In the research and development (R&D) realm, engineers are constantly working on pushing the boundaries of innovation and developing newer cutting-edge solutions. Often, the future success of these endeavors depends heavily on the ability to properly validate and test designs in real time, replicating real-world conditions as closely as possible. This is precisely where the combination of Simulink and Speedgoat steps in, offering a powerful toolkit for R&D engineers to perform accurate real-time simulation and testing early in the development process.
What is Simulink?
Simulink, developed by MathWorks, is a MATLAB-based block diagram environment meticulously designed to model, simulate, and analyze complex dynamic systems. The software provides R&D engineers with the freedom to craft models using an extensive library of pre-built blocks and create custom blocks to represent various system components. Simulink supports a variety of domains, including control systems, signal processing, image processing, model-based design, and more. Its user-friendly interface enables engineers to seamlessly connect these blocks to define and simulate the system’s behavior under development, empowering the development team to unlock the full potential of their research.
What is Speedgoat?
While Simulink is a powerful simulation tool, it operates in a desktop environment and runs simulations non-real-time. This limitation makes it challenging to test and validate designs that interact with real-world hardware or have strict timing requirements. This is where Speedgoat, real-time target machines designed explicitly for real-time simulation and testing, comes in.
Speedgoat real-time target machines, developed by Speedgoat GmbH, are robust and reliable real-time target machine that seamlessly integrates with Simulink. It bridges Simulink models and physical hardware, allowing engineers to run real-time simulations and perform hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. Speedgoat connects to the Simulink model running on a host computer and executes the model in real-time, providing deterministic and time-critical behavior.
Key advantages of using Speedgoat
One of the key advantages of using Speedgoat is its ability to interface with a wide range of I/O (input/output) devices and protocols. Speedgoat supports various I/O modules, such as analog and digital I/O, communication protocols like Ethernet and CAN, and field buses like PROFIBUS and EtherCAT. This enables engineers to connect their Simulink models to physical sensors, actuators, and other hardware components, creating a closed-loop system that emulates real-world interactions.
The real-time capabilities of Speedgoat make it an invaluable tool for testing and validating control systems. Engineers can design and implement control algorithms in Simulink, deploy them to the Speedgoat target machine, and connect the physical plant or hardware to the Speedgoat I/O modules. This setup allows for real-time interaction between the Simulink model and the physical system, enabling engineers to evaluate the performance of their control algorithms and make necessary adjustments.
Another significant advantage of using Simulink and Speedgoat together is the ability to perform rapid prototyping. Engineers can quickly model and simulate their ideas with Simulink’s graphical interface and extensive block library. By deploying these models to a Speedgoat target machine, they can test and validate their prototypes in real-time, significantly reducing the development cycle. This enables engineers to iterate quickly and efficiently, leading to faster time-to-market.
In our previous blog, Daniel Szabo – the application engineer at Gamax Laboratory Solutions – explains how to use Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing to detect design flaws early in the development process.
The combination of Simulink and Speedgoat is not limited to control systems or hardware testing; it finds applications in various industries. For example, automotive engineers can use this powerful duo to develop and test advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving algorithms. By connecting Simulink models to vehicle components through Speedgoat’s I/O modules, engineers can simulate real-world scenarios and evaluate the performance of these systems in a safe and controlled environment.
Watch the webinar recording where Domonkos Szeker – engineering team lead at Gamax Laboratory Solutions – explains the most efficient way to test your Simulink control designs in real-time while connecting to hardware.
Similarly, aerospace engineers can leverage Simulink and Speedgoat for testing and validating flight control systems, avionics, and navigation algorithms. By integrating Simulink models with the Speedgoat target machine, engineers can create hardware-in-the-loop setups that mimic the behavior of aircraft systems. This enables them to assess the performance and safety of their designs before deploying them on actual aircraft.
In conclusion, real-time simulation and testing are crucial steps in developing complex engineering systems. Simulink and Speedgoat provide a powerful combination that enables engineers to design, simulate, and test their ideas in real-time, replicating real-world conditions. Whether it’s developing control systems, testing hardware prototypes, or validating complex algorithms, Simulink and Speedgoat offer the tools and capabilities necessary to accelerate innovation and ensure the success of engineering projects across various industries.
All products mentioned are developed by COMSOL.