NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

Holiday Bike Build in Silicon Valley

On Friday, November 17th our Silicon Valley location hosted over 30 people from both NTS and our customer Arista for a holiday bike build event. Four teams built three bicycles each for a total of 12 bikes donated to the local YMCA chapter.

The goal for each team was to work together to earn “build points” in order to collect parts to complete the bike build. Each team was given an iPad and had to solve riddles, take a picture or do a music video to collect the “build points.” Along with the 12 bikes each team created memories and putting smiles on the faces of children that wouldn’t have anything to play with this holiday season.. It was a great way to give back to our community and have fun at the same time.

Giving back to the community is a strong tradition between Arista and NTS. For the past 20 years events like this have been done in order to support and give back to the local community. With a focus on using local caterers and restaurants and local charities, both NTS and Arista find it very important to support the communities we work in.

If you would like to make a donation this holiday season click here.

HALT Product Design and Reliability Seminar

On November 10, 2017  join engineers and technicians from our NTS Chicago facility as they host an all-day, interactive seminar on HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) covering the basics, benefits and how it can help you determine your product’s reliability. Additionally, they will introduce other available tools designed to prevent early life-cycle product failure (e.g. HASS – Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) as well as share with you, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on product reliability testing.

The seminar will run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at our Chicago, IL facility. Click here for more information and to register!

Essentials of Random Vibration and Shock Testing Training in Massachusetts

NTS ED T-2000 Vibration Test TableJoin us in Boxborough, MA as we host the Equipment Reliability Institute for their “Essentials of Random Vibration and Shock” testing course.

Learn the essentials of random vibration and shock testing with hands-on demonstrations!

Who is this course for?

This course is a must for technicians, engineers, managers, or anyone in need of practical knowledge about mechanical vibration and mechanical shock test, measurement, analysis, designing for dynamics and/or control.

To learn more about this course, click here!

To learn more about NTS Boxborough and their extensive vibration test capabilities, click here!

EMC Essentials Training at NTS Longmont, CO Testing Laboratory

Learn how to design electronic products to comply with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements at the NTS Longmont, CO EMC test laboratory.

This short course is a unique blend of theory, application and demonstration. Besides the excellent book, EMI Troubleshooting Cookbook for Product Designers, you’ll have the option to purchase the excellent textbook from Würth Electronics: Trilogy of Magnetics, at a discount. A special module has been added to course materials, which discusses some examples from the book. In addition, Würth and other vendors will be demonstrating their latest EMC related instruments and filter components.

Day one of this two day course will introduce basic EMC theory; units of measurement, time and frequency domain, differential and common mode currents, radiated emissions, PC board layout, shielding, transmission lines and magnetics. In addition, special guest presenter, Dr. Eric Bogatin, will present a segment on “Power Distribution Network (PDN) Design for Low EMI”.

Day one is crucial to understanding the day two presentation, as it will also include demonstrations of many of the basic product design principles.

The second day of the course will cover bench top EMI measurements and troubleshooting. We’ll continue with ESD and system design, followed up with practical, low-cost, tools and techniques that can be used for pre-compliance measurements as well as troubleshooting EMC problems in a more formal setting. We’ll demonstrate several probing and analysis techniques that will help identify EMC issues quickly. Several actual case studies will also be described.

If you are a technician, engineer, manager, or anyone tasked with the job of getting a product through EMC compliance testing in the Colorado region, this is the training for you! Click here to review the full agenda and speakers and register today!

Learn how Lightning Phenomena is Shaping the Wind Power Industry

Did you know that WindPower contributed more new electric generating capacity in 2016 than any other source?¹ And did you know that NTS has supported the WindPower industry for 30 years?

HV Blade

NTS will be participating in this year’s AWEA WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim, CA from May 22-25. Attending from our Pittsfield location is Andy Plumer, world renowned lightning expert, founder, and chief engineer. Joining Andy, will be Justin McKennon, senior engineer and subject matter expert in analytical modeling, and SarahMarie Snow, applications engineer.

Swing by booth #4050 to learn how advanced capabilities in analytical modeling and test services have contributed to the Wind Power industry’s growth and, help Andy, Justin, and SarahMarie celebrate 40 years in the lightning phenomena industry!

AWEA Floorplan

Click image to enlarge; for the interactive AWEA floorplan, click here.


Meet the Team


Andy Plumer

Talk with Andy regarding your potential damage issues and/or future designs to improve turbine structure and system longevity.

Andy Plumer
Founder and Chief Engineer

Andy is a long-standing participant in the IEC TC-88 PT 24—for the development of wind turbine Lightning Protection standard IEC 61400-24—and his work is well known in the formulation of advanced design and verification methods for the aircraft and wind industries.


Justin McKennon

Meet Justin and discuss how analytical modeling might be the solution for your system and structural design challenges.

Justin McKennon
Senior Engineer

Bringing his M.S.E.E., E.I.T., experience as a systems engineer from General Dynamics, Justin is highly accomplished with having made significant contributions in developing the analytical modeling software COMSOL. He has provided design solutions for several large wind industry programs, is an active participant in the Lightning Direct Effects committee for SAE RTCA DO-160, and helped establish NTS’ FEM and simulation services engineering group.


SarahMarie Snow

Let SarahMarie introduce NTS’ engineering and test service capabilities that can support your current or future program needs.

SarahMarie Snow
Applications Engineer

Possessing a wealth of knowledge—a bachelor’s in Science, certified Technical Writer, and NTS Pittsfield’s Lightning Protection of Aircraft and Avionics courses alumnus—SarahMarie has been mentored for the last 12 years by Andy Plumer and Mike Dargi. She is a dedicated applications engineer, interfacing with customers to help them find solutions for their program needs.


