EMC Tests on the Move

| Environmental Testing

Collaborative test system supports automated testing with simulation of real driving conditions

Collaboration project automates and speeds up the EMC testing process for vehicles under real driving conditions

Electric vehicles contain many electronic components that emit radio-frequency interference which may have a negative impact on the vehicle performance and driving experience. As the radio frequency environment of the vehicle becomes more crowded, the development effort and testing requirements multiply placing strain on existing resources.

To ease and speed up these development and testing processes, AVL and Rohde & Schwarz, two global providers of such automotive test systems, have recently released an innovative system for automated electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) data analysis of an electric drivetrain under real driving conditions.

EMC Challenges

New challenges presented by the EMC environment relating to the electrification of vehicles are present because of the higher switching frequencies of semi-conductors and higher emissions due to high voltages and currents. EMS (Electromagnetic Susceptibility) and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) testing of components and vehicles addresses these challenges.

To meet time to market requirements, test automation is key. Additionally, the tests must be as realistic as possible, so there is a trend to move away from traditional static EMC testing of vehicles to dynamic testing where the drivetrain is active and varying in speed as well as torque during the execution of the EMC test.

The real-time synchronization of measurement data between the EMC testbed, measurement system and automation software is key to efficient and repeatable EMC-compliant component and vehicle development. Therefore, AVL and Rohde & Schwarz have developed a method that supports automated testing with simulation of real driving conditions while covering typical automotive standards.

Test and measurement software

The AVL Puma 2 automation controls the test cycle and stores the measured data, in synchronisation with the R&S Elektra EMC test software to exchange information between the test bed and the EMC measurement equipment. The Elektra software has been modified to enable automatic and seamless communication with AVL Concerto software, replacing a previously manual process. The Concerto software takes care of the post-processing of the measured data automatically and gives a full test report according to the pre-defined pass and fail criteria.

R&S Elektra controls complete EMC systems and automates measurements of equipment under test (EUT) being certified for emissions (EMI) and immunity (EMS). The software simplifies configuration of test systems and test descriptions in accordance with common standards. It speeds up test execution and paves the way to quickly generating a comprehensive test report.

According to Alban Hemery, Department Manager for E-Motor Test Systems and EMC Applications at AVL List GmbH, many customers have been wanting for years to see Rohde & Schwarz EMC analysers connected to the AVL EMC test automation system.

“Together, we have finally accomplished this, and are pleased to offer this new test system, improving and accelerating EMC validation of e-drives and vehicles,” he says.

Juergen Meyer, Vice President Market Segment Automotive at Rohde & Schwarz believes that with its expertise in EMC instrumentation, Rohde & Schwarz has a long and productive history of collaboration with AVL to develop high performance test systems for the automotive industry.

“The enhancement of R&S Elektra to be compatible with AVL’s Puma 2 is another significant step towards speeding up EMC test times under real driving conditions, particularly for electric drivetrains,” he concludes.

Jonathan Newell
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