Distributed Embedded Systems Laboratory

Room 2-820, Academic Building
Computer Engineering Program
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Kettering University
(formerly General Motors Institute)
[Kettering University Logo]

Laboratory Resources

Vector CANtech Inc.
CANoe: The comprehensive tool for CAN projects.
CAN-AC2-PCI: A PCI interface card for CAN.
CANcardX: A PCMCIA interface for CAN with a selection of bus drivers.

DS1103 multiprocessor board and brakeout box.
Control Desk
Target Link.

The Mathworks Inc.
Real Time Workshop (RTW)

Other resources
PC workstations with the Windows XP operating system connected to the Internet.
T-boards (ECUs) containing Motorola MCS12 (S12) microcontrollers.
IAR. A windows based software development environment that incudes a C-compiler, assembler, and linker.
Debugging and software download modules (IAR C-Spy with P&E Background debugger module (BDM)).

Laboratory Projects

Safety Critical Steer-by-wire System

CAN Internetworking

Safety Critical Automotive Systems

Safety Critical Architectures

Safety Critical Mechanisms and  Protocols

Drives for electric and hybrid vehicles

Model based design and code generation

ECU design and development

Description of Laboratory Experiments (PDF)

Laboratory Description

A new laboratory and course at Kettering designed to help students and faculty design and experiment with the next generation of automotive electronic technology, particularly hybrid/electric and electric vehicles has been established. One of the goals of the new laboratory is  to develop state-of-the-art communication systems for future  vehicles, which would allow electronics components to talk to each other and thus create a driving experience unknown to todays drivers. The lab supports a new course in the computer engineering program titled Distributed Embedded Systems (CE-482) . Other uses of the lab involve senior capstone design and independent study projects.

Prof. Pimentel has worked with Vector CANtech Inc. (www.vector-cantech.com), a worldwide provider of powerful software and high-end tools for controller area networks (CAN), to put this lab on its feet and provide the cutting edge technology tools necessary to teach students in the development of information technology for future automotive applications. Specifically, Dr. Pimentel established an agreement between the institutions whereby Vector CANtech Inc. provides Kettering with software tools and materials for the development of the lab and supporting courses. Vector then hopes to employ Pimentels laboratory and associated experiments as a model for other schools throughout the world as a means of promoting educational versions of in-vehicle communication products. Vector contributed approximately $100,000 toward the laboratory for CAN hardware and associated software tools.

Another partner company working with Kettering is dSPACE Inc. (www.dspaceinc.com),  a company that provides complete solutions for electronic control unit (ECU) software development and dedicated services in the fields of simulation, function prototyping, target implementation, and ECU testing. dSPACE  provided equipment to the University worth approximately $30,000. The equipment includes a high performance DS1103 multiprocessor board, Control Desk, and Target Link. With this equipment, the process of creating a model, simulating and prototyping it, and producing an actual system based on this model becomes virtually seamless. Other  lab resources include Matlab/Simulink, Real Time Workshop (RTW), six microcontrollers, six software development environments, and six debugging and software download modules.

This software package allows users to move from a totally simulated system to an actual vehicle product which is very helpful to the automotive industry because it saves time in development. More importantly, information technology networking in the automobile is becoming increasingly important and the use of controller area networks is at the heart of this whole movement. This new laboratory will use CAN in many applications, which in turn will help others better use the technology. Based on Ketterings reputation and prestige in the automotive industry, Vector CANtech is interested in the experience of the University lab's use of the CANoe software. Given the right tools, Kettering University students are outstanding in using these resources in creative and innovative ways to solve a variety of engineering problems,. The University is interested in partnering with interested companies that could provide appropriate tools to Kettering because they empower students to deliver significant accomplishments.

It is expected that this lab will be very successful, in terms of what it will offer Kettering students and researchers, and also by what it provides our partner companies. But most important, the automotive industry will benefit from the new discoveries and potential for important research, which may change the way we drive in the near future.

The future of the lab is also very promising. The equipment can also handle other communication technologies, such as LIN (a network involving automotive sensors and actuators) and MOST (a network for in-vehicle audio and video communications). In the short term, it is expected that the lab handle FlexRay, currently under development by the FlexRay Consortium (www.flexray.com). FlexRay is the next generation of in-vehicle communications for safety-critical applications like those involving chassis systems (e.g., drive-by-wire). Other future uses of the lab include model-based simulation and rapid prototyping of automotive functions. During the fall 2002, Kettering students used the dSPACE Inc. equipment to develop control algorithms for induction motor drives based on high frequency, three-phase power inverters suitable for electric and hybrid/electric vehicles.


Dr. Juan R. Pimentel
Computer Engineering Program
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Kettering University
1700 W. Third Avenue
Flint, MI 48504
Phone: 810-762-7990
Toll-Free: 800-955-4464 x7990
Fax: 810-762-9830

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