Developing with Rapid Control Prototyping

Advantages of Rapid Control Prototyping
To develop a new control strategy, you have to evaluate different approaches and functions. You need to concentrate completely on your function development and should not have to worry about the performance of the prototyping hardware. Ideally, you can optimize your function designs both on the test bench and in the actual vehicle or industrial drive system, until they meet the requirements – all without having to do any programming.

Challenges of Developing Electric Motors
The trend towards mechatronic integration means that electric motors are gaining in popularity. However, their advantages are accompanied by a higher workload for integrating the additional control algorithms into the respective controller. The result is more complex controller software, which usually leads to increased develop-ment times. This drawback can be encountered by using model-based design along with rapid control prototyping (RCP) to accelerate design iterations of the control algorithm on the real object.
RCP systems for electric motor control development need to meet specific requirements with regard to:

  • Powerful system architecture
  • Flexible I/O interfaces
  • Dynamic power stages
  • An intuitive software environment

Easy Workflow
New functions are typically developed in MATLAB®/Simulink®/Stateflow®. dSPACE Real-Time Interface (RTI) is the link
between this development software and the dSPACE hardware. It automatically implements the MATLAB/Simulink/Stateflow model on the dSPACE MicroAutoBox, or the modular hardware installed in the AutoBox, or the stationary dSPACE Expansion Box. If function modifications are necessary during the tests, you can simply correct a function in Simulink and flash it to the hardware again. The dSPACE prototyping system substitutes any controller and its connections to the vehicle or the controlled system during the development process.

Solutions for Electric Drive Applications
dSPACE offers specialized products for the highly dynamic requirements of electric drives:

  • The AC Motor Control Solution is installed in the AutoBox to control diverse AC motors.
  • The AC Motor Control Solution upgrades MicroAutoBox II to a compact, flexible development system for electric motor control applications.
  • The MicroAutoBox acts as the central controller. Its high performance enables unrestricted testing of new functions.
  • The RapidPro system can be used to extend the AutoBox or MicroAutoBox. It offers specialized half-bridge and full-bridge modules which can deliver peak currents of up to 60 A for applications with electric drives and valves. The RapidPro module for the universal control of brushless electric motors provides special support, for example, for electrifying auxiliary aggregates.
  • The DS1103 PPC Controller Board is an all-rounder for rapid control prototyping that provides a real-time processor and comprehensive I/O.