Author Archives: Teresa Hardy

Sentinel Power Webinar

Join us for the Sentinel Power webinar to find out more about how this product line can help you monitor your most critical power supply systems.

Sentinel Power WebinarPower supply systems may wear out and cause catastrophic failures in the systems they are designed to enable. Fortunately, even when a power supply system is still performing within nominal limits, it may exhibit tell-tale signs of degradation. Such degradation signatures are extracted and analyzed by Sentinel Power in order to provide advance warning of impending failure and actionable maintenance data.

Sentinel Power is a product line within the Sentinel Suite family of prognostic health management (PHM) and condition-based maintenance (CBM) solutions, and it promises to help reduce system disruption while also avoiding unnecessary maintenance events in numerous switch-mode power supply systems.

Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday August 12, 2020 at 10:00 AM PT (5:00 PM UTC).

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    Sentinel Motion Webinar July 2020

    Sentinel Motion is an IoT based sensor system that monitors mission critical equipment by observing any combination of temperature, linear, rotational or vibrational force. The advanced diagnostics and prognostics data output from this system is a critical component in any PHM or CBM platform.

    This proprietary combination of smart sensors, reasoners, and display software provide fault signature detection in a number of industrial operating environments with rotating shafts, gearbox systems, and other electromechanical systems in the Aerospace, Energy, and Rail/Transportation sectors.

    Join us for the Sentinel Motion Webinar to hear more about what this product can do in your application.

    Scroll down to sign up now for July 8, 2020 10am PDT.

    Sentinel Motion Stack


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      Prediction Estimates: Description, Evaluation, and Accuracy

      Learn how to increase prediction accuracy in Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) and Condition-Based Data (CBD)

      The second in a series of exclusive presentations by James “Hoffy” Hofmeister.

      Improve the accuracy of your maintenance prediction information with this unique approach to prognostics.

      Algorithm-based Prognostic Health Monitoring (PHM) done the Ridgetop Group way, can improve the maintenance cycles on your applications from critical Aerospace systems, Lithium Ion battery systems, to Railroad car bearings.

      Sign up here and you will receive instructions to join the event.

      June 10, 2020 10am (GMT-7)

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        Machine Failure and Protection Technologies Presentation

        Learn the latest in Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) and Condition-Based Data (CBD) with this exclusive presentation by James Hofmeister.

        The seminar uses an exemplary PHM system to introduce the attendee to often-encountered applications, problems, and solution methodology and techniques associated with condition-based maintenance (CBM) using condition-based data (CBD).

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        April 16, 2020 10am (GMT-7)

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          Newest Publication on Prognostics and Health Management

          Prognostics And Health Management
          A Practical Approach to Improving System Reliability Using Condition-Based Data

          Douglas Goodman
          James P. Hofmeister
          Dr. Ferenc Szidarovszky

          Available on Amazon June 4th, 2019
          Order on Amazon now


          Tucson AZ. – May 14, 2019 – Ridgetop Group, Inc. of Tucson, AZ today announced that some of its key Researchers have written a book entitled “Prognostics and Health Management, A Practical Approach to Improving System Reliability Using Condition-Based Data”. The authors include Doug Goodman, Chief Engineer and Company Founder, James Hofmeister, Distinguished Engineer, and Ferenc Szidarovszky, PhD, a renowned authority in Algorithm design.

          Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd, and available on, the book provides a solid reference text to technical personnel who are interested in or responsible for system maintenance and are being asked to implement the latest methods of predictive maintenance. The book outlines methods for adopting prognostics to support predictive maintenance and advanced warning of impending failures, through implementation of Prognostics/Health Management (PHM), and/or Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM). This area is becoming increasingly important in all sectors of mechanical systems maintenance and wear analysis. The Author’s believe, more importantly, that systems like those described in the book will become more necessary and even considered standard equipment on new autonomous systems such as: drones, driverless vehicles, and other autonomous transports systems that are becoming more and more ubiquitous in today’s society.
          Dr. Andre Kleyner, Reliability Series Senior Editor, Wiley writes “This book has been written by the leading experts and state-of-the-art practioners in the field of health management/monitoring. It discusses the many technical aspects of PHM along with its cost benefits …”
          Tom Heiser, President and CEO stated, “Ridgetop continues to expand its operations as our customers adopt advanced PHM and IVHM systems. We are pleased to work with Wiley and Dr. Andre Kleiner, Series Editor, to introduce this ground-breaking and practical book. Our customers include engineers in all areas of transportation, aerospace, energy generation, and industrial automation. Those same engineers are now being called on to use the latest techniques in remote monitoring and autonomous reporting of impending failures to insure the safe operation of highly complex systems. It is with great pride that we announce this publication designed to help our customers implement these systems. “
          Ridgetop Group is a privately held AS9100D-certified company, specializing in the development of advanced diagnostic methodologies and products, CBM+, and Prognostic Health Management (PHM), ensuring precise identification and isolation of system anomalies, advance notice of impending systems failure at the integrated device level, and both hardware and software for mission critical systems for avionics, rolling stock, and energy applications.

