Microsys Automotive Safety Test System Uses LabVIEW™


(Extracted from the National Instruments Newsletter distributed during SAE’98)


Shown is the Microsys Airbag Deployment Test System used at Magna Automotive Testing

The Challenge

Developing a test system capable of performing common automotive safety tests with integrated high-speed video capture and data acquisition control and analysis capabilities.

The Solution

Using National Instruments LabVIEW software, signal conditioning, DAQ hardware, and IMAQ Vision software to control, monitor, and provide sophisticated analysis functions for automotive occupant safety component tests. With increasing public concern over automotive occupant safety and new legislative requirements, automotive manufacturers are under considerable pressure to develop new safety systems and components. As they rapidly integrate these measures, manufacturers need new test systems to aid engineers in product research and development. Once products are introduced into production, lot acceptance testing (LAT) verifies maintenance of high-quality product levels and standards.

To meet this challenge, Microsys introduced its next-generation Automotive Safety Component Test System, based on industry-proven LabVIEW software, IMAQ Vision software, signal conditioning, and

data acquisition (DAQ) hardware from National Instruments. The Microsys Automotive Safety Component Test System is capable of performing air bag deployment tests (with multiple squibs), airbag burst tests, seat belt pretension tests, head impact tests, and sled tests. The system also provides powerful analysis tools through integrated high-speed video and sensor data display coupled with calculation functions.

Design Considerations

To ensure that the Automotive Safety Component Test System met current and possible future test requirements, we took a modular software approach. We developed a smart core operating program that calls hardware driver modules to perform specific functions. New hardware driver modules can easily be developed and added to the core operating program to meet changing test requirements. The system can operate any high-speed digital camera system; for example, by loading the appropriate camera driver. Each test system type and application-specific requirement dictates the driver modules that accompany the core operating program, tailoring each system to specific customer requirements.

Each Automotive Safety Component Test System installation also has its own unique hardware requirements – variable quantities and types of safety interlocks, test chamber controls, camera systems, and sensor channels that require interfacing. It is also important in any test scenario that we can continuously produce repeatable and reliable results. To achieve these requirements, we chose National Instruments signal conditioning and DAQ hardware as the system foundation.

One of our key design objectives was to minimize the time between order and delivery while keeping system costs in line with customer budgets. The powerful graphics programming available in LabVIEW, flexible IMAQ Vision software, versatile signal conditioning, and DAQ components from National Instruments were critical to the success of the Microsys Automotive Safety Component Test System. These components provided the required flexibility and minimized expensive engineering time.

The powerful graphics programming available in LabVIEW, flexible IMAQ Vision software, versatile signal conditioning, and DAQ components from National Instruments were critical to the success of the Microsys ASCTS.

System Operation

We designed the system to control and monitor all of the events in a specified test sequence. We tailor each installed system’s hardware and software to meet customer requirements. During installation, we initially configure the software using the System Configuration screen, with which we can enter customer specifics, such as sensor data and calibration information. One of the unique features of the Microsys Automotive Safety Component Test System is its integrated high-speed video image and DAQ data control and analysis capability. The ability to control high-speed video imaging and DAQ equipment from a single computer simplifies test preparation and execution, reducing user error and improving test efficiency.

For analysis, integrated video and DAQ data give engineers the ability to easily correlate high-speed video images with sensor data on one screen. Users can also compare and evaluate test results by displaying both video and sensor data from multiple tests. Trace calculation functions and SAE J211 digital filters provide further analysis capabilities. As an optional feature, portable analysis software gives remote test data analysis capability so that the system can continue testing, further increasing system efficiency.

The Automotive Safety Component Test System performs common automotive safety tests through its modular hardware and software design. Each test system is tailored to meet customer requirements for safety interlock control and monitoring, auxiliary equipment control, test trigger, high-speed video capture, and sensor data acquisition. Integrated high-speed video and DAQ hardware coupled with math functions provide users with advanced test analysis capabilities. With the Microsys Automotive Safety Component Test System, users gain a powerful product development and LAT test system engineered to meet current and future safety requirements.

For more information, see Automotive Safety Component Test System or contact Microsys Technologies Inc.


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For further information contact:

Marketing Manager
Microsys Technologies Inc
3710 Nashua Dr, Mississauga, ON, L4V 1M5 Canada

tel:  +1 (905) 678-3288
fax: +1 (905) 678-3319
email: marketing@micro-sys.com


Head Office: 3710 Nashua Drive, Mississauga ON L4V 1M5, Canada
Telephone: +1 (905) 678-3288 | Fax: +1 (905) 678-3319

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