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Testing ECUs with Integrated Sensors and Actuators

Application Areas and Important Aspects

If an ECU has integrated sensors and actuators, you cannot connect the HIL simulator to the ECU directly on the electrical level, unless you open the ECU and access its internal pins. Instead, you have to provide the physical signals to stimulate the ECU's sensors and actuators by other means, for example, via an ECU mounting device or a mechanical test bench. The dSPACE Simulator then provides physical variables from the environment simulation and can additionally simulate any missing components. Not only purely electric tests can be performed: Mechatronic parts such as the steering or the chassis system can also be tested.
As the required stimulation signals vary for each ECU, the HIL test benches have to be designed individually.
dSPACE has years of experience in stimulating integrated pressure, engine speed and temperature sensors, acceleration sensors, and yaw rate sensors for integration into HIL systems.

Examples of Sensor Stimulation

  • Inductive engine speed sensors using controlled coils
  • Pressure membranes via strong lifting magnets
  • Temperature sensors via controlled hot plates
  • Integrated switches via magnetic fields
  • Integrated acceleration sensors and yaw rate sensors via a 3-D motion platform
  • Additional physical measurement equipment, e.g., for currents, torques, temperatures, positions, engine speeds ...

Typical Domains with Integrated Sensors/Actuators

  • Chassis systems and vehicle dynamics (ESP, ABS, ASR, continuous damping control)
  • Integrated transmission ECUs installed inside the transmission (continuously variable, automatic, dual clutch, and central and rear differential)
  • Steering systems (active steering, electric servo steering)

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