An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) relies on information from a number of different sensors to monitor the equipment it is controlling – these may include measurements of temperature, strain, distance, etc. A Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) system employed to test the ECU needs to simulate the behavior of these sensors as accurately as possible to ensure that the ECU behaves on the test bench exactly as it would when operating in the real-world. Pickering offers a variety of  PXI programmable resistor modules and  PCI programmable resistor cards for use in medical, automotive and aerospace applications. We offer different features for use in different applications, these include:

  • Platform Pickering's Programmable Resistor Solutions for Sensor Simulation
    • Solutions in both the PXI and PCI formats
    • Ethernet control of any of our PXI modules when installed in our LXI Chassis
  • Number of Channels
    • Between one and 18 channels
  • Range
    • Many resistance ranges are available with values from a short circuit to millions of Ohms
    • Our PXI modules and PCI cards are available with a narrow setting range and very fine resolution for simulating sensors and strain gauges
  • Resolution
    • Resistance setting resolutions are available from 10Ω to 2mΩ for a wide range of applications
  • Power Handling
  • Minimum Resistance Value
    • The lower the minimum resistance value required the greater the errors caused by relay contact resistance and copper trace losses.
    • Generally, modules and cards with a low minimum resistance do not have as wide a range of resistance values as those with higher minimum resistances.
  • Accuracy
    • High accuracy requires careful design to ensure low loss paths, management of thermoelectric EMF and the use of higher stability resistors
  • Calibration Port
    • A calibration port allows the user to check the resistor channel without having to disconnect the front panel connector. It can be used to connect any of the resistor channels to a DMM to perform an accurate four terminal measurement.
  • Custom Programmable Resistors

Our programmable resistor modules are ideal for the simulation of resistive sensors with very fine adjustment and they have the additional capability of being set as open and short circuit to simulate faults in the sensor connections to the ECU. Specific versions of these modules have been developed to simulate Resistance Temperature Devices (RTD) (PXI 40-262 series and PCI 50-262 series) and strain gauges (PXI 40-265 series and PCI 50-265 series).

Our entire range use real resistors, they do not use current loads or other electronic means to control the resistance value. Therefore they behave in exactly the same way as an actual resistor.

For more information on these resistors, please take a look at these resources:
Video: Intro to Programmable Resistors Article: What is a Programmable Resistor White Paper: Understanding Programmable Resistors for Sensor Simulation in Test Webinar: Using Programmable Resistors for Sensor Simulation Product Reference Map

Looking for additional technical background on our resistor modules, take a look at this page on our Knowledgebase here or feel free to contact us.

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