RF Test Systems for Connectivity
The “connected car” is nowadays more than a vision, it is becoming reality. Automatic emergency calls in case of accidents (eCall) will be mandatory in the European Union starting April 2018. Thus every new car will have a mobile network connection in Europe. Wireless interfaces will support autonomous driving (Car2X / V2X) and allow new business models around telematic services and remote support, as well as online in-car entertainment. Quality requirements for all the wireless interfaces demand a test environment, that is capable of simulating a realistic radio environment.
RF Test for Car Infotainment Systems
Modern infotainment components process a variety of information that is radiated via broadcast antennas. For the operation of infotainment components in test environments, generator- or live RF signals are required. Modern infotainment components contain numerous receivers for different broadcasting and satellite signals. Validating the complex interaction of all functions requires presence of all the RF signals simultaneously.
When the various SW and HW components are integrated, many test engineers run tests in parallel with various SW versions using a HW platform that needs to run the software like the final product. Therefore a HIL (Hardware In the Loop) approach to testing infotainment or telematics products consists of supplying the HW with realistic and / or simulated radio, cellular and WiFi signals, that are similar to connecting an antenna in the final application.
Becker Nachrichtentechnik GmbH provides the equipment for R&D facilities that economically and reliably supply many HIL setups with radio signals over wired coaxical cable (>100 was already realized). Due to the high bandwidth, all signals from AM, FM/DAB up to the newer 5G cellular frequencies can be shared with all the HIL setups.
The qualification test requirements are not released long before the end of the development. Thus equipment to supply the radio, cellular and WiFi signals must be customized within few months to fit the requirements.
Becker Nachrichtentechnik GmbH provides equipment also for this application with a focus on flexibility and fast availability.
During full mass production each product is subject to a functional test for quality assurance reasons. Here the main focus is cost of equipment and cycle time. Test & measurement equipment can be very expensive, so sharing the expensive resource as efficiently as possible with as many as possible devices-under-test (DUTs) is essential in production. Becker Nachrichtentechnik GmbH provides flexible switch matrices that can route the radio signals of up to 32 DUTs to a given set of measurement equipment, thereby optimizing cost and throughput time.