A Configuration-Based Automatic Test System for Armored Vehicle Information Acquisition Devices

  • Linghui ZhangEmail author
  • Ruina Zhao
  • Lei Guo
  • Shao Li
  • Weizheng An
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 517)


Against the situation that traditional armored vehicle information acquisition device can have multiple models, variable structures, long manual test cycle, complex test steps, low reliability, and other drawbacks, a configuration-based automatic test system for armored vehicle information acquisition devices is designed to realize the various performance testing. The system uses a combination of hardware and software virtual instrument technology which provides the ability to flexibly configure the test information. In addition, the test cases can be automatically configured and executed; the test results are automatically generated.


Acquisition device Automatic testing Configuration-based 

1 Introduction

Due to the increasing requirements in the performance of tanks and armored vehicles, the use of advanced electromechanical equipment is in great demand, and armored vehicles are developing in the direction of informatization. While the information system is an important part of tanks and armored vehicles, information acquisition device is the core electrical equipment of information system. The information acquisition device needs to collect the working status of various equipment and various types of sensor signals to ensure the normal operation of the entire armored vehicle system and that the system state is under full surveillance. At the same time, it provides the vehicle’s fault diagnosis information for the crews to reduce the driving burden. For different types of tanks or armored vehicles, the classes and quantities of signals collected by the information acquisition device are disparate, and the correctness of the information collected by the acquisition device will directly affect the performance of the tank control system. Therefore, the test of the information acquisition device for tanks and armored vehicles is of great significance for the study of its performance and function, a stable and reliable information acquisition device and measurement/control system are necessary to guarantee the functions and action decisions of various parts of the vehicle. Due to the variety of information acquisition device types, the use of different test benches to build the test circuit has high labor intensity and low working efficiency; the manual control test method is easy to produce misjudgment; the degree of automation is low and high skilled maintenance personnel are needed. With the development of computer, detection and electronic technologies, the development of universal, standardized and intelligent automatic test systems is the trend of automatic test systems at home and abroad. In order to examine the information acquisition devices more accurately, conveniently and quickly, the proposed system uses a configuration-based automatic test system to be able to configure different types of acquisition devices and achieve automatic testing, failing automatic alarms, indicating fault locations. It will greatly reduce the labor intensity of detection, and improve the accuracy of detection and working efficiency [1].

2 Overall System Design

According to the detection requirements of the information acquisition device, the system shall meet the following function requirements:
  1. 1.

    Complete the detection of various information acquisition devices on a single detection device;

  2. 2.

    When testing, the test signal can be introduced through the external socket of the information acquisition device;

  3. 3.

    When changed to another type of information acquisition device, only some simple settings in software are needed, no additional circuit is required to set up;

  4. 4.

    Have the ability to report test results automatically for operator’s observation [2].

The major functions of the acquisition device include analog signal acquisition, switching signal acquisition, provision of stabilized voltage supply for sensors and external bus communication. The analog signal acquisition mainly includes voltage type and resistance type signals. Switching signal acquisition includes high and low-level signal, high-level with high-resistance signal, low-level with high-resistance signal, etc. The typical sensors’ power supply voltages are 5, 12 and 24 V. The external communication of the acquisition device is mainly through CAN bus and FlexRay bus. All the collected and the external bus communication signals are attached to the device through the connectors on the case. Due to the variety of information acquisition device types, the analog signals, switch signals and external communication methods are different, moreover, the type of external socket and the number of connector pins are also not the same. In order to overcome the difficulty caused by type variety and meet the system requirements, a dedicated configuration-based automatic testing system is designed as illustrated in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Overall system composition

3 Main Modules of the System

3.1 Design of the Test Master Module

The test master control module, shown in Fig. 2, uses ARM as the core control chip, which has the advantages of high running speed and powerful functions. The test master module can receive and save the test cases set up by the industrial computer that will be executed by default before the next overwriting. The test master module will control the switch output module, the resistance signal output module as well as the voltage signal output module to generate the simulated test signals according to the test cases configured by different channel tests [3]. The test master module can also control the communication between the communication module and the acquisition device and judge the communication state of the acquisition device, meanwhile, the simulated test signals are compared with the collected signals uploaded by the acquisition device to verify the correctness of the information from the collection channel so that to form a closed-loop test. At last, the test master control module drives the display control module to show the test results.
Fig. 2.

The scheme of the control chip

3.2 Design of the High-Level, High-Resistance Signal Test Circuit

The high-level output adopts the BTS721L1 chip, the scheme is illustrated in Fig. 3, this chip’s high-level part can have very large current output while the low-level part does not support input current function, and the chip’s package structure is shown in Fig. 4. The high-level output circuit can be used in the test of the high or low-level signals and high-level with high-resistance signals.
Fig. 3.

Scheme of the high-level with high-resistance test circuit

Fig. 4.

