Sagrad has received numerous requests for information regarding the AFTU re-qualification status and the wait times for delivering flight and engineering development units (EDU) so we have prepared this Q&A update on the timeline and expected production runs after qualification is complete.
Long lead items and a higher than anticipated interest has resulted in a need to manage production schedules for flight units. This update serves two purposes: first, for Sagrad to publish details of the program and second, to obtain feedback so that the program is successful for everyone.
What is the qualification schedule?
AFTU Acceptance Tests began in May, with qualification tests beginning June 17th. We expect qualification to wrap up about the first week of August. The schedule below highlights the testing sequence and key planned testing milestones.
Flight Qualification Testing of 4 NASA/Sagrad AFTU test articles is in progress. Milestones are shown here with completions and anticipated completion dates in parentheses:
- Acceptance Testing completed
- Transportation & Bench Handling Shock tests completed
- Transportation Random Vibration tests completed
- Thermal Cycle (24-cycles) tests completed
- Temperature / Humidity / Altitude tests - completed
- Shock and Vibration tests completed
- Electromagnetic Interference tests completed
- Repetitive Function tests completed
- Circuit Protection tests completed
- Final Full Functional Test completed
- Internal Inspection - on hold pending test data analysis
How can we monitor the progress of the qualification testing?
How confident are you that the current AFTU design will pass qualification?
Due to the fact that the AFTU passed all qualification tests in January (only failing due to a minor capacitor issue that was replaced with a new surface mount part of the same value), we have a high level of confidence that the current AFTU design will pass qualification.
How will the Novatel GPS failure impact Qualification?
Unfortunately due to the rapidly changing designs from Novetel and its failure even after stabilized for vibration, we have decided to remove the GPS all together. This allows the unit to be external (easier to update and isolate) and improve the success of this qualification. A new unit will be available soon that will be much smaller.
When do you expect to go into production?
Upon successful completion of the qualification, we will go into production immediately. Long lead parts are being secured with pre-orders. Some parts extend out for 24 weeks, others at 19. We anticipate delivery of an initial run of flight-ready AFTUs in early August for those with pre-orders. Without upgrades to test stations we are also limited to the number that can be produced monthly. Should demand spike, these upgrades will be implemented. However there is a lead time to increasing test capabilities.
When should we place an order?
Due to the long lead time of several parts, we have begun taking orders for delivery of units this Fall. Customers will be placed into the production queue on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage those that need units in 2019 or early 2020 to place an order even prior to qualification completion to ensure timely delivery of units.
What happens if you do not pass qualification?
This depends on the qualification issue. Generally the worst case timeline would be redesign time + build time + qual time = 130 days. Due to the fact that the units passed testing already, it is assumed the hardware is robust. Through hole capacitors were replaced with SMT for a single line item on the bom. Expectations are high the units will pass.
Are Engineering Development Units available?
Engineering Development Units (EDU) are currently available for customers; EDUs are identically designed, functionally-equivalent units intended to allow customer early hands-on AFTU operation, training, and integration into their overall Flight Safety System. They are not intended for flight but provide identical performance and interface capabilities. In a few cases resistors are replaced with commercial versions. Generally parts are not from the PPP controlled lots, but are the same parts.
Will Sagrad be providing training and support for AFTUs?
EDU systems generally include basic support for initial integration (remote phone support). Technical support can be purchased separately.
How can I inquire about support for AFTUs?
You can obtain phone support by calling 321-474-0974 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Generally a support person is named to accounts after a supply agreement and/or PO is put in place with direct contacts available for future support.
Will AFTUs come with a GPS?
It is unlikely this will happen. Sagrad is working on the next version of AFTU and then will create an external GPS.