High-Speed Real-Time Simulators for Engineering Design

R. E. Crosbie, N. G. Hingorani


The use of computer simulations is now an established technique in engineering design. Many of these simulations are used to predict the expected behavior of systems that are not yet built, or of existing systems in modes of operation, such as catastrophic failure, in which it is not feasible to test the real system. Another use of computer simulations is for training and testing purposes in which the simulation is interfaced to real hardware, software and/or a human operator and is required to operate in real-time. Examples are plant simulators for operator training or simulated environments for testing hardware or software components. The primary requirement of a real-time simulation is that it must complete all the calculations necessary to update the simulator outputs as well as all the necessary data I/O within the allotted frame time. Many real-time simulations use frame times in the range of a few milliseconds and greater.There is an increasing number of applications, for example in power electronics and automotive systems, in which much shorter frame rates are required. This paper reviews some of these applications and the approaches to real-time simulation that can achieve frame times in the range 5 to 100 microseconds. 


computer simulation; real-time; engineering design; digital signal processors

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague