• 1304 Brookfield Court, High point, NC 27262

About our Instrumentation

Santa Barbara Automation is focused on customer requirements and satisfaction. Our background in electronics design has allowed us to develop tools and products that specifically support our equipment and the industries we serve. We have recently expanded our listing of instrumentation with offerings for performance verification and environmental test. These measurement verification tools provide fast, production line confirmation of machine performance, avoiding product return due to failure or drift in multimeters, broken wiring or improper maintenance.

We are a world leader in Thermal Transient testing, having produced several generations of high performance hardware and software over the past 15 years. For the first time anyone performing Thermal Transient tests may easily determine key performance indicators such as resistance, temperature, thermal conductance and power dissipation both in the bridgewire and surrounding structure.

Our recent expansion of the Thermal Transient software application is now available free of charge. With this latest version, waveform information archived in XML format may be used by anyone, anywhere, to provide thermal analysis – without hardware. Those firms with design and production facilities in different locations may evaluate product or review performance, where both sides have the same display of the original data and the resulting analysis information.


During Thermal Transient test a selected constant current is placed through the initiator under test to produce a heating effect. If the bridgewire, which is typically resistive, has a measurable temperature coefficient then the resulting change in voltage drop across the bridgewire is indicative of the temperature of the bridgewire and of the thermal characteristics of the surrounding environment. A great amount of information may be extracted using our state of the art methods.

Thermal Transient analysis is used as an indicator of individual part quality and also overall manufacturing and process quality. Variation in materials and assembly methods may be detected with this high speed test (typically 10 – 80 milliseconds) and used for optimizing manufacturing yield and decreasing reject rates.

EP FET8 03

Our production related Thermal Transient products are currently used to test more than two million parts per week on manufacturing lines around the world. They are designed for very high accuracy, high speed and high reliability.

The smaller desktop Thermal Transient products are used for engineering design and analysis and to give confirmation of production part performance. They provide greater flexibility in the range of selectable current and pulse time and are intended for low volume manual test, quality control and product design. Choose from the standalone Thermal Transient Test System or the Test System with multimeter interface for resistance test. This second option provides a significant increase in test speed, giving resistance and thermal results in approximately 1 second.

Our latest Thermal Transient software application, R314, may be downloaded free of charge. With this new tool waveform files are saved in XML format and may be sent to anyone, anywhere, for viewing and analysis without hardware. The latest version includes a drop-down menu for part number selection and a trigger output for external sychronization.

The XML waveform file contains all information necessary to determine bridgewire and overall initiator performance. With engineering and production facilities in different locations you may now exchange files and view identical performance graphs. 

Process or materials changes may be quickly evaluated with our new graphical compare feature.

Screen shot 1

Navigation and zoom are key features of the new application. The graphical display has autoscaling, and will automatically adjust to measured values of voltage, current and time. The user may zoom into any portion of the graph, scroll across or up, and copy parts of the image to the Windows clipboard for inclusion within reports.

The simple operator screen is ideal for basic and lower volume test requirements. Numeric values for bridgewire pre and post test resistance and the Thermal Transient value in millivolts are clearly shown. A graphical display of bridgewire resistance, voltage across the bridgewire or current through the bridgewire may be selected.

Advanced analysis tools are available near the bottom of the screen and may be used if greater detail is required.


When testing initiators to determine all-fire and no-fire conditions an accurate, reliable instrument must be used, one that will deliver repeatible energy to the part under test each time.

This microcontroller-based desktop instrument has all the features and versatility to allow precision capacitive discharge testing under many different conditions.

The rear panel provides 5-way binding post connectors for an interlock input that must be closed to enable testing, for a user selectible firing capacitor and series resistance, and the output to the part under test.

A front panel 10-turn potentiometer is used to set the firing voltage. After all adjustments are complete the firing capacitor may be charged and then discharged into the part under test.


This simple constant current source is unique, in that it has been designed to provide both safe operation and maximum protection for the part under test.

Separate 10-turn potentiometers on the front panel allow selection of output current and current limit setpoint. The output will be disabled and latched off should the output current ever exceed the limit setpoint. To reapply current the current source must be placed in the standby mode and reset.

The rear panel has inputs for a safety interlock that must be closed to enable the output, and for a remote on/off modulation input.



These products are designed for fast, repeatable equipment verification to avoid the risk of shipping untested or improperly tested parts.


The High Current Measurement Verification module may be used to accurately replicate the response of an initiator. 


It has a resistance value of 2.00 ohms and a repeatable Thermal Transient value of (I*.10) millivolts for any current between 200 milliamps and 10 amps.


Full Kelvin connections and silver-plated bus bars are used for the highest accuracy. A long life internal battery provides isolation and allows remote use.

Other values are available upon request.


This 2-channel Measurement Verification module is intended for use on our FET-C Series final electrical test machines. Battery powered, with silver-plated headers that are placed into the nests on the FET-C, the Dual Channel module appears to the equipment to be 2 golden standard parts. The technician may use this module to confirm accurate measurement capability before each new Lot or shift, or after maintenance to verify the ability of the equipment to accurately test parts.

The module will reliably produce resistance measurements of 2.00 ohms, Thermal Transient values of (I*.10) millivolts for any current between 125 milliamps and 1 amp, and insulation resistance values of 10.0 megohms.

The standard values for resistance, Thermal Transient and insulation resistance may be changed upon request.

Only very reliable, low drift, high quality components are used. Each module is delivered with a traceable certificate of calibration.


Designed as a small circuit board with an assembly option of either a battery holder or an isolated DC to DC converter, this module may be ordered as an open circuit board or in a small protective enclosure. Shielded cables with banana plugs and mating terminations for Thermal Transient or other products are available.

When powered by the internal 9 volt battery, the Single Channel Measurement Verification module may be used on the production floor to quickly test the response of different equipment using a single accurate standard.

The optional version with an external wall adapter for power is better suited for fixed installations. For example, a test chamber that must be periodically qualified before use.

Both instruments use reliable, high quality components and come with traceable certificates of calibration.

The Single Channel Verification module will reliably produce resistance measurements of 2.00 ohms, Thermal Transient values of (I*.10) millivolts for any current between 125 milliamps and 1 amp. With the appropriate interface connector insulation resistance may be tested. Values of 10.0 – 100.0 megohms are standard.

The standard values for resistance, Thermal Transient and insulation resistance may be changed upon request.