          Ridgetop Group and Autotest Co. Sign Agreement to Combine Product and Sales Strengths for ATE Market


          San Antonio, TX and Tucson AZ. – May 6, 2019 – Autotest Company Geo W. Cox and Sons, Inc. of San Antonio, TX and Ridgetop Group, Inc. of Tucson, AZ today announced the signing of a re-seller agreement whereby Ridgetop Group would take over the global sales and marketing of Autotest Co. products.

          This new agreement combines the Ridgetop Group’s technical problem solving capabilities and existing technical sales channels throughout the US, Europe, and Asia with the engineering, manuacturing expertise and 42 year history of proven power supply test products and services of Autotest Co.

          Robert Cox, President of Autotest stated: “Autotest Co. and Ridgetop Group have been exploring ways to take advantage of each other’s strengths for several years. Today, I am proud to announce that we have reached a definitive agreement in which Ridgetop Group will take over all of the sales and marketing functions from Autotest.”

          Tom Heiser, President and CEO of Ridgetop Group added: “After some initial discussions, Bob and I realized we could really help each other meet the characterization and production test needs in this highly specialized industry. We continue to explore ways to deepen our partnership and hope we can make more announcements like this in the near future.”

          See the full press release>>

          Autotestcon 2018 Presentation

          This year at Autotestcon 2018, Doug Goodman will be presenting Alternative Multivariate Methods for State Estimation, Anomaly Detection, and Prognostics.

          This presentation is part of the PCB Diagnostics and Repair session on Wednesday September 19th, at 10am, and will delve into the Multivariate Analysis at the core of the Ridgetop Group Advanced Diagnostics and Prognostics products.

          This advancement in the algorithm for data analysis can improve your testing capability by broadening the scope of relevant inputs to narrow down the cause of failures. This presentation represents the next steps in our foundational analytics tools and products. These advancements will allow you to improve the accuracy of you equipment by allowing you to use multiple data points for example: combining current and temperature measurement analysis to create a more refined picture of what actually caused a failure or anamaly. This new family of multivariate algorithms is now part of Ridgetop’s Advanced Data Analytics Reasoner tool set. Yes, we see it as a form of RADAR that helps find failures. Stop by and talk to Doug Goodman and Tom Heiser about licensing this algorithm to improve your test flow.

          Ridgetop Group specializes in combining sensors, test and measurement techniques with proprietary data analytics in systems for semiconductor test and qualification, and Hi-Rel applications estimating remaining useful life in avionics and transportation. The research scientists at RGI continue to advance this predictive modeling technique that is commonly referred to as Prognostics.

          ProChek : The Best Way To Obtain Reliability and Precision Current Measurements

          The ProChek Characterization System

          Rapid precision current measurements in IC production test and understanding better test methodologies can help reduce reliability risks and ensure reliably working circuits.
          Using a number of practical cases as a baseline, this webinar illustrates the benefits of fast and highly repeatable precision current measurements and presents measurement tools and solutions that support attaining those benefits.
          May 23, 2018 10am-11am (UTC-7)
          Sign up here

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          Come listen to Dr. Hans Manhaeve explain how fast and highly repeatable precise current measurements can be provided at low cost by Ridgetop’s ProChek family for production test, characterization, qualification and failure analysis.

