software Operation. “By breaking through that complexity, the Virtual Rack platform makes it easier for military services, defense contractors and aerospace companies to achieve greater test-system longevity and focus their efforts on their domain expertise.”

Today, test-system creation and revision are made more difficult by typical star-shaped architectures in which every system connection and protocol conversion must be uniquely programmed. As a result, a change in one system element requires changes in every other connected element.

The Virtual Rack platform decouples all system elements within a matrix-based architecture, replacing programming for system integration with configuring components and services. As a result, integration is independent of specific interfaces or programming languages. Through the matrix, a system developer simply defines the endpoints, and the platform uses sources-and-sinks interactions to handle all required integration and automation.

A key to this approach is the intuitive Agilent Virtual Rack “storeroom” concept: Thousands of hardware, software and firmware from numerous vendors -- not just Agilent -- are included. All of these elements are accessible through an efficient, Web-like interface that enables drag-and-drop system creation and modification.

System Elements

Developers can build new systems or modify existing ones with a Virtual Rack Platform. Virtual Rack frameworks expand these platform capabilities by adding flexible Virtual Rack Modules. Applications are then built atop frameworks to address specific testing needs.

The Agilent Virtual Rack family includes three key products:

Virtual Rack Platform 7.8: One node-locked computer license to operate hardware, software, firmware and services components mounted and configured by Virtual Rack Integrator.
Virtual Rack Integrator 7.8: Enables the user to connect, operate, automate and extend hardware, software, firmware and services within a test system.
Virtual Rack Modules: Enable creation of flexible Virtual Rack frameworks from Virtual Rack Platforms. Currently available Virtual Rack Modules enable networking, telemetry, mnemonics, MIL-STD-1553, FPGA, GPS synchronization and solar-array simulation.


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