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Closed-Loop HIL System for Testing Camera-Based Systems by Inserting Data into the Image Sensor Output

  • HIL system with Automotive Simulation Models (ASM) and ModelDesk for the real-time simulation of the vehicle and traffic
  • GPU-based camera sensor models in MotionDesk for generating image raw data taking camera-specific effects such as lens, pincushion, and barrel distortions, vignetting, and chromatic aberration into account.
  • dSPACE Environment Sensor Interface Unit to insert raw data into the image processing unit
  • Plug-on device (POD) to adjust to specific interfaces and connectors with sensor ECUs featuring imager and processing unit in one housing (one-box)

The camera box is a widely used method when testing camera-based ADAS applications. However, with the increasing complexity of sensors, issues such as limited contrast of monitors or distortions caused by optical lenses become more evident. In addition, conventional HIL setups with stereo or multi-camera system often reach the limits of economic efficiency or technical feasibility. A very effective and space-saving alternative is feeding raw image data directly into the camera’s image processing unit. The basis for raw data generation is a GPU-based camera sensor model in MotionDesk that takes into account not only scenarios from the ASM simulation model but also effects typically caused by camera lens and image sensor when generating images. The data stream is then transmitted via HDMI to an Environment Sensor Interface Unit (ESI Unit), where it can be preprocessed in real time, i.e., provided with pixel errors or soiled, until it is finally fed to the camera via a long-range (e.g., GMSL) or short-range interface of the image processing unit. For short-range connection (e.g., CSI2), the ESI-POD is also used. The device is connected to the ESI unit via an optical fibre cable and via a short data line to the camera. For a test setup with a stereo front, four surround view, and an in-cabin (driver) camera, a single ESI unit is sufficient; it can be conveniently placed in the 19“rack of the HIL.     

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