Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

D.C. Samson Tools for testing control systems
Literature survey, Report 2005.TL.6981, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

This report gives an overview of the various methods used for testing control systems: hardware methods, CPU response methods, logic analysis and simulation methods. This last method is the most suitable for testing modern multi variable, non-linear control systems; therefore the focus will be on this specific testing method.

Four types of simulation methods are distinguished: simulation, emulation, real time control and prototyping. Emulation, the use of a real control system with a simulated physical system, is the principal subject of this work. This way of testing offers greater accuracy than simulation and it is usually cheaper than prototyping. Other advantages include the possibility to test the control system earlier in the development process, the possibility to test the control systems response in situations that are difficult, dangerous or impossible to reproduce with the real system and the ability to use emulation for training purposes.

In order to create an emulation model, a design methodology has to be applied. Different life-cycle models are available for the development of software. The waterfall model, spiral model and object oriented life cycle model are discussed; the most suitable model for building emulation models is identified. A number of requirements have to be met to build a good emulation model. Whether a model is 'good' is determined by testing: model verification and validation. Attention will be paid to these subjects, together with calibration: the fine-tuning of a model.

Finally, five applications of emulation in different domains are discussed; emulation used in the field of container terminal design, airport baggage handling systems and the design of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) systems.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2005.10.25; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.