Hardware-in-the-Loop simulators reduce development and test risk

August 08, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
National Instruments is aiming to increase test system customisability with turnkey HIL (hardware-in-the-loop) simulators; this need not compromise flexibility, NI says, due to its open, commercial off-the-shelf platforms.

NI’s latest turnkey HIL Simulators are built on an open, modular architecture to help automotive and aerospace embedded software testers maintain quality while handling the demands of shortened schedules, constantly changing test requirements and reduced manpower.

NI systems integrate new technologies such as camera processing and RF I/O, along with traditional HIL components, into a single system because they are built on open, off-the-shelf hardware and software platforms. Unlike existing approaches, this adaptability lets engineers keep pace with advancing technologies like advanced driver assistance systems, system electrification and advanced sensor integration (for example, radar). With HIL Simulators from NI, test engineers can now choose a turnkey test system based on open, industry-standard platforms rather than having to decide between closed, unadaptable test systems or building the entire system from the ground up.

“We chose an NI HIL test system because it is built on open, standard platforms that allowed us to reduce the overall cost of test and long-term maintenance and ownership of our hardware,” said Anders Tunströmer of Saab Aeronautics. “It also allowed us to customize the system to our exact needs, increasing the speed at which we could find and fix embedded software defects while integration testing LRUs for our Gripen fighter.”

With HIL Simulators users can, NI asserts:

  • Customise systems to include technologies such as camera data, RF measurement and generation for radar targets, passive entry/passive start, tyre pressure monitoring systems and FPGAs for running advanced models, all of which ensures maximum software test coverage.
  • Quickly begin testing to find more defects faster with a turnkey HIL Simulator delivered with VeriStand test software for real-time simulation, stimulus generation and data acquisition.
  • Reuse existing models and hardware by easily integrating third party software models and third-party systems using the ASAM XIL industry standard.