MicroAutoBox II Adds Multistage Watchdog Mechanism

May 15, 2013. The dSPACE MicroAutoBox II compact prototyping system now has a multistage watchdog mechanism that performs run-time monitoring with configurable timeout behavior. When critical states occur, the system responds immediately and in a defined manner, giving engineers an added layer of safety when experimenting with prototype vehicles in road and fleet tests.

In the MicroAutoBox II hardware, the system watchdog is implemented in an FPGA, functioning independently of the MicroAutoBox II processor. Individually configurable software watchdogs enable targeted monitoring of the software tasks. The predefined, configured behaviors are activated immediately following a software-generated timeout in the system watchdog. Timeout behaviors include actions such as data backup, setting defined states for actuator interfaces, and even a complete system reboot. The new watchdog mechanism for MicroAutoBox II is available with dSPACE Software Release 2013-A and supports all MicroAutoBox II variants.

Simple Configuration in the Simulink Model

The new run-time watchdog can easily be programmed and integrated into controller models via a special new Real-Time Interface (RTI) blockset. Configuration and execution blocks for watchdog functionality can be added to a model by simply dragging them from the blockset library into a MathWorks Simulink diagram.

MicroAutoBox II users can monitor at least 20 tasks simultaneously. Each task can be assigned its own timeout behavior, so users can easily trace problems in the controller software during rapid control prototyping. This functionality provides a means to perform root cause analysis to increase the reliability and quality of the software under development.

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