HIL Simularion & Control
Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation has become increasingly important when developing and testing complex real-time embedded systems. It’s attractive because it combines the complexity of the plant under control with the test platform, then including that complexity in test and development by adding representations of all related systems.
HIL simulation is a powerful test method that can be used to test embedded control systems more efficiently. When testing embedded control systems, safety, availability, or cost considerations can make unpractical to perform all necessary testing using the complete system. HIL simulation can be used to simulate the parts of the system causing these challenges, which gives the power to thoroughly test the embedded control device in a virtual environment before proceeding to real-world tests of the complete system. With this capability, you can maintain reliability and time-to-market requirements in a cost-effective manner even as the systems you are testing become more complex.
An HIL test system consists of three primary components: a real-time processor, I/O interfaces and an operator interface. The real-time processor is the core of the HIL test system. It provides deterministic execution of most of the HIL test system components such as hardware I/O communication, data logging, stimulus generation and model execution. A real-time system is typically necessary to provide an accurate simulation of the parts of the system that presently are not part of the test. The I/O interfaces are analog, digital and bus signals that interact with the unit under test. You can use them to produce stimulus signals, acquire data for logging and analysis and provide the sensor/actuator interactions between the electronic control unit (ECU) tested and the virtual environment simulated by the model. The operator interface communicates with the real-time processor to provide test commands and visualization. Often, this component also provides configuration management, test automation, analysis, and reporting tasks.
SIDeA has developed different applications in the HIL environment. The most relevant examples are design and validation of equipments devoted to the avionic and appliance markets.