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EETE MAY 2015

fibre which enables amazing data bandwidths in the 100 Gbps range. The team around professor Patrick Reynaert and Wouter Volkaerts succeeded in transmitting RF through plastic fibres just the electromagnetic waves, no transformation to optical pulses is required. Instead of LEDs and photodiodes or laser emitters (VCSEL) and PIN diodes, the team uses cost-effective CMOS circuitry and tiny copper antennas to transmit and receive the data. The antennas could easily be implemented at chip or package level, Volkaerts said. Our research shows that a data bandwidth of 100 Gbps is possible, Volkaerts claimed. “The beauty of this approach is its cost-efficiency. Instead of optical fibre (or even Plastic Optical Fibre) it uses cheap plastic hoses or similar material. We bought ours in the hobbyist store”, Volkaerts smiled. Despite the simple material, the technology exhibits high automotive design robustness with respect to electromagnetic interference and does not require extremely precise, expensive mechanics to couple the link with the circuitry. While the Leuven Scientists pointed out that at present this is just a research project, the interest from the Forum attendees was high. Also MOSTCO Administrator Muyshondt said that perhaps this technology could someday the base for a future MOST physical layer. What else? Talks with attendees showed that perhaps the Ethernet camps much acclaimed cost-effective unshielded twisted pair might fall short of being the best solution for high-bandwidth data networks in the car. “Even a slight strain or kink of such a cable leads to heavy signal distortion”, complained an electronics designer who asked not to be identified. “MOST might be somewhat more expensive, but at least it works reliably”. Thin hose, high bandwidth: a KU Leuven research team sends electromagnetic waves through a plastic carrier and achieves impressive data rates. McLaren brings simulation technology to mainstream automotive design By Graham Prophet McLaren Applied Technologies (M.A.T.) and MTS Systems Corporation (MTS) have announced a technical agreement to bring simulators and associated techno-logy to the global automotive market. Under the terms of the agreement, M.A.T. and MTS will create and deliver a next generation Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS), which uses a tightly integrated driver-in-the-loop system for engineering the development of road cars. The technology allows engineers to virtually test a conceptual vehicle design in multiple environments and scenarios, prior to the vehicle actually being produced. The VDS is specifically geared toward commercial road car development, and will be tailored to the individual needs of each client. Driver in the loop simulation technology allows engineers to virtually test a conceptual vehicle design in multiple environments and scenarios, prior to the vehicle actually being produced. Whilst traditional automotive driving simulators have, says McLaren, tended to focus solely on replicating realistic driving environments to assess driver behaviour, McLaren and MTS simulation system offers a more holistic, complete approach to vehicle development, driven by data and facilitating maximum accuracy and immersion during the design and testing process. It features a proven system of high frequency cueing via steering feedback, vestibular motion cueing, and sustained load mechanisms. The technology can be experienced today at the McLaren Technology Centre, with a further simulator available to test by prospective customers in 2016. The agreement between M.A.T. and MTS draws on both companies rich heritage in simulation technology. The Racing arm of McLaren pioneered the use of simulation technology in Formula 1, and has been utilising this approach to car design for over 15 years. More recently, McLaren Automotive has deployed the technology in its design of the McLaren P1 and McLaren 650S. MTS is known for expertise in mechanical tes-ting and sensing solutions, spanning industries including energy, automotive, aerospace, materials sciences, and civil engineering. Geoff McGrath, vice president of M.A.T., said: By combining McLarens vehicle modelling expertise and simulator technology with MTS experience in testing and simulation solutions, we hope to revolutionise mainstream car development on a global scale. McLaren has long been aware of the advantages of simulated vehicle design, including quicker speed to market, less reliance on the development of physical prototypes and reduced environmental impact. These benefits are increasingly pertinent to vehicle manufacturers as legal requirements grow, and customers tastes become ever more exacting. It has never been more complex or costly to bring a road car from initial design to the showroom. The simulators and associated technologies developed by M.A.T. and MTS deliver unique advantages because they are built on the driver-in-the-loop model. The driver is immersed into a complex simulation of a car, which enables accurate, human feedback to the vehicle engineering team. Car set-up can then be changed, and further tests conducted immediately. “MTS is very excited about this agreement and the opportunities it presents for both organisations”, stated Dr. Bill Bachrach, senior vice president and general manager of MTS Test. “Our leading edge technology and expertise in real-world simulation, when paired with McLarens simulation and vehicle design excellence, brings a game-changing solution to automotive OEMs around the world”. 14 Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAY 2015
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