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Workflow Insights from Formula Student Teams

Designing, prototyping, and testing formula student racing cars

Successful Hardware Testing and Results

The Formula Student Symposium is an annual educational event that connects Formula Student teams from different nations intending to improve motorsports skills with talks and workshops conducted by the best in the field.

Together with GreenTeam from Stuttgart and AMZ Racing from Zurich, we had the opportunity to present at the event. Both Formula Student teams shared how they use Speedgoat hardware to achieve hardware implementation success. Below are the video excerpts of their presentation. Learn more about the key-value they benefitted from using the real-time solution provided by Speedgoat.

Speedgoat Real-Time Target Machine as "Brain of the Vehicle"

The Formula Student team from ETH Zurich AMZ Racing has been using a Speedgoat Baseline in the open-frame configuration with custom-made carbon-fiber-reinforced housing as a vehicle control unit (VCU). For the vehicle networks communication, they used a CAN module and CAN communication. To process low-latency of sensor data, they integrated an FPGA module. While their telemetry is transmitted via TCP/IP, RT UDP controls the inverters.

 

AMZ has implemented an excellent data acquisition approach and analysis, which allows them to conduct racetrack testing with ultra-high efficiency. With the instrumentation and testing features in MATLAB and Simulink, such as app designer, and the seamless Simulink Real-Time integration, AMZ can improve rapidly while testing.

 

⮕ PDF version of their slides

Electric Drive Test Bench

The Formula Student team from the University of Stuttgart, Greenteam, also opted to use the Baseline real-time target machine as their VCU, resulting in a similar workflow to AMZ. In addition to the controller prototyping setup described by AMZ Racing, Greenteam established a veritable test bench for their electric powertrain. The software and hardware setup are the same as the racecar, allowing the team to work on the racecar prototype's powertrain development.

 

The network communication of the testbench relies on CAN and EtherCAT protocol making sure to accommodate hardware seamlessly. According to Marius Goletz from Greenteam, they can now test an order of magnitude faster than before. Thanks to these workflows, neither data logging nor monitoring vital parameters for any development stage is an issue.

 

⮕ PDF version of their slides 

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, there are many reasons why you should consider using a real-time target machine for rapid control prototyping or hardware-in-the-loop testing. No matter which workflow you decide to implement, the most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure you have fast and robust workflows that facilitate hardware integration computations. It is more important than having the most advanced and complex systems. You want to move from envisioning your design to final design quickly. Robust and agileworkflows will allow you to do just that.


MathWorks products used

  • MATLAB®
  • Simulink®
  • Simulink Coder™

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