HORIBA Teams With SAIC to Build Dynamometer System



TROY, Mich., Sept. 16, 2009 /PRNewswire/ – HORIBA Automotive Test Systems has been awarded a subcontract by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to be the sole supplier helping to design, build and support a dynamometer system that will be used to develop, test and validate hybrid and other advanced powertrains for a wide range of vehicles at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, Mich.

Scheduled to go online in 2011, the HORIBA test system will be able to accommodate tracked vehicles weighing up to 44 tons and 10-wheeled trucks weighing up to 33 tons. It also will be able to measure and calibrate up to 1,000 data signals and simulate the extreme duty cycles and terrains that military vehicles encounter, from mountainous deserts to Arctic climates.

HORIBA is building the test system under contract to SAIC, a prime contractor supporting TARDEC’s new Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) and other automotive research projects for ground combat vehicles. The prime contract was awarded to SAIC in 2005.

The HORIBA test system will become a part of GSPEL’s Power and Energy Environmental Laboratory (PEVEL). When completed, PEVEL will be the largest environmental chamber for combat and tactical vehicle testing in the world. Local Michigan dignitaries and Dr. Grace Bochenek, director of TARDEC, officially broke ground for the new GSPEL building at the Detroit Arsenal on August 17, 2009.

“Our work with SAIC will help the U.S. Army take its efficiency to an entirely new level of performance,” said Dr. Masayuki Adachi, president of HORIBA International Corp. “The HORIBA team in Troy, with the full support of our process, environment, scientific and semiconductor divisions, will be customizing and deploying technologies we developed and refined for our automotive customers. HORIBA’s unique controller architecture has enabled the company to build a truly advanced, high-power, multi-axle driveline test system capable of assessing the full vehicle as part of hardware in the-loop (HIL) and soldier in the-loop (SITL) functionality.”

Expanding the Definition of Energy Security Via Laboratory Simulation

According to military and government sources, replacing conventional powertrains with hybrid and other advanced vehicle technologies will sharply reduce bulk fuel shipping costs, increase the security of supply lines and reduce risks to soldiers.

“In private hands, hybrids and electric vehicles save consumers money at the pump, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help reduce America’s dependence on imported oil,” said Rex Tapp, executive vice-president and general manager of HORIBA Automotive Test Systems. “In the hands of the U.S. Army, hybrids and advanced technology vehicles do all this and more, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘energy security.'”

According to government reports, the Army uses half a billion gallons of fuel per year. In addition, it’s estimated that fuel makes up about 70 percent of the logistical tonnage haul in an armored division, with shipping costs ranging anywhere from $10-$400 per gallon, depending on whether it is transported by truck, boat or plane. In response, the Army has targeted a 75 percent reduction in consumption by 2020.

The HORIBA system offers closed-loop process control to simulate real-world missions and was designed with the particular needs of TARDEC in mind:

  • Vehicle operating conditions that can be simulated include acceleration, tire off ground, rolling, terrain and grade resistance, steering torque bias, wheel slip, vehicle and engine braking and more.
  • More than 1,000 data channels are collected and distributed to analysis, archival, and equipment health monitoring systems.
  • Manual and automated test execution, including remote and open simulation interface HIL systems, are supported by SPARC(TM), HORIBA’s real-time closed-loop dynamometer controller software, and STARS(TM), mwhich provides the user-to-machine interface and supervises all control and data acquisition functions.
  • Twenty-six different test configurations are possible, including 10-wheel drive; up to 10 different four-wheel drive configurations for wheeled vehicles; and front- and rear-drive layouts for tracked vehicles.
  • The wheeled vehicle dynamometers have a rated torque capacity of more than 34,000 ft.-lbs., and the tracked vehicle maximum torque rating approaches 42,000 ft.-lbs.
  • Vehicles can be prepped outside of the facility and then driven into the test chamber, which improves throughput.

HORIBA also is supplying a full complement of emissions, fuel flow and fuel conditioning test equipment for the project.

“With the capabilities and connectivity HORIBA is building into this test system, soldiers in Texas can remotely drive a vehicle that’s in Michigan through a simulated mountain pass while battery developers in California, transmission engineers in Indiana and academics at a university anywhere in the country can collect data, monitor performance and interface with the vehicle under test,” Tapp said. “Vehicles that undergo this comprehensive soldier in the-loop testing will be ready to handle the Army’s most challenging missions.”


Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, the HORIBA Group of worldwide companies provides an extensive array of instruments and systems for applications ranging from automotive R&D, process and environmental monitoring, in-vitro medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing and metrology, to a broad range of scientific R&D and quality control measurements.

Source: HORIBA Automotive Test Systems