The age-old debate regarding art versus science: Some engineers take a romantic approach, while others take a more traditional approach. Whether debugging is an art or a science or a combination of both will continue to be debated, but all sides can agree the tools can make all the difference between timely success and riding a metaphorical motorcycle down the road of failure.
The data busses in aircraft and spacecraft require very high quality in transmission and reception since proper communication of commands and data are crucial to operation. The ARINC 429 standard used predominately in commercial aircraft and the MIL-STD-1553 bus used in military avionics and space vehicles (military and commercial) have some common characteristics as well as important differences. This paper will give useful examples of how to view, test and troubleshoot these busses using digital oscilloscopes.