Yenra : Manufacturing : Automotive Sensors : Flexible system to integrate signals and actuator drivers into rapid control prototyping of electronic control unit functions


A new system concept provides unprecedented flexibility for adapting automotive sensor and actuator signals to prototyping platforms.

The dSPACE RapidPro System improves the process of integrating automotive sensors and actuators, which is a key requirement in rapid control prototyping (RCP) for electronic control unit functions. It will make designing, implementing and adapting project-specific signal conditioning and actuator driver circuits less costly and time-consuming.

The new system is compact, robust and modular, as well as extremely efficient for adapting to changing requirements and reuse in new projects. It has three different units, which can be equipped with software- and hardware-configurable modules for signal conditioning and actuator drivers.

With its numerous standard components and flexibility, the dSPACE RapidPro System can greatly reduce, or in some cases eliminate, the additional work otherwise involved in preparing circuits for new projects.

RapidPro prototypes have been successfully used in a variety of customer projects, including programs at DaimlerChrysler, where they were used together with dSPACE's MicroAutoBox for active body control.

The RapidPro units are the RapidPro SC Unit (signal conditioning), RapidPro Power Unit (actuator drivers) and RapidPro Control Unit (for intelligent I/O subsystems). They can be used individually or combined as required to make a single physical unit called a RapidPro stack.

A large selection of off-the-shelf, plug-on modules is available for signal conditioning, for example for crankshaft and camshaft sensor signals and for actuator drivers such as a two-channel, full-bridge driver module.

New modules are constantly being developed by dSPACE. The system already comprises standard modules that cover the needs of numerous applications and custom modules can be integrated into the system as well.

The RapidPro System can be used together with the dSPACE prototyping platforms (MicroAutoBox/AutoBox) to develop control applications for engine, transmission, vehicle dynamics, body electronics, drives and others. They can be used in a vehicle, in a laboratory or on a test bench. PC software called ConfigurationDesk provides fast, intuitive configuration of all RapidPro's hardware parameters, as well as diagnostics.

The RapidPro Control Unit adds a special feature to the dSPACE MicroAutoBox and AutoBox prototyping platforms: an intelligent I/O subsystem based on an MPC565 microcontroller. Engineers working on applications such as engine management can use this to capture complex input/output signals such as crankshaft and camshaft positions independent of the model's simulation step size, and also to reduce the load on the prototyping platform's main processor. Generating complex signals for ignition and injection is also possible with a subsystem consisting of a RapidPro Control Unit and a RapidPro Power Unit.

dSPACE produces engineering tools for embedded controller development and testing. It provides integrated hardware and software for prototyping control algorithms, automatic generation of production code, controller testing, controller calibration, and engineering support services.