Retrofit Engineering Services

IEPU software

SwRI provides Operational Flight Program development to support both current and future upgrades to the Turbine Engine Monitoring System / Airborne Data Recorder (TEMS/ADR) avionics LRU in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 procedures. SwRI’s proven processes have resulted in efficient and cost-effective software engineering development and simulation capabilities that allow us to successfully design, test, integrate and perform formal qualification tests in preparation for aircraft flight test.

F-16 fighter aircraft taking off

Fighter aircraft are prepared to respond to airborne threats detected over the United States and Canada by the U.S. Air Force Atmospheric Early Warning System (AEWS). Radar consoles used by the AEWS contain electronic components, such as the circuit board shown, that are becoming increasingly hard to repair or replace. For the AEWS system, SwRI provided Form, Fit, Function (FFF) replacements of Circuit Card Assemblies (CCAs – both analog and digital), keyboards, trackballs, printers and power supplies. (Fighter aircraft photo courtesy U.S. Air Force by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis.)

Related Brochure

image of Retrofit Engineering flyer

Aging equipment and machinery may become outmoded, unserviceable or unable to satisfy today's high-performance requirements. To modernize or replace outdated equipment, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) provides a wide range of retrofit engineering services, including:

  • Redesign of mechanical, electrical and software systems, subsystems or components
  • Replacement of outdated technology with modern and innovative solutions
  • Increased mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) of high-failure items
  • Development of efficient and effective in-house diagnostic and maintenance capabilities
  • Improvement of system or subsystem reliability and maintainability

Retrofit Engineering Applications

Drawing on SwRI's multidisciplinary capabilities, SwRI engineers solve problems associated with requirements for:

  • Development of technical data package
  • Drawings or technical data ownership
  • Enhanced functionality of components or systems
  • Establishment of in-house maintenance capabilities
  • Identification or qualification of new vendors
  • Product improvement

Using a systems engineering approach, SwRI conducts all aspects of retrofit engineering, including:

  • Analysis and design review
  • Design
  • Simulation
  • Prototype development
  • Design validation
  • Documentation and support

Mature Aircraft Systems Support

To support the SwRI mechanical redesign program, engineers may use the following equipment, software applications and procedures:

  • Coordinate measuring machines to determine dimensions
  • Optical, scanning and auger microscopes to provide metallurgy information
  • Pro/ENGINEER™ and Solidworks® to create virtual prototypes
  • ANSYS™, Solidworks® and COSMOS® to provide stress and thermal modeling
  • Stereolithography to produce rapid prototypes
  • Temperature, humidity, vibration and electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMI/EMC) tests to evaluate prototypes

SwRI’s electrical redesign efforts may include:

  • DxDesigner® to capture schematics
  • MATLAB® and Simulink® to model control system and DSP functions
  • DXSIM® to simulate analog electrical circuits
  • ModelSim® to simulate digital circuitry and programmable logic
  • Synplify® to synthesize VHDL or Verilog hardware descriptions Xilinx® ISE™ to generate programmable logic files for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA)
  • Hyperlynx® to perform signal integrity analysis
  • PADS® to lay out printed circuit boards
  • Automatic test equipment (ATE) and test program sets (TPS) to support new components

Related Terminology

retrofit engineering  •  aging equipment  •  unserviceable machinery  •  outdated equipment  •  mechanical system redesign  •  outdated technology replacement

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.