          Learning Objectives
            Understand measurement performance parameters and how to properly assess instrument specifications.
          • Learn how precise current measurements and related test methodologies can help weed out reliability risks and ensure reliably working circuits.
          • Learn about Q-Star Test™ modules that are deployed around the world across a wide variety of rapid precision current measurements in IC production test, characterization, qualification, and failure analysis applications.

          From Prognostics to Machine Learning

          Ridgetop Group specializes in combining sensors, test and measurement techniques with proprietary data analytics in systems for semiconductor test and qualification, and Hi-Rel applications estimating remaining useful life in avionics. This predictive modeling technique has become an industry standard known as Prognostics as well as our main focus at RGI for nearly two decades.

          At ITC 2017 Ridgetop Group will be demonstrating the Prochek family of parametric testers, a compact, flexible test platform for both conventional and rad-hard characterization, manufacturing test, incoming inspection test, or Spice model generation. Measuring real-time thresholds then analyzing with the proprietary algorithms of ProChek is the data analytics part of prognostics as well as a first step in machine learning. Our products use deterministic based models, and then use reasoners to predict semiconductor failure.

          ProChek Plus family unitProChek Plus™ is a flexible and dedicated semiconductor qualification and reliability characterization system that is an effective tool for both conventional and rad-hard characterization. This innovative low-cost parametric test system can rapidly characterize intrinsic process reliability and monitor process quality. Applications include failure and stress testing analysis, manufacturing test for popular I/F silicon equipment and temperature analysis using a test coupon.

          • High Resolution DC Parametric Measurements ( 1 pA or 1uV)
          • Up to 50X throughput test speed vs what is presently available
          • Handles Low Voltage and Low Currents for next generation nodes
          • Temperature Sense Measurements
          • Sweep Measurement Mode
          • Pulse, Frequency and Measurement Capability Plug in Modules Available
          • Popular High Speed Serial I/F for Control and Deterministic Data Reduction for Analytics and Prognostics
          • USB Data Backup
          • Standard output data formats
          • Up to 48 programmable SMUs
          • Lowest Cost Portable Lab Instrument
          • FVMI and FVFCMI Operation

          Read more about the Procheck family of products. Or stop by our booth to see the Procheck tester in action and hear more about what Ridgetop Group products can do for your test and characterization process, such as:

          SJ BISTTM for Interconnect Fault Detection:

          SJBIST_InterconnectSJ BIST is an effective tool to detect faulty solder joints in 2.5D IC packages, die-crack detection and cabling.  Proven over years of applications in harsh environments, SJ BIST offers a unique method of providing fault isolation.

          SJ BIST can be used to enhance test equipment and test procedures serving initial board, cable and system qualifications but also servers to monitor systems and cables throughout their usage time. SJ BIST enables early detection and identification of a device or assembly likely to experience a malfunction. To do so, the prognostic needs have to be programmed/designed-in into the host subject to life-time monitoring and uses dedicated interconnects/paths that are continuously monitored and serve as canaries. Serving this purpose, the SJ BIST function is made available as a synthesizable core expressed in Hardware Definition Languages (HDLs) such as Verilog or VHDL, serving a quick and easy implementation inside any programmable or hard-coded IC.

          NightHawk: No Fault Found Software ToolkitTM:

          NightHawk_blockUsing a set of advanced anomaly detection algorithms, NightHawk provides an interactive test development system that will reduce, or eliminate, no fault founds (NFFs) on critical systems. This new application provides enhancements to test program set (TPS) code to detect soft faults on ‘Bad Actor’ Circuit Card Assemblies (CCAs) and other test articles, which remain difficult to isolate using conventional TPS methods.

          NightHawk offers the ability to minimize maintenance time by quickly identifying the root cause of difficult-to-find faults in CAAs and modules. This capability does not exist with conventional suppliers, making Ridgetop’s approach at leveraging its background in advanced anomaly detection algorithms to be the leading choice in next generation NFF isolation and diagnosis. Take the opportunity at ITC 2017 to learn about the NightHawk capabilities and how our advanced algorithmic methodologies can reduce lifetime costs that traditional TPS are unable. In addition, visit our website and learn more about NightHawk.


