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Testing ECUs for Engines

Application Area

With a dSPACE HIL Simulator, you can test either one single ECU or several networked ECUs together. One typical application is testing ECUs for an internal combustion engine. The ECUs are connected to the simulator, which simulates the environment, including the interacting components, and inserts specific faults for testing purposes. Mean value models can be parameterized for specific engines and used to simulate them in real time. dSPACE simulators are scalable and extendable, so they can quickly be adapted to new requirements even in mid-project, for example, for system tests with modified ECU wiring. To adapt the HIL simulator to different engine types, you can simply add an exchangeable load rack that makes it easy to switch between different engine and vehicle configurations.

Important Aspects

Engine ECUs contain time-based and engine-angle-based functions and subsystems. The main task of these is to generate injection and ignition signals. They measure the engine angle, i.e., they capture crankshaft and camshaft signals, as the input data for the control system. A clock rate of 1 ms is usually sufficient to present a realistic environment to the ECUs, though crankshaft-angle-synchronous signals require much faster sample rates in the µs range. dSPACE’s DS2680 I/O Unit is used for capturing and computing the necessary signals at a high resolution. It contains an angular processing unit (APU) based on FPGA technology and is easy to configure in MATLAB®/Simulink®.

Possible ECU Testing Task

  • Function tests for validating the control strategy
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Software integration tests (testing the overall functionality of the ECU)
  • Acceptance and release tests
  • Communication tests and tests on distributed functions (testing ECUs in the network)

Typical Application Cases

  • Gasoline engine (manifold and direct injection, turbocharger)
  • Diesel engine (common rail and unit injection, exhaust system, turbocharger)
  • Cylinder in-pressure sensors, lambda probes, piezo injection, ...
  • Transmission
  • 12 ... 48 V applications

Success Stories