Interfacing PTWinSim and vTAG Co-Simulation Environments to the
rFpro Graphical Environment PDF
The rFpro Plugins provide a way of hosting vTAG or PTWinSim applications within the rFpro
environment. The plugins expose the complete rFpro API to the
applications. With @Source and the rFpro block-set, from
Podium Technology, the complete API can be accessed using Simulink
to develop the applications. The plugins will, however,
execute any applications, e.g. 3rd party applications from
powertrain or ECU suppliers where the source models are not
An example set of applications might be:
- ECU chassis control.
- ECU engine control.
- ECU interface (taking engineering values from the models/rFpro
and scaling them to the ECU needs).
- rFpro inputs – reading the rFpro values for use by other
applications, such as the track surface, scoring information and
- rFpro outputs – taking the vehicle model state and passing it
to rFpro for graphical rendering.
- Vehicle model.
- Hardware inputs e.g. for driver controls via CAN or DAQ
- Hardware outputs, e.g. to a steering feedback or dashboard via
- Interface to motion platform.
Applications can be generated in a multitude ways:
- From Simulink models using the Podium Technology @Source Simulink Coder target (vTAG or
PTWinSim). No model changes are required when switching
between PTWinSim and vTAG.
- From Simulink models using McLaren Applied Technologies GDE (vTAG only)
- Claytex's Simulator Library for Dymola models
(vTAG or PTWinSim)
- Microsoft Visual C++, based on a supplied template.
Most vehicle models can be generated as a Simulink S-Function which
can be ‘wrapped’ in a Simulink model and compiled for vTAG or PTWinSim
(e.g. CarSim, VI-Grade CarRT, SIMPACK etc.).
The advantages of using the PTWinSim or vTAG plugins, over developing
bespoke rFpro plugins, are:
- Several models can be executed in this co-simulation
environment. The partitioning of the functionality into
separate applications greatly improves maintainability,
reusability and enables responsibilities to be spread across
departments or companies.
- The applications execute in the same process as rFpro, ensuring
perfect synchronisation between the graphics environment and the
- PTWinSim and vTAG provide the basic services that are useful
while executing systems such as interfaces for run-time
monitoring, tuning and data logging, via MAT System Monitor/ATLAS,
Marelli SYSMA, Cosworth Diablo/Toolbox or any of the
standard automotive tools that utilise XCP over Ethernet (e.g.
Vector CANape, ETAS Inca