Electronic Control Module Network and Data Link Development and Validation using Hardware in the Loop Systems 2009-01-2840
Increasingly, the exchanges of data in complex ECM (Electronic Control Module) systems rely on multiple communication networks across various physical and network layers. This has greatly increased system flexibility and provided an excellent medium to create well-defined exchangeable interfaces between components; however this added flexibility comes with increased network complexity. A system-level approach allows for the optimization of data exchange and network configuration as well as the development of a comprehensive network failure strategy.
Many current ECM systems utilize complex multi-network communication strategies to exchange and control data to components. Recently, Caterpillar implemented an HIL (Hardware-In-the-Loop) test system that provides an approach for developing and testing a comprehensive ECM network strategy. This Data Link Tester HIL provides communication protocol emulation and a virtual bus reconfiguration system with different sets of switchable connection nodes. The data link layer can be reconfigured with various physical and network layers on the fly. This allows the developer to quickly rearrange physical networks to test various data exchange and network failure strategies.
The system-level approach requires that a data and network strategy can be benchmarked and evaluated as elements of the system are developed and integrated. Initially, data exchange and network configurations can be implemented with the Data Link Tester HIL. The network nodes can be simulated with dSPACE hardware, using software-simulated ECMs to send messages and exchange protocol data on the various networks.
Current implementations include emulation for J1939 CAN, RS232, RS422, RS485, and Ethernet protocols. Network traffic can be benchmarked and monitored. ECMs can be added to the system as they become available.