MapleSim Breaks New Ground in Hardware-in-the-Loop Real-Time Simulation for Planetary Rovers

In the space industry, the design, building and testing of rover prototypes is extremely expensive and system testing typically does not occur until late in the design/testing process, leading to a long development time. In response to this, Dr. Amir Khajepour, Canada Research Chair in Mechatronic Vehicle Systems and Professor of Engineering in the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering department at the University of Waterloo (UW), and his team worked with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Maplesoft, to develop a Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) test platform for solar powered planetary rovers.

Their approach allows component testing within a simulation loop before a full rover prototype is available. It essentially creates a virtual testing environment for the component under test, “tricking” it into thinking it is operating within a full prototype. Using MapleSim, the modeling and simulation tool from Maplesoft, high fidelity and computationally efficient models were created for this real-time application.

Using this test platform, scenarios that are hard to replicate in a lab setup, such as the Martian environment, or components that are not yet available, can be modeled while hardware components that are available can communicate with these software models for real-time simulations. The goal is to progressively add hardware components to the simulation loop as they become available. In this way, system testing takes place even without all the hardware components, bridging the gap between the design and testing phases.

The main advantage of this approach is that it significantly reduces the overall development time in the project. In addition, this allows for component testing under dangerous scenarios without the risk of damaging a full rover prototype.

To learn more, read the full user case study.


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VI-DriveSim Dynamic, created by Maplesoft Partner VI-Grade, wins "Developmental Tool of the Year”

VI-DriveSim Dynamic, VI-grade’s breakthrough driving simulator technology, has been awarded “Development Tool of the Year 2012” by the Vehicle Dynamics International magazine. The prestigious award has been assigned to VI-DriveSim out of a short list of four finalists through a voting process undergone by an international and independent judging panel composed of 15 automotive professionals.

The VI-DriveSim Dynamic motion platform was designed by Ansible Motion, who used MapleSim to develop the inverse kinematic model for the actuators. VI-grade’s flagship solution VI-CarRealTime powers the system with a real-time validated vehicle model. The partnership between Maplesoft and VI-grade make real-time modeling applications more cost and time-effective by integrating MapleSim models with the VI-CarRealTime framework.

For more information about the Maplesoft and VI-Grade partnership, read the press release: Maplesoft and VI-grade partnership makes real-time modeling applications more cost and time-effective.

Video: Richard Gran describing the Lunar Module Project
  Listen as Dr. Richard Gran, Director (ret), Advanced Concepts, Grumman, and member of the Apollo Lunar Module Digital Autopilot design team, describes the power of MapleSim, and what it would have meant for the Apollo Lunar Module Digital Autopilot project had it been available at that time.
Solar Array

In this model, a solar array is modeled using both multibody and electrical components. First, the solar radiation on a panel is calculated based on the tilt of the panel as well as the elevation angle of the sun which varies throughout the day. This is used as input to an equivalent circuit model of a single junction solar cell for estimation of the array's power generation.

Live Webinars
Physical Models of Automotive Batteries for EV and HEV Applications
Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT
Physical Modeling and Simulation with MapleSim
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT
Industry Applications of Maple 16
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT
Automotive Applications of MapleSim - Part 2: Vehicle Dynamics
Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 10:00 am EDT
Recorded Webinars
Applications mécatroniques en aéronautique: modélisation physique avancée avec MapleSim
Maple 16 – Neues auf einen Blick
Math for Engineers: A look at Mathcad Prime 2.0 and Maple 16
Desktop Engineering, May 9, 2012

“Maple 16 benefits from major improvements in computational efficiency, in the areas of core polynomial operations, numeric differential equation solving, and linear algebra computations. It features better scalability on multi-core computers. The Maple programming language has been enhanced to support light-weight objects, for enhanced object-oriented programming ... Maple 16 is a fine choice as a tool for doing serious engineering math.”
Editor's Pick: Maplesoft Releases Maple 16
Desktop Engineering, May 9, 2012

Maplesoft (Waterloo, ONT) recently announced version 16 of Maple, its flagship technical computing system for mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and academia. Calling this a major release, Maplesoft says that Maple 16 has been extended with more than 4,500 additions and improvements across the entire product, including areas such as mathematical algorithms, visualization, programming language, engineering tools, documentation, education features, and authoring tools.
Maple 16
Scientific Computing World, March 30, 2012

Maple 16 features interactive assistants, palettes, context-sensitive menus, tutors and other Clickable Math tools that provide a point-and-click interface for solving, visualising and exploring mathematical problems.

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