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Test and Measurement: Hitting the gas on automotive testing

Automotive testing came into focus this week, with a number of companies involved in demonstrations and development related to testing of various types of vehicle-related technologies.

The 5G Automotive Association conducted cellular vehicle-to-everything testing in Berlin, with participation from BMW Group, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom, Fraunhofer Institutes FOKUS and ESK, Ford, Huawei, Jaguar Land Rover, Nokia, Qualcomm and Vodafone. (Full story here.)

Test company MTS, meanwhile, is providing a vehicle simulation system — its MTS Flat-Trac Handling Roadway — to automotive test facility FKFS in Stuttgart, Germany.

Dr.-Ing. Jens Neubeck, head of automotive technology and driving dynamics at FKFS, said that the MTS Roadway will “play a critical role in establishing a more holistic development environment for testing emerging automotive technologies: the ability to engage with other lab-based systems and vehicle models using hybrid simulation will help accelerate [Advanced Driver Assisted System] validation and expedite exploration of swiftly evolving electric and autonomous vehicle technologies.”

Meanwhile, National Instruments signed a strategic partnership agreement with high-performance, real-time simulation company OPAL-RT to work on hardware-in-the-loop technology for automotive, with a focus on electric vehicles. The two companies plans to deliver FPGA-based solutions which leverage NI’s modular, open test platform and OPAL-RT’s expertise in high-fidelity power electronics modeling and deployment.

“The interactions between electric, electronic and mechanical components are growing more complex and creating problems that are difficult to identify or analyze using traditional test methodologies,” the two companies said in a release. “Many of these issues can be addressed with real-time HIL simulation,” they added, going on to say that HIL simulation also enables testing of scenarios that are too expensive, time consuming or dangerous to test in the real world, while also allowing developers to build a comprehensive database of test results under well-defined conditions.

In other test news:

Spirent Communications launched CloudSure, which it says is the industry’s first commercial test solution for assuring NFV performance according to ETSI’s GS NFV-TST 001 specification. CloudSure has test packages that Spirent described as a set of templates that can be easily configured  — either via a graphical user interface or an application programming interface — and customized to match service providers’ unique NFV deployments, and the solution leverages Spirent’s TestCenter Virtual ports and CloudStress agents to generate “realistic, multi-dimensional workloads to assess cloud performance,” the test company said. While cloud testing typically generates hundreds of metrics that make is challenging for users to find the most relevant information to troubleshoot, Spirent said, CloudSure has enhanced reporting and troubleshooting that “allow users to quickly manipulate results, sort and filter data, and easily drill-down to identify problems.”

Spirent also this week said that it was the first to integrate standard body NetSecOPEN’s test suite, bringing that into its CyberFlood testing platform to evaluate how deployment-ready security solutions impact network performance; and released the latest version of its TestCenter platform for testing, measuring and validating network and service deployments. TestCenter IQ represents a “significant expansion” of the platform, the company said, with new analytics capabilities including integration of error events and results data, analysis of historical test data, and a “Health Indicator” that shows at a glance if errors are encountered during a test, among others.

Keysight Technologies unveiled new power supplies and this week launched its OpenTAP open-source project to develop an ecosystem around test automation. Read the full story here.The company also said that its 19 service centers in the Americas (including Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Brazil) has received ANSI’s ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, which focuses on lab competence and quality.

Rohde & Schwarz is promoting its line of value bench instruments with new package pricing. The “This Changes Everything” promo is part of the test company’s focus on value instruments, and includes the choice of five entry-level oscilloscopes, two spectrum analyzers, three power supplies and one power analyzer — with all of the options included up-front in the cost.

“Adding keycodes or further options to your instrument can be expensive and time consuming. Now, our customers can get solution packages with fully loaded instruments from the start for long-term viability,” said Bob Bluhm, VP of Value Instruments at Rohde & Schwarz, in a statement.

Rohde & Schwarz’s deep packet inspection company ipoque’s DPI engine has been licensed by Orsec Technologies SAS for Orsec’s cyber threat hunting solution called oorigin.

R&S also announced this week that it won a contract to outfit the Electronic Engineering IoT Living Laboratory at the University of Aalborg, a Danish public university, with test equipment. Similarly, the company also recently won a contract to equip the University of Essex’s newly refurbished electronic engineering teaching lab in the U.K.


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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