Package structure of the BTS721L1 chip

3.3 Design of the High-Level, Low-Level Signal Test Circuit

As shown in Fig. 5 the electric relay RY4 outputs the OUT signal under the control of the control system CTRL. When the relay is not energized, OUT is connected to ground, and when the relay is energized, OUT outputs 24 V through a current limiting resistor.
Fig. 5.

The principle of high-level and low-level signal test circuit

It can be seen from the scheme that under the mode of relay output the circuit can output high-level and low-level, and both high level and low level have the ability of electric driving. It can test the high-level and low-level collection circuit of the information acquisition device.

3.4 Design of the Voltage Acquisition Signal Test Circuit

As shown in Fig. 6, the AD5724 DA chip generates four voltage outputs under the control of the CPU. After the output voltage signal passes through the amplifier, a current limiting resistor is added and then the circuit is able to simulate the output of the sensor for testing the voltage signal of the acquisition device. The current limiting resistor in the figure prevents the user from misconnecting and protecting the DA chip.
Fig. 6.

Voltage signal test circuit

3.5 Design of the Resistance Signal Test Circuit

As shown in Fig. 7, the imported high-performance relay controls the opening and closing of the resistor network so as to achieve the output of the standard resistor and achieve the purpose of simulating the temperature sensor.
Fig. 7.

Resistance signal test circuit

4 Software Design of the Test System

The system uses NI LabVIEW as a development tool, LabVIEW is a kind of graphical programming language, it can provide designers with a very simple and easy graphical design environment, and provides powerful simulation and data processing functions. Also, it is very suitable for the development of information acquisition device test system software and has the advantage to support the future extended use case. In addition, LabVIEW’s powerful hardware drivers, graphical interface capabilities, and convenient as well as efficient graphical programming (G language) provide a good solution for process control and industrial applications.

4.1 Operational Interface Design

For different types and quantities of information collected by the acquisition device, it is required to configure the test cases for the acquisition channels from the aspects of the type of the collected data and the valid value scope of the data. The user can configure the acquisition device test cases according to the type and quantity of signals collected by different tanks and armored vehicles. The system has good compatibility, expandability, and versatility, and can meet the user’s need that changes of collection information are also supported for the acquisition device. Thus it can be seen that the system’s basic, and the central feature is the function of configuration.

The test cases of the analog signal acquisition channel need to configure the name of the acquisition channel, the range of the acquisition voltage and resistance (AD value), the range of the physical value and the acquisition accuracy are shown in Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Configuration interface for analog signal test case

The test cases of the switch signal acquisition channel need to configure the name of the acquisition channel, the type of the signals (high-level, low-level or high-resistance) and the physical implication of all the status as shown in Fig. 9.
Fig. 9.

Switch signal acquisition test case configuration interface

For the configuration of the acquisition device with FlexRay communication, each acquisition channel needs a time slot corresponding to the FlexRay communication, and it should correspond to the byte and BIT bit of each frame of data. The specific settings are shown in Fig. 10.
Fig. 10.

FlexRay communication configuration interface

For the configuration of the acquisition device with CAN communication, each acquisition channel needs to correspond to the CAN communication data frame, and it should correspond to the byte and BIT bit of the frame data. The specific settings are shown in Fig. 11.
Fig. 11.

CAN communication configuration interface

4.2 Test Case Execution Flow

The test master control module controls the simulated switch signal output module, the simulated resistance signal output module, and the simulated voltage signal output module to output signals according to the test cases, and judges the correctness of the test case execution based on the information uploaded by the communication module and fulfills the final test. The execution result of the use case is displayed by the display control module, and the execution flowchart is shown in Fig. 12.
Fig. 12.

Test case execution flow

Through the usage of the collection system, according to the actual collection channel of a certain type of the acquisition device, the test case is configured, and the test case is automatically executed to test the device. The results show that the technical requirements are met and the fault is accurately positioned and diagnosed. It has passed the inspection and has already successfully operated on-site. The test case shown by the display control module during the acquisition device test is shown in Fig. 13. The on-site commissioning and stable operation effects show that the proposed test system is reasonably designed with good control effect, short test time and high versatility.
Fig. 13.

A type of acquisition device test case output display interface

5 Conclusion

Through the self-configuration of test cases, the proposed configuration-based automatic test system can automatically test multiple acquisition devices through one single system. The system has the features of good scalability, high test speed, stable system performance, friendly man–machine interface, and is easy to operate, as a result, the test efficiency has improved significantly.


  1. 1.
    Joint Technical Architecture. Department of Defense, 200104Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    DoD Executive Agent for Automatic Test System Update [EB OL]., 200109
  3. 3.
    DoD Automatic Test System Architecture Guide (1999)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linghui Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ruina Zhao
    • 2
  • Lei Guo
    • 1
  • Shao Li
    • 1
  • Weizheng An
    • 1
  1. 1.China North Vehicle Research InstituteBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing North Vehicle Group CorporationBeijingChina

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