Rapid Control Prototyping
dSPACEs flexible prototyping system is a tool for developing control algorithms with ease. A Simulink®-model is compiled and downloaded with the press of a button and is then executed on the real-time platform. The real-time platforms from dSPACE are equipped with a variety of in- and outputs, along with an array of communication busses, allowing all kinds of hardware to be connected to the platform. dSPACE provides a library of Simulink® blocks and functions for easy configuration of the physical interfaces. This grants full control of all parameters, which can be modified and measured in real-time, easing the developing and evaluation of control algorithms.
A real-time system can be anything from the compact MicroAutoBox (MABX) to large, modular systems such as Scalexio. These can be further supplemented with a modular concept for signal conditioning and power supply called RapidPro.
Once the real-time application is downloaded and running on the platform, being able to interact with the application is very important. Changing the values of parameters and visualizing data are important, but the ability to do more advanced things such as run scripts can be even more valuable. This is done through dSPACEs experiment software ControlDesk, which allows you to control and read from the application in real-time. It also enables the processing of measurement data for advanced analysis, and of course, save the measurements to storage devices such as hard drives. With ControlDesk, you design your own interface.
In addition to only using a real-time platform from dSPACE, you can also have concept where you recycle parts of existing control systems for interfacing with sensors and actuators. The actual functions development is still done on a dSPACE platform that reads and writes data through, for example, a bus to the existing control system.