          This handheld short and disconnect identifier is a fast, reliable, high performance cable and power system tester. As the integrity of power transmission through main terminals, cables and power supplies is crucial in power systems, this tool effectively tests and isolates faults in power supplies and cabling. Originally developed for use in unique aircraft applications, the portable handheld CPT1000 device provides signal monitoring, cable testing, and stimulus-and-response testing. The CPT1000 has two 37-pin cable ports for testing different types of power supplies and cables, and uses a rechargeable battery for portability. Witness the versatility of the CPT1000 at booth 219 where our VP of Worldwide Operations, Craig Wentzel, and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Hans Manhaeve, will be demonstrating CPT1000. And if you are unable to visit us in person, make sure to come to our product page, where you can learn more about CPT1000 as well all of our other advanced diagnostic and prognostic solutions.


          Ridgetop Group’s team of senior researchers have a rich technical range of experience from theoretical approaches in numerical methods, linear and non-linear system dynamics, multi-objective analysis to applied techniques in IDDQ/IDDT monitors and quiescent and transient supply current measurement, such as:

          Q-Star TestTM:

          Q-Star_picRidgetop Europe’s Q-Star Test static/quiescent current measurement instruments (also referred to as Iddq or Issq modules) serve a wide range of current measurement applications such as: Standard and advanced Iddq and/or Issq tests; standby current measurements; power-down current measurements; bias current measurements; average current measurements; analog DC and low frequency current measurements. In addition, Ridgetop Europe’s Q-Star Test dynamic current measurement instruments (also referred to as Iddt modules) serve a wide range of active current measurement applications, including: Dynamic and transient (Iddt) current tests; power profiling of circuits and systems; active current consumption; and e-fuse programming validation.

          Ridgetop Group offers a range of tools for semiconductor test and characterization in addition to the ProCheck family of parametric testers, including Q-Star Test™ Current Measurement, Sentinel Silicon Prognostic Cells, the InstaCell IP Library of Analog/Mixed Signal design blocks and the SJ BIST™ Interconnect Monitors. This is what we call the “Five-level Model Progression of Prognostic Solutions” from die level to system level. We provide consulting services, training services and product solutions for semiconductor, transportation, energy and aerospace applications.

          Ridgetop Group is the leader of advanced prognostic and diagnostic sensoring capabilities and continues to find the top by and see us at booth 219.

          Nighthawk No Fault Found Banner

          The Industry’s Best Solution For No Fault Found

          NightHawk™ was developed to solve the problem of “No Fault Found” (NFF) instances in electronic subsystems in aircraft.  NFFs occur when a performance problem exists, but conventional testing does not find or indicate a problem.  Initially developed, tested and validated on the Air Force VDATS system,  NightHawk™ was subsequently implemented into various Automated Test Equipment (ATE) clusters.  NightHawk functionality can be ported to the Navy’s eCASS platform to provide additional tools to improve test coverage of key electronic subsystems in Naval Aircraft to provide modern test and logging data analytic tools to handle aging aircraft problems and prolong the sustainability of the fleet.

          NightHawk can significantly reduce the Mean-Time-to-Repair (MTTR) – up to 60% – by pinpointing the specific electronic circuit boards that are defective, but still pass the legacy TPS tests.  NightHawk can benefit both the military (NAVAIR, Air Force, Army Aviation) as well as commercial aircraft fleet operators such as FedEx World Services and other commercial airlines.

          NightHawk Enhancements to Conventional Automated Test Equipment Shortcomings
          Test program sets (TPSs) currently used to test and debug electronic problems on aircraft are largely developed by OEMs that support acceptance requirements of their subsystems decades earlier.  With operation of the aircraft over decades in harsh environments, encompassing shock, vibration, lightning strikes and temperature extremes, the components in the subsystems can drift from their original values.  These variations can cause “soft faults” that go undetected by the original TPS, so NightHawk was developed to root-out these difficult-to-detect performance anomalies using advanced anomaly detection.

          These analysis capabilities rely on time and frequency-domain test software for thorough analysis of aging avionics and weapon systems that have been subjected to harsh environments, failures caused by parameter drift, and component degradation, all of which can result in elusive, intermittent ‘soft faults’ that negatively impact the mission objective and increase lifecycle maintenance costs.
          Nighthawk Flowchart