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An integrated approach to test planning provides several advantages as opposed to a nonintegrated approach. What is a non-integrated approach? Consider test campaigns where the test cards are written by one Flight Test Engineer (FTE) in one software program, the Test Hazard Analyses (THA) are perhaps written by the same FTE but in a separate program, the flight package (also referred to as test sequence or test card deck) is written in another program, the instrumentation parameter requirements are managed in another program, and the weight and balance planning is done by another FTE in yet another program or by hand. Now consider the several other documents and products that build up a test program and how many people are responsible for drafting them. In a larger flight test organization, that could easily be approaching a dozen people. For a smaller organization, the responsibility could rest entirely on one individual with a large workload and a lot to track, with the opportunity to inadvertently let details of various products slip through the cracks. The non-integrated test planning approach causes concerns with respect to the efficiency, quality and safety of a test program where schedule and program risk may be realized, or an unfortunate error in test planning can propagate to something larger during test execution.

Test and Evaluation organizations around the planet have realized that these are issues that can be solved with an integrated approach to test planning and have begun implementing either proprietary test planning software or taking advantage of commercially available solutions. These solutions essentially serve as risk mitigation towards the hazards associated with realized program risk or unforeseen issues that would otherwise propagate through the test planning process and become realized during test execution. One example of an integrated test planning platform aimed to solve these issues is Test Organizer and Manager (TOM) which has been developed and refined over the last several years, across a diverse spread of flight test programs by AeroTEC, Inc. The objective of this paper is to explore the reasons an integrated approach is not only beneficial but critical and show how TOM implements this integrated approach. READ NOW

Conor Denton, AeroTEC, Inc

Daniel Cox, AeroTEC, Inc

Harbin Kim, AeroTEC, Inc