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Customer Solutions
Industry: Automotive Products Used: LabVIEW 6i ™ • NI-PXI

Honda Implements Integrated Road Simulator at Low Cost
by Shokichi Harashima and Hiroshi Takahashi Research Block 2, Asaka R&D Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd.

The Challenge: Developing a road simulator (RS) and virtual road simulator (VRS) for the designing and durability testing of Honda motorcycles. The Solution: Using LabVIEW 6i, we developed a common control program for RS and VRS achieved by synchronizing a National Instruments analog output board and analog input board using a RTSI timing and triggering bus. Staying Ahead of the Competition
Motorcycle development requires substantial technological innovation as competition intensifies worldwide. In our strength and durability test division, development has conventionally followed a cyclical, sequential method of prototyping, testing, and finally adopting a design. We needed a development approach capable of using computer simulation in the design phase and conducting simultaneous durability tests to meet the demand for a shorter development time period and fewer expensive preproduction

Road simulators and virtual road simulators shorten development time for Honda motorcycles.

road simulators (VRS). The validity of the VRS simulation model must be verified so there is no discrepancy between the results obtained by the RS and VRS (the data I/O interface portion of each program is not shared because the stimulus for the RS is physical while the stimulus for the VRS is virtual).

We became more confident of achieving our goals by attending a National Instruments DAQ training course and receiving support through case examples of PCI bus product applications from field engineers.
vehicles. Road simulators (RS), a key tool for testing motorcycle strength and durability, are an important part of this new development approach. We wanted to replace the current RS control system with a Windows NT-based system. The current MS-DOS-based RS control system did not provide satisfactory performance and was difficult to maintain. We also wanted to use common control software for the RS and virtual

System Configuration of a Road Simulator

The RS control system consists of a PC, an analog output board (PCI-6711), an analog input board (PCI-6032E), and a signal conditioner. We simulate the rough road load conditions using an iterative process. First, we record the three desired responses (rear axle vertical acceleration, front axle vertical acceleration, and front fork longitudinal bending stress) during actual running on a rough road. We then install the test vehicle on the road simulator, activate each actuator with random noise, and measure the three responses to determine the transfer function matrix of the system. We execute trial activation using the obtained drive signals,

measure the response signals, and calculate the deviation (error) between the desired responses and the achieved responses. The resulting error signals are convolved with the inverse of the transfer function matrix to create drive corrections that are added to the last drive signals. Besides reducing the software budget, this low-cost system was also successful because we implemented a synchronous operation of activation and measurement of achieved responses. Therefore, it was not necessary to purchase an expensive dedicated I/O unit. At the start of the project, we were unsure if Windows NT would provide a stable input and output operation. We became more confident of achieving our goals by attending a National Instruments DAQ training course and receiving support on case examples of PCI bus product applications from field engineers.

Control of a Virtual Road Simulator
The software developed with LabVIEW controls three virtual actuators. Fatigue analysis software evaluates the result of activation, enabling us to predict the stress concentration “hot spots” on the vehicle and

As a result.com For worldwide contact information. Honda R&D used LabVIEW to develop two types of road simulators for strength and durability tests of motorcycles – one for test benches and the other for cyber space. Without the filtering. a substantial number of control software programs will be necessary after the VRS rolls out. The achieved responses calculated by DADS are also received in the same binary file format.com/success (512) 683-0100 • Fax (512) 683-9300 • info@ni. their stress waveform and fatigue life. RS control systems are large-scale and expensive.harashima@mail. .vi and Get Command Line. Both the RS and the VRS can reproduce the load from actual run with simulation accuracy sufficient for practical use. We also found that purchasing a complete control system for a single RS from an overseas manufacturer would cost approximately 35 million yen and approximately 10 million yen for a single copy of VRS control software. This allows the operator to run the calculation overnight or do other jobs during calculation of the VRS iteration.875.rd.a. we must apply a filter of the same characteristics as the digital data recorder to the achieved responses calculated on the DADS side. we created the entire control system for less than one-tenth the cost of purchasing it from an overseas manufacturer (approximately 45 million yen). All rights reserved. The prohibitive cost for all this led us to in-house development.com/niglobal © 2002 National Instruments Corporation. we greatly reduced the size of the execution file. The software development involved the following key topics: • The displacement data to activate the virtual actuators is provided in binary file format to the Dynamic Analysis and Design System (DADS) model. and this was easily achieved by using the System Exec. We developed the filtering and unmanned iteration in collaboration with LMS-CAE (who developed DADS) in the United States. antialiasing filter of eighth-order Chebyshev function. I For more information.jp Saving Time and Money Conventionally. please visit ni.. we are confident that we will achieve our goals of shortening motorcycle development time and reducing the number of expensive pre-production vehicles. The total time taken to develop the control software for both the RS and VRS was approximately 220 days. Unmanned iteration was critical for successful implementation of a practical The Honda Road Simulator VRS system. thus facilitating e-mail correspondence. We are currently planning to update six sets of RS ni. Ltd. By developing the VRS control software using LabVIEW. contact Shokichi Harashima or Hiroshi Takahashi Honda R&D Co. We used a LabVIEW IIR filter to create this functionality. Tel: 81 48 462 3300 E-Mail: shokichi. • We implemented unmanned iteration functionality by using batch processing. Product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. we created the entire control system for less than one-tenth the cost of purchasing it from an overseas manufacturer.honda. we can now perform tests equivalent to RS tests on a PC. we cannot correctly perform evaluation when comparing the calculated result and measurement result.co.qxd 10/11/02 1:32 PM Page 2 Customer Solutions By developing the VRS control software using LabVIEW.02_665_821_101_8. Therefore.5x10. Thus. control systems. • Actual run measurement uses a digital data recorder with a built-in.vi downloaded from the NI Web site. By installing a LabVIEW runtime engine in the partner’s PC. In addition.

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