The boards and modules can be used as components in all NovaCarts hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) systems as well as in standalone operation without a primary real-time controller.
The SoC on the boards and modules consists of a central processing unit (CPU) and a powerful field programmable gate array (FPGA). This allows most of the parameters and controls required for simulation to be integrated into the component software, and analog switching to be reduced to a minimum, enabling users to customize relevant simulation variables to test conditions directly in the software. New functions such as those for simulating future battery technologies can also be imported by firmware update – in contrast to analog simulation boards where expensive hardware replacement is required. A plug & play-capable real-time Ethernet interface ensures that HiL systems automatically detect and register the new boards and modules. The new I/O channels can be integrated into the simulation without any further configuration.
The fact that users can deploy the components in a new or existing HiL system, or standalone set-up independent of any primary real-time controller, means that test benches of various size can be set up – from small, compact test systems with a single board to simulations of entire vehicles. All I/O components and NovaCarts HiL simulators use the same Linux-based simulation environment and have identical functions such as a model execution platform, data exchange and synchronization with other HiL processing units as well as a connection to a user interface or test automation. Another common feature is the identical tool chain that allows existing parameters, models and test cases to be shared between projects and used across HiL simulators. Besides ease of use, this approach ensures that NovaCarts test systems can be easily and quickly upgraded.