Hardware-in-the-loop simulation lets you test a large variety of real components for aerospace applications. The HIL simulator has a very flexible setup and replaces the physical environment in which the system under test, such as a line-replaceable unit (LRU), is embedded during operation. The system under test transmits control signals to the HIL simulator, which calculates the response of the simulated environment in real time and returns the corresponding sensor data to the LRU. This approach is commonly known as closed-loop simulation and makes it possible to test embedded aerospace components around the clock in a controlled laboratory environment, thus enabling detailed, fully automated and reproducible tests in nearly all conceivable flight situations.
In this use case, the dSPACE system simulates the entire mission of a high-altitude research rocket carrying experimental payloads. The objective is to verify the correct behavior of the navigation computer, which is achieved in several test steps. First, the dSPACE SCALEXIO HIL simulator is only connected to the navigation computer. In this test phase, the navigation devices, for example, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), inertial measurement units (IMU) or star trackers (STR) are not available yet. Therefore, they are simulated on the HIL system, which provides the required sensor data for the navigation computer during the tests. In later verification phases, real navigation devices replace their virtual counterparts. The dSPACE system then continues to simulate the physical environment depending on the mission profile, thus enabling the navigation devices to provide the corresponding sensor data to the navigation computer. This iterative approach lets you reproduce complex test scenarios at every development stage in a fully automated laboratory environment and execute entire mission profiles based on real mission data on the ground.