Areas of activity
Microcontroller Systems (Prof. Dr. André Böhm)
In the Microcontroller Systems Laboratory, a complete 1:10 model of an electric vehicle including a complex control panel are provided with functionality as an example of how the technology can be used in an automotive control unit. It comprises:
- A graphic display to show status information, measured values and time curves
- Light, brake light and indicator
- Steering, drive and recuperation
- Measurement of voltages and currents in the drive train
The control panel contains various switches, buttons, knobs and sliders to control these functions, which are put into operation step by step.
In doing so, a complex and comprehensive programme to control the microcontroller integrated in the model is compiled. The background knowledge for the various functions is acquired in parallel during the lectures.
48V on-board supply (Prof. Dr. André Böhm, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Haag)
Vehicle actuators (Prof. Mathias Oberhauser)
The numerous mechatronic systems installed in modern vehicles contain a large number of actuators. Their static and dynamic accuracy has a crucial impact on safety (example ABS/ESP), environmental friendliness (example: exhaust gas recirculation for a combustion engine, dosing of air flow into a fuel cell) and comfort (example: seat adjustment, automatic transmission) of the vehicles. At various laboratory workstations, students learn how to control brushless DC motors (BLDCs), record the characteristic curve of a magnetic particle brake which was donated by the Magura Foundation, measure the flow in pneumatic valves with a laminar flow element sensor and the frequency response of a hydraulic servo-valve. All test stands are equipped with digital measuring sensors.
Control engineering (Prof. Mathias Oberhauser)
The complete design chain of a modern closed-loop control from the mathematical model through to the microcontroller program is demonstrated using the example of the position control of a throttle flap from a modern four-cylinder engine. The laboratory experiment was set up in collaboration with Mercedes (Daimler AG). The control algorithms developed in the Matlab/Simulink software can be tested with the real throttle flap with the aid of a dSPACE MicroAutoBox without additional manual programming. As is usual in industry, the fully developed control for the series is ported from the very powerful, but expensive MicroAutoBox to a low-cost microcontroller which moves the throttle flap via power electronics developed and manufactured in the laboratory itself. Another very illustrative demonstration object for modern closed-loop control engineering is the inverse pendulum, which was set up with the aid of a toothed belt axis donated by the company Festo.
Electric drives in the vehicle (Prof. Dr. J. Haag, Prof. Dr. O. Zirn).
Laboratory excercises and projects
Modern vehicles are becoming more and more electric. For hybrid and electric vehicles, closed-loop three-phase drives with a power ranging from 10 kW to 250 kW are used. Other mechatronic automotive systems, such as electric power steering or suspension control, also use closed-loop controlled electric drives. Concepts and control methods for different applications in the vehicle are developed and tested in laboratory experiments, student projects, final thesis projects and in industrial collaborations and research projects. Test stands consisting of electric motor, power electronics and control electronics, among other things, are set up for this purpose.
Interesting and comprehensive laboratory exercises relating to work done for the “Chassis and Control Systems” specialisation take place in the Automotive Engineering, Electronics and Control Systems Laboratory. More specifically, these are the laboratory exercises “Automotive electronics”, “Actuators” and “Microcomputer technology”, in which students work in pairs to set up, evaluate and measure electronic systems and electric drives, and programme microcomputers in vehicle models.
“Blended” learning using the example of electric motors
Modern teaching concepts combine written information, animations and haptic experiences. A teaching system designed by the company Lucas-Nülle helps students to learn the foundations of electric servo systems. The first step is to demonstrate the physical background with the aid of computer animations. Students then have to set up the circuits using original industry parts and can display their results via a serial USB interface on the PC screen with so-called virtual instruments.
The laboratory has microcontroller development workstations.
The microcontrollers are programmed in the C programming language and using MATLAB/Simulink. The development tool for motor vehicle bus systems is CANoe, from Vector.
A mechanical engineering workshop is available for setting up prototype devices. Circuit layouts are produced with EAGLE.
The Microcomputer Engineering Laboratory has 9 laboratory workstations each representing a fully functional 1:10 model of an electric vehicle based on Arduino microcontroller boards.