MORE AND MORE MECHANICAL and hydraulic components in motor vehicles are being replaced by electronic control units that communicate using the FlexRay standard. The high level of complexity, particularly in systems relevant to safety, requires specific testing and diagnostic methods. The special safety requirements also necessitate exact testing and diagnostic strategies.
In order to create a basic model for the systematic testing of communication systems in the automotive field, DECOMSYS initiated a research project with the Institute of Technical Informatics at the Technical University of Vienna and the Embedded Systems Department of the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna called Systematic Test of Embedded Automotive Communication Systems (STEACS). On this basis, DECOMSYS claims to be developing the first all-round test tool family for FlexRay worldwide. The first product to be released by year-end will be called DECOMSYS: BUSDOCTOR.
The BUSDOCTOR is a measurement and analysis tool for FlexRay, consisting of measurement hardware and a computer with graphical analysis software. The measurement hardware is connected to the FlexRay bus, while connection of the measurement hardware to the measurement computer is via a 100 Mbit/s Ethernet connection. Data can be analyzed and transmitted by the BUSDOCTOR as well as recorded and subsequently played back. This recording function (logging) also works without a PC or laptop, which is important for its use in prototype vehicles. Besides FlexRay data, it is possible to record CAN data as well as digital and analog data.
For the measurement hardware, DECOMSYS uses a processor board that is equipped with the EPXA Excalibur chip with an ARM9 core and an FPGA of the APEX type as well as 64 Mbytes of RAM and 32 Mbytes of flash. Additionally, the board includes the physical layer components for FlexRay from Philips and the alternative bus driver RS-485. Two onboard TTCAN controllers with high-speed CAN transceiver, ADCs and DACs allow support by CAN, analog I/O and digital I/O. A CompactFlash card is used to support data logging on the measurement hardware.