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For rapid control prototyping

Alma Automotive’s Miracle2 is a programmable platform for rapid control prototyping and data acquisition. With a form factor suitable for on-board installation, it fulfills tasks that are required in automotive and motorsport applications.

Miracle2 measures 105 mm x 85 mm x 30 mm and has a temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C (Photo: Alma Automotive)

THE PLATFORM IS PROGRAMMABLE WITH A NI Labview toolchain and its software is scalable and open to other software toolchains. Sample source code is provided, showing the use of all peripherals. It is compatible with Matlab, Simulink, and Stateflow model execution, which allows the re-use of already available software not implemented in Labview for model based applications. Various communication protocols are implemented, among them two CAN ports (1 Mbit/s), EIA-232, CCP, and XCP.

Potential applications include an ECU (electronic control unit) by-pass via CAN, a smart data-logger, a multi-accelerometer platform (up to 8 triaxial accelerometers, signal processing and merging with IMU and GPS information), Wifi telemetry, a process automation controller, video acquisition, and processing via USB. The platform can be seen at the Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2015 in Stuttgart from June 16 to 18.

Accelerometer-based monitoring of injector status

One case study was done with the platform on accelerometer-based monitoring and diagnosis of injector status. The challenge was to develop a rapid control prototyping system that acquires the signal coming from an accelerometer installed on the injector. The system was also supposed to relate the signal to the injection command and evaluate whether the signal is compliant with the proper functioning of the injector. The analysis results had to be published via CAN.

Layout of the system components with connection to the application engineer’s PC (Photo: Alma Automotive)

The solution was a system that identifies the injection command and relates it to the cycle-by-cycle acquisition of the accelerometer signal, which is also digitally filtered. Thanks to the fast analog and digital inputs, the CAN communication, and the FPGA embedded in Miracle, it was possible to meet the requirements. The system monitors if the injector is working properly, and publishes results on CAN of every single engine cycle. The user can monitor and record the signals acquired through a web interface.

Alma Automotive

Originally established as a spin-off of the University of Bologna, the Italian company Alma Automotive represents the synergy between knowledge acquired in academic research activities and years of experience in developing applied solutions. The company has now evolved to offer both ready-to-use products and technical consulting services supported by bespoke hardware and software solutions. Alma Automotive’s mission is to provide solutions and tools to help customers in the development of more efficient engines and powertrains.

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Alma Automotive