Norfolk Ship Support Activity’s (NSSA) Miniature/Micro-Miniature (2M) Electronic Repair Lab began trouble shooting faulty circuit cards for the Sonar Set AN/SQS-53C received from USS Cole (DDG 67) March 14.
For the second consecutive year, NSSA’s total repairs surpassed the totals of all other Navy Intermediate Maintenance Activities.
“NSSA’s 2M Lab tests and repairs circuit cards and electronic modules for the ships in the Atlantic, 5th and 6th Fleets,” said Electronics Technician (ET) 1st Class Jeremy Ancell, NSSA 2M Lab leading petty officer. “We were able to trouble shoot 12,000 electronics cards in FY13.”
The lab spends anywhere from two to 16 hours trouble shooting an individual electronics card or system component that comes into the lab for repair.
“We run signature analysis on cards that come into the lab that are assumed to be bad. Through our analog signature analysis display monitors, we are able to see what signals are being sent from the combined components and we know what those components’ signatures should look like. If the signatures are different, then we are able to tell which components have gone bad. This allows us to trouble shoot without having to actually be in the system,” said Ancell.
Once an electronics card has been trouble shot and the proper repairs made, the card is then sent back to the ship for Operational Testing (OP Test). If the card does not pass the OP Test, the ship is able to order a new electronics card at that point. This is where the NSSA 2M lab excels, as roughly 89 percent of their repairs pass OP Testing once the card is placed back into the troubled system.
“We do not close the maintenance job until we receive the OP Test results from the ship on the particular circuit card or system component,” said NSSA’s 2M/Module Test and Repair Lab Supervisor Laura Petty. “If the OP Test is not satisfactory, we do not take credit for the repair.”
NSSA’s 2M Lab is also able to aid ships in need of specialty parts since its lab has abundant in house recourses and the ability to reach out to other labs and support facilities to procure certain items.
“We have a couple hundred thousand individual components in our on hand piece parts inventory that we are able to use every day, which makes us a valuable asset to the ships on the waterfront in need of timely repair to their systems,” said Ancell.
Attention to detail and the ability to create processes that effectively assess damaged electronics is what has led the NSSA 2M lab to its continued success.
“I spent 14 years helping with the development of test routines for the 2M labs, so I knew that the test routines were unable to perform dynamic tests,” said Petty. “We then created a new process in February 2011 that combined dynamic testing with static testing which greatly improved our capabilities.”
NSSA’s 2M lab consists of 15 ETs and three civilian technicians and is located in Building LF-18 on Naval Station Norfolk.
“We have such great technicians that do a wonderful job learning and following our procedures. They all strive for excellence. It is very rewarding to do this job and to have a positive impact on the Fleet,” said Petty.
Press Release, March 18, 2014; Image: Wikimedia