Advantech and Penn State co-sponsor automotive research lab

March 19, 2007
Project develops a campus-wide hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) capability to test advanced vehicle powertrains and controllers.

Cincinnati, Ohio -- The eAutomation Group of Advantech will co-sponsor an automotive research lab administered by the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State. This project develops a campus-wide hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) capability to test advanced vehicle powertrains and controllers for teaching the next generation of automotive engineers while initiating research into new vehicle technologies.

By using internet-enabled data-acquisition systems and local power-processing interfaces, vehicle subsystems distributed over a wide geographic area of the Penn State campus are coupled with each other so that they interact in real-time just as they would in a vehicle. These subsystems include advanced fuel cells, novel batteries, ultracapacitors, flywheel energy storage systems, high-efficiency electric drive motors, advanced combustion engine test stands and chassis dynamometers. This interconnected testing capability should allow one to rapidly perform teaching and research studies on vehicle hardware that is years away from integration, even in prototype vehicles.

HIL methods are the focus of a newly developed course to be taught for the first time in spring 2007 through the sponsorship of the Department of Energy. In addition to connecting six major vehicle laboratories at Penn State, industry and government partnerships are also developing that will further broaden the hardware interconnection network across the state and country, perhaps even across continents. A long-term goal of this project is the development of one of the most versatile research and teaching systems in existence for testing hydrogen and hybrid vehicle systems.

Advantech's products are essential to the success of this program. These products are the UNO-3072 (Celeron M 1 GHz front access fanless PC with 2xPCI and 1xPC card slot), UNO-3074 (Intel Pentium M embedded automation computer with 4xPCI and 1xPC card slot), PS-DC24-50 (50W DC 24V/2.3A output power supply), PCI-1716 (250 KS/s, 16 bit, 16-channel high-resolution card), PCL-10168 (SCSI-II 68-pin shielded cable), and PCLD-8710 (screw terminal boards). For more information, visit