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Automotive testing | Spectrum

Automotive testing not only covers on-road operation, but also vehicle manufacturing
Automotive crash test safety ratings are still considered the top end of safety requirements in the consumer automotive market. However, interesting to note is the number of areas and systems being monitored and evaluated within a vehicle in the past few years has changed dramatically. This applied to both on the road performance as well as the design and manufacturing of a car itself.

Growing list of car electronics being monitored

Today’s automotive designs have seen an explosion of embedded electronics—from power train control to entertainment and communication systems—and the typical monitoring requirements now spans a huge range of parameters:

  • mechanical testing
  • vibration analysis
  • RADAR ranging
  • Telematics
  • engine performance and ignition monitoring
  • CAN communication monitoring

And although they may not be categorized under the safety banner, infotainment and passenger convenience systems (RF, audio, video, navigation, etc.) still need to be monitored, as well.  Think about the last time you flew…get that phone in airplane mode! 

If it’s electronic, it produces EMI, vibration, heat…any number of elements that could negatively impact proper operation of safety-driven systems and components. Ensuring all systems are in sync with one another will result in a more reliable, safer automobile.

Monitoring back to the manufacturing

And with the importance of testing vehicles during the design phase as well as automating manufacturing equipment, even more electronics will be used in design and development of modern automobiles from start to finish. The embedded systems that are a part of this ecosystem must be developed and verified as do the mechanics of the automobile itself. This entails the extensive use of sensors along with the ability to capture, record, coordinate and analyze the data from all aspects of the design process.

Meeting these demands requires a wide range of digitizers and waveform generators that can be configured into specific systems using a variety of data bandwidths, sampling rates and bus standards such as PCIe, PXIe, PXI and LXI. They must also fit into portable systems with DC power supplies; they must record, store and play back many channels of data, often collected over days or weeks.

Data must be time-stamped for playback and analysis in relation to other signals. A suite of modular, configurable cards with a selection of interfaces, data widths and high sampling rates using a wide variety of sensors is available to meet these demands. Spectrum has developed a range of digitizers and waveform generators that reliably monitor and capture data throughout the automotive testing process, from the robotics on the factory floor to the rollover sensor on the driver’s side.   Read More

Author: Spectrum Instrumentation