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Precise HBM data acquisition makes this classy British limousine even safer

Precise HBM data acquisition makes this classy British limousine even safer HBM's skills continue to help engineers across Ford's Premium Automotive Group as its latest work with Jaguar demonstrates.

Jaguar has chosen HBM's data acquisition (DAQ) system to capture information during safety tests on its range of vehicles. As a global leader in the manufacture of luxury cars, Jaguar invests a great deal of effort into safety research and has a dedicated department at the Jaguar Engineering Centre located at Whitley in Coventry.

To ensure that it had the best DAQ answer possible, Jaguar undertook an exhaustive examination of alternative systems earlier this year. Following that review, Jaguar bought six MGCplus units and catman® software from HBM for its data acquisition needs.

Tests for enhanced safety ...

Jaguar uses the equipment in a wide range of tests to improve car safety. Some tests, such as testing the roof structure and the car's side panels, examine the car's structure and its response in an accident.

Other tests look at the internal structure to ensure that the passengers remain safe. Airbags need to be tested to ensure they operate properly and do not injure passengers during deployment. Internal fittings, such as the dashboard and seats, are tested to ensure they provide proper protection without injuring passengers in an accident.

"The success of the tests depends on the DAQ system, especially since some important events, such as an airbag’s deployment, happen in milliseconds. It is crucial for the test engineers to gather the maximum amount of data for analysis to ensure improved safety. The MGCplus has smart trigger and filter functions to ensure this information is recorded."
(Miles Dadson, Jaguar's Project Engineer Vehicle Safety)

Tests can take up to four weeks to complete and involve examining both individual components and complete vehicles to ensure that Jaguar's customers benefit from very high safety levels. Jaguar uses its MGCplus units in separate racks and connects them to any standard sensor on the test piece by umbilical leads.

... using catman® and MGCplus

An advantage of HBM's equipment is that it allows the test engineers
to synchronously gather data in parallel across a number of different channels. Jaguar's tests use up to 40 channels at sampling rates, with the MGCplus, of up to 19.6 kHz per channel.

"We are really very pleased with the high 24 bit resolution, accuracy and flexibility of the MGCplus and catman® software."
(Miles Dadson)

MGCplus advantage: Flexibility

The modularity of the MGCplus is a great advantage. It can easily be fitted with a wide range of amplifier modules and connection boards that can be configured to meet any DAQ requirements. Jaguar, for example, uses the ML 10 module to amplify DC signals and the ML 78 multi-channel I/O module.
"We also use the ML 70 programmable processor which is critical when testing effective airbag deployment. It is like having a very fast PLC in the equipment."
(Miles Dadson)

catman® advantage: Adaptability

The catman® software can be freely programmed using either pre-defined blocks of code or more experienced users can alter the script to meet their precise needs.

"This is a great advantage and ensures we are fully in control of all aspects of the tests."
(Miles Dadson, on the free progammability of catman®)

Once the data has been gathered, catman® easily exports it to any analysis software, allowing Jaguar to retain its existing analytical programs. Since Jaguar's Vehicle Test and Safety Centre is responsible for testing every vehicle in the Jaguar range this is valuable as it allows Jaguar to compare current test results with those from other models or prototypes.

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