Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and Rohde & Schwarz are working together to promote the widespread use of wireless battery management systems (wBMS) in the automotive industry. Compared to conventional wired battery management systems (BMS), wBMS offers significant advantages in terms of technology, environmental friendliness, and cost-effectiveness. To meet the growing demand for wireless device testing, the two companies have jointly developed a new automated test solution designed to ensure efficient wBMS validation and mass production testing.
As a core component of an electric vehicle (EV), the BMS is responsible for the safe and efficient management of the battery pack, which plays a critical role in the safety, range, and performance of EVs. Traditional wired BMS designs limit design flexibility and production scalability while increasing vehicle weight. The wBMS, however, wirelessly enables the communication between the battery monitoring controller and the battery management controller, greatly simplifying the battery assembly, maintenance, and replacement process and delivering significant cost and operational benefits. In addition, it saves space and reduces weight for vehicles.
It is worth mentioning that ADI‘s wBMS has been successfully put into production on several EV platforms, making it the first ISO21434 CAL4-compliant wBMS product that meets the most stringent cybersecurity standards. It also meets demanding radio frequency (RF) performance and robustness standards to maximize battery capacity and lifetime.
In the production chain, R&S and ADI have jointly developed an ultra-compact automated test system specifically for wBMS testing. The system performs calibration, receiver, transmitter, and DC testing of wBMS modules quickly and reliably, and is suitable for both laboratory validation and production testing, effectively increasing production efficiency. The system consists of R&S’ CMW100 wireless communications tester, the WMT wireless automated test software framework, and the new ExpressTSVP universal test and measurement platform. To ensure test accuracy, the device under test is placed in an interference-free environment, such as R&S’s TS7124 RF shielding box.
For RF robustness testing of wBMS, the two companies also collaborated to develop an air-port test method to capture real-world RF spectra. By playing back these spectra in the lab, the correct operation of the wBMS in harsh RF environments can be verified. This solution provides a realistic, repeatable, and efficient means of validating wireless devices. During multiple test drives in complex RF environments, R&S’ FSW signal and spectrum analyzers monitor the RF spectrum and send it to the IQW broadband I/Q data logger. To play back the recorded spectrum profiles in the lab, the IQW is connected to an SMW200A vector signal generator.
From the R&D lab to the production line, R&S offers a comprehensive set of test solutions for wBMS. “We leverage market-leading expertise to develop innovative solutions throughout the product lifecycle,” said Juergen Meyer, vice president of R&S Automotive Market Sector. We are proud to be working with ADI to address the testing challenges of wBMS, from R&D to mass production, to maximize wBMS robustness and performance. We are confident that this collaboration will drive the automotive industry to realize the huge potential of wBMS.”