Vehicle module testing

High frequency test

RF-Testing of Car Connection/Communication Modules

High frequency testing with shielded environment of RF-modules

A networking and communicating vehicle is a big part of the future and gives the user the ability to access active traffic data, weather-, location information and even more, such as direct localizing and assistance in the event of breakdown or emergency. Additional advantages, the provision of a internet hotspot for passengers and mobile phone connections for telephony or entertainment. Different antenna modules are a basic requirement for a harmonized network and the collection and exchange of information. The communication is on various frequencies bandwidth, e.g. LTE, GSM, GPS, Wifi or Bluetooth starting by 600MHz to 6GHz. ENGMATEC has been specializing in the testing of RF modules in capable test chambers. These are used for reproducible, shielded and interference-free tests. ENGMATEC hardware can be used as a manual or fully automated test-chamber in inline test lines.

ENGMATEC presented one of these RF chambers at productronica 2019. It was automatically loaded and unloaded by a robot. Models of the VW T1 bus were used as show test units to replace the original test unit and to illustrate the car communication.

RF test chamber with high shielding effectiveness

The "ENGMATEC Testchamber RF" (ETC-RF) is a development for testing of various assemblies in different frequency ranges from 600MHz to 96GHz. That includes not only communication modules, but also for example, products from the radar sensor technology sector for autonomous driving and so on. There are either different standard chamber sizes or individual designs, according to customer requirements, available. The tested product can be loaded or unloaded manually or by automated handling.

At the trade fair, an industrial robot with an area scanner was used for this purpose. Due to the virtual security zone created by the mounted scanners, a mechanical protective fence was completely unnecessary. When entering a first, wider zone, the speed of the robot was reduced (warning zone). If a visitor entered the inner zone, the actual safety zone, the robot was put into a safe stop.

RF Test Functional Test high frequency

After the test unit was placed in the nest, the presence and correct positioning of the device was checked by a sensor system.

The robot closes the drawer and the 4-point locking is done automatically through the chamber. From now on, the test object is located within a shielded test environment and is fully contacted. Thus, the test system can communicate directly with the test sample as well as via the antennas installed in the chamber. The test environment is specially adapted to the DUT and the absorbers are designed for the frequency range. Inside the exhibited chamber assemblies with dimensions up to 225x200x120mm can be tested.

After completion of the test sequence, a handshake with the handling unit is triggered. The Cobot opens the drawer by a vacuum gripper and unloads the product into a transfer nest.

A model car of the classic VW-Bulli was used in Munich as a "test sample" and was given to interested trade fair visitors as a souvenir.

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