As the complexity and number of in-vehicle electronic controllers increases, so does the likelihood of their failure. When failure does occur, the wealth of possible causes makes their investigation a laborious task.
Research indicates that many such issues are caused by battery supply disturbances of various kinds. These disturbances that are often caused by a combination of elements including battery charge levels, networked load impendence, poor harness design or incremental damage. Beyond this, the wealth of interactions occurring each second between elements in electrical systems also impacts the delivery of power from a battery to all connected components.
The LVTGO-VBS addresses these problems by simulating battery and ground voltages commonly found during real-world use cases. It is particularly useful for electrical testing, software functional testing and controller bench testing, during the breadboard, plywood buck, vehicle and test board phases.
It also assists during robustness testing, assessing the functionality of controllers following electrical problems. Using a process known as pseudo-randomisation, it generates randomised waveforms relevant to these applications that can then be replicated on demand. This allows engineers to achieve broader test coverage than would be possible via other methods, and to more easily highlight areas of concern throughout the test process.
LVTGO-VBS brings the real world onto the test bench, allowing engineers the confidence to test against all manufacturers’ standards and day-to-day use.
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The LVTGO-VBS range comprises a collection of three form factors. There are a selection of upgrades available that can add additional functionality.
All LVTGO-VBS hardware products are supplied complete with the latest LVTest GUI. This is a graphical user interface software package that works together with the hardware to create simulations of real-world phenomena such as engine cranking, long term battery discharge sequences and fast-transient burst generation.
Small Sized LVTGO-VBS Unit
The standard variant of LVTGO-VBS unit has been designed to assist engineers with basic testing requirements. It is compact and lightweight enough for desktop use, and can even be utilised within a vehicle under test. The unit supports HIL interfaces, and can therefore be used within HIL systems.
It is shipped as standard within a metallic case, featuring front and rear mounted power sockets, LEDs and a cooling fan. Connection to CAN is provided via an RJ45 lead to the rear, allowing for the automated triggering of test cycles via this source. USB to CAN connectivity is used to interface with a PC. Power is supplied by an external 24V PSU, fed via the rear 4mm connectors.
Like all LVTGO-VBS units, this model offers ground offset and Vbatt simulation offset, allowing engineers to test not only for issues related to voltage profiles but disruptions to the electrical harness’ ground connection through the car body.
Mid-Sized LVTGO-VBS Unit
The intermediate variant of LVTGO-VBS unit has been designed for higher current applications, allowing engineers to test high power vehicles featuring more complex functionality and higher power controllers. This being the case, it offers more robust connectivity via upgraded terminals. It is able to operate either via an external power supply or through placement between the vehicle battery and the system under test.
The unit is shipped within a metallic case offering either single or multiple outputs, depending on its desired functionality. It too is designed for desktop use, being portable enough for operation in test lab environments.
The unit’s functionality can be customised far beyond that of a small LVTGO-VBS unit. It can support several of the LVTGO ranges functionality upgrades including microCUT for down to 4 microsecond fall times, and BNC ripple injection, in order to simulate electrical artefacts caused by devices featuring rotation.
Rack Mounted LVTGO-VBS Unit
The larger LVTGO-VBS unit has been designed for integration with rack-based HIL systems, such as those featured within the add2 Genix range. It has the same connectivity as the mid-sized unit, however it is mounted within a 3U 19-inch rack enclosure, allowing compatibility with such systems.
The unit is available in two models: one that must be powered externally, and one that includes the power supply unit within the body. Several power supply options are available for this unit, up to a maximum of 3kW (2kW via low-line supplies). It is therefore suitable to perform whole vehicle testing.
Due to its larger size, the rack-based unit can also support microCUT, BNC inputs for ripple modulation and ABCD outputs. It has advanced thermal management through individual sensors per driver and a power supply control board. This allows the unit to achieve much higher powers at lower voltages, delivering enhanced performance.
|The BNC input can be selected via the GUI as a source of controlling the power supply voltage, generating signals in excess of 100 KHz analogue bandwidth.
||The ABCD outputs create cranking voltage profiles and derived outputs that would exist when operating the ignition.
|The microCUT option has a much faster output drive capability that allows control of the output stage down to a few microseconds.
||The High power variants use an upgraded output stage to be able to dissipate more power internally, and pass more power through to the output.
||Power Supply Control
|Up to 6 pluggable current measurement devices can be externally wired in series with either the main output or part of your test systems to identify current consumption.
||The Power Supply Control board manages the voltage and current of an external power supply and allows tests with larger voltage drops.
Why choose the LVTGO-VBS?
LVTGO-VBS helps organisations to address intermittent fault issues that are otherwise difficult to isolate. It offers a range of low voltage testing functionality designed to simulate common voltage profiles generated by real electrical systems. What’s more, it does so in a way that offers broad coverage and is repeatable, allowing any issues to be easily repeated and thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the unit is helpful to engineers as…
|…it produces random repeatable waveforms
||…it parameterises waveform characteristics
|This allows engineers to cover a wide range of potential supply disturbance issues within known boundaries – more accurately replicating real-world conditions and allowing areas of error to be more quickly identified and windowed in on.
||Waveforms associated with cranking, quiescent current issues, FTBN and more can be selected as standard profiles then quickly and easily amended by users to target particular areas of susceptibility.
|…it slews faster than power supplies
||…it can deliver high continuous current
|LVTGO-VBS units are able to achieve rising and falling slew rates of around 2-3 microseconds – far in advance of any specialised power supply – allowing for more authentic simulation of real-world disturbances.
||From the standard model’s maximum of 70 Amps to the 3U rack solution’s 140 Amps, there’s an LVTGO-VBS solution for every usage case – from single component testing to full vehicle investigation.
|…it plays back captured waveforms
||…it supports test process automation
|Engineers that have already highlighted waveforms of particular interest can import sequences via CSV files for playback by the unit. Alternatively, an analogue control input supports amplification of arbitrary waveforms.
||Through CAN triggering, voltage triggering and COM interfacing, units can be controlled and results collected for unattended tests. This functionality is support by well-documented, open APIs and test harnesses.
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