New dSPACE AC Motor Control Solution Optimizes Controls Development for Electric Drives

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

November 09, 2020


New dSPACE AC Motor Control Solution Optimizes Controls Development for Electric Drives

Application Spectrum for MicroAutoBox III RCP System Expanded

The new dSPACE MicroAutoBox III AC Motor Control Solution provides developers with a software connection that enables them to develop complex control algorithms for frequency converters and electric drives. Used in combination with the MicroAutoBox III prototyping system and the DS1553 Interface Module, test drives can be efficiently carried out in the vehicle.

The AC Motor Control Solution offers a comprehensive library of I/O functions. These represent driver functions optimized for the development of inverter control in a configurable user interface. The functions can be graphically linked to the appropriate controllers, via drag & drop. More I/O functions are available for discrete signals and various position and angle encoders. This extends the application range of the system, as protocol-based encoders are also supported. Application examples can be found in automated industrial plants or in harvesting machines, in which low-cost electric motors are replacing complex and rigidly coupled mechanical drives. 

A key requirement in developing the AC Motor Control (ACMC) Solution for the MicroAutoBox III was full compatibility with existing hardware and software components from dSPACE. This way, an existing DS1553 ACMC Module from a MicroAutoBox II can be used in the corresponding MicroAutoBox III unit. This gives users the best possible support for switching to the MicroAutoBox III system to benefit from its higher computing power and new I/O modules (e.g., the DS1521 Bus Board).

The DS1553 is connected to the Xilinx FPGA of the MicroAutoBox. The I/O functions of the MicroAutoBox III AC Motor Control Solution are based on dSPACE libraries developed for direct FPGA programming. This ensures seamless switching between the AC Motor Control Solution and implementation directly on the FPGA. Customers can, therefore, switch directly to the FPGA option for ideal controller cycle times of <20µs.

Typical applications for the AC Motor Control Solution for the MicroAutoBox III include the development of drive controls and mechatronic components, such as steering systems or DC/DC converters for combining HV and LV vehicle electrical systems.

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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