Capabilities and Services


Lightning Protection Design

  • Blades (traditional makeup, CFRP makeup, Anti-ice/De-Ice technology, Electronic Systems, Control devices)
  • SCADA
  • Control Electronics
  • Power Distribution
  • Structural Components (Hub, Spinner, Nacelle, Mechanical Drive Train and Yaw Control System, Tower Installation, Grounding and Equipotential Bonding)
  • Numerical Simulation Services
    • Blades with Candidate Protection Designs using COMSOL Multiphysics
    • Blade, Hub, Nacelle, Tower and Earthing Installations to predict responses to lightning strikes and performance of protection designs
    • Evaluation for protection devices (SPD, TVS, Shielding, etc.)
  • Lightning Exposure assessments (Zoning, LPZ, per IEC 61400-24)
  • Damage Risk Assessments (On- or off-site turbine inspections for incident investigation)
  • Retrofit Design services

Protection Verification Services

  • Certification Test Planning and documentation
  • Annex D of IEC 61400-24
    • High Voltage Strike Attachment testing
    • High Current Physical Damage testing
Learn More

About NTS Pittsfield


NTS Pittsfield, formerly Lightning Technologies, Inc. (LTI), is home to one of the most complete lightning-simulation laboratories in the world and ranks as an international leader in the development of sophisticated lightning protection systems for customers in the aerospace industry as well as for industrial complexes, golf courses, wind turbine farms, theme parks and other high-risk locations. NTS Pittsfield operates from an 18,000 sq ft facility which includes 14 foot and 25 foot tall generators.

NTS Pittsfield has provided lightning protection design and validation for major aircraft and space vehicles and launch facilities including NASA Space Shuttle and KSC launch complexes. Additional clients include: GE, FAA, Hamilton Sundstrand, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center, Typhoon Lagoon, and Animal Kingdom parks.

Facility Highlights

  • Design and analysis of systems and subsystems to determine the optimum protection
  • Design and testing of systems and subsystems against international standards for lightning protection
  • Consultation on lightning protection design projects as well as for lightning related problem solving, incident/accident investigations and analysis.
Learn More

¹http://www.windpowerexpo.org/content.aspx?ItemNumber=5529&navItemNumber=5417

TorBots 1197 Robot Reveal


The TorBots 1197 revealed their latest robot creation on Friday, March 3rd at South High School in Torrance, California. The six week build period came to a close and students from all grade levels gathered to not only reveal their robot but to thank everyone that made it possible.

Throughout the year the TorBots team competes in a series of “games” where they must build a robot that is capable of doing certain tasks. This year’s game is titled FIRST Steamworks where the robot must collect gears, fuel (softball-sized whiffle balls) and construct a “flying” device. Not only does it have to collect those items but it must also have the capability to hoist itself up to “fly” away with the final product. Here’s a preview of what the students were able to construct:

This is all made possible by a group of mentors, sponsors and charitable donations. Mentors are either teachers or staff at the school, volunteers within the local engineering community or alumni of the TorBots program that simply want to lend a helping hand. Sponsors help, along with fundraisers, send the team to regional, state and national competitions. Donations can range anywhere from unused equipment, safety glasses or financial donations to help keep the program alive and well.

Last summer NTS donated several testing machines from the LAX facility that would help the team test the durability of their robots, including the one to be used in the FIRST Steamworks competition. Along with the testing equipment, safety glasses were donated to maintain the high safety standard that NTS promotes at its own facilities. Equipment and safety glasses weren’t the only items donated by NTS, Jerry Shu, a Test Technician out of LAX, donated his time and knowledge to the team. As an alumni of the program Jerry knows exactly what it takes to teach the students about mechanics but also understands what it takes to inspire young minds to come up with such amazing inventions.

An opportunity to combine a formal education and real-world skills is presented to these students and is made possible through various donations of time, equipment and money. Students fabricate frames, program software, engineer gears and mechanisms and learn to come together towards one common goal to succeed at the task at hand.

The TorBots 1197 team will be participating in their first Los Angeles Regional event March 23rd – March 26th at California State University of Long Beach. For more information on the First Robotics Competition click here.

For more information on the TorBots 1197 FIRST Steamworks competition please click here.

Training: HALT – Product Design and Reliability

Do you need to know how much margin your product has beyond the specification limits? Is your design too close to the limit or possibly over-engineered?

For those responsible with designing products–ensuring the quality and overall reliability–these questions must be answered before their products go to market. Equally important is having certified that their products have met its specified reliability requirements while avoiding delays and incurring additional costs.

Join engineers and technicians from our NTS Chicago facility as they host an all-day, interactive seminar March 3, 2017 on HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) covering the basics, the benefits and its relationship with your product’s reliability. Additionally, they will introduce other available tools designed to prevent infant mortality (e.g. HASS – Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) as well as share with you, answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on product reliability testing.

Visit our events page to learn more and register today!

For more information on HALT testing offered by NTS, click here.

Training: MIL-STD-810G: Understanding, Planning and Performing Climatic and Dynamic Testing

NTS is once again pleased to host the Equipment Reliability Institute at our Santa Clarita, CA location on March 6 -9 for a four-day in depth course covering the climatic and dynamic testing methods needed to meet the requirements of the MIL-STD-810G standard.

This 4-day class focuses on the purpose of each test, the equipment required to perform each test, and the methodology to correctly apply the specified test environments. This class is applicable to ANY testing done to Environmental test standards including DO-160, IEC specifications, and all other documents which provide test methodology for environmental testing. The test methods explained and taught in this class apply to environmental testing of ANY equipment whether it is intended for military/aerospace, commercial, or consumer use.

To learn more and to register, visit the Equipment Reliability website.