Spirent Communications has announced that Aston Martin Racing (AMR) is using its Test as a Service (TaaS) platform, iTest, to assist the iconic automotive brand’s bid for FIA World Endurance Championship GTE category success.
Aston Martin Racing deploys a high-speed local area network (LAN) trackside to connect team drivers and cars with the pit crew, engineers and managers on pit lane, to carry radio communications, telemetry and video data.
The FIAWEC Super Season includes some of the world’s most gruelling tests of driver and car – including the famous Le Mans 24 Hours – hence flawless network connectivity is essential to success. Any failure in radio communications could cost the team its position in a race, while any loss of data might impact the team’s ability to make vital real-time adjustments, or contest race control decisions.
To address its event LAN test and set-up needs, Aston Martin Racing turned to its technical partnership with Spirent. As AMR Senior Analysis Engineer, Alistair Grimshaw explains: “We travel to races all over the world and until recently, every time we set up the pit garage, we had to manually check the LAN’s viability and performance – a task that was taking up a lot of time and resources. It’s much easier with iTest, all we have to do is click a button and wait a few minutes for the report.”
Working with Spirent Professional Services and using the iTest platform, the race team now has a set of automated tests that are run to ensure the network is configured correctly and faulty segments, connections or devices are replaced. The automated tests not only provide the team with the peace of mind that everything is ready for race day, it has also dramatically boosted team effectiveness with a 20X test productivity gain.
“Testing the network manually used to take over an hour every time,” said Alistair. “With iTest, it now only takes a couple of minutes and we have total confidence nothing was missed.”
iTest is a key component of Spirent’s fully-automated TaaS authoring and execution platform. It is suitable for all network automation/validation scales, ranging from trackside LANs to entire enterprise and service provider networks. Using iTest, manual testers and automation specialists produce automated and reusable tests quickly and efficiently. Together with Spirent Velocity, the TaaS platform empowers continuous testing within development cycles to dramatically speed software release deliveries, increase bug detection rates, and improve software quality.
“Since iTest is so straightforward to master, Aston Martin Racing engineers are now authoring their own automated tests as needed,” said Spirent Marketing Director, Martin Vickery. “What’s more, technicians and mechanics previously unskilled in automation, can perform needed tests unaided.
“As an AMR technical partner, it’s really satisfying to see the team rapidly resolve performance issues, whether it’s in-car or in the garage LAN environment, and see that contribute to the team’s success.”
Following a milestone first win for the new car at the 6 Hours of Shanghai race in November, Aston Martin Racing’s pursuit of success continues in 2019, when the FIAWEC SuperSeason concludes with the final three rounds of the series in the USA, Belgium and France.