Hill Air Force Base: Repair and Recommission of Legacy Test Equipment Using Chroma ATE


Hill AFB is looking to modernize their current test equipment; originally, they had been using manual testers to repair and recommission vital airplane components including power supplies, inverters, control devices, etc. By upgrading existing test equipment, Hill AFB will reduce down time while increasing testing accuracy and speed.


Chroma provided a single universal testing platform (C8000) that would replace multiple existing test equipment at Hill AFB. The C8000 included: two 3phase AC sources and a single phase AC source, one high power DC Load and 8 lower power modular DC Loads, 5 DC sources, one 80611 Timing and Noise Analyzer, Oscilloscope, a Waveform Generator, and a Data logger module that includes 40 measurement channels and 20 general purpose switching relays. All of the components of the C8000 are monitored and controlled by a single PC through Chroma’s Power Pro software. In addition, all of the test results are accessible to custom fixtures through a receiver interface panel.

Actions Performed

The biggest challenge for Chroma was designing a universal design that would be able to solve Hill AFB’s problems in a single model. The original development was called the CSS-228 which covered about 20 different end products; later upgraded to the CSS-228B, the model is now able to test over 30 additional end products. It achieve this, Chroma had to reverse engineer many of the test procedure translations in order to understand the old equipment. Furthermore, the documentation for the old equipment and test procedures were not always clear, and in some cases, missing altogether.

Before issuing the CSS-228B, Chroma presented a preliminary design review to Hill AFB before the final design was carried out.


Hill AFB accepted the CSS-228B after an acceptance test procedure and a Chroma on-site and customer site physical and functional audit. Part of the audit process was identifying and forcing faults intentionally to identify and confirm any hardware malfunction. Hill AFB was also able to self-test the model to further prove functionality.

Customer Feedback

Hill AFB purchased 11 of the CSS-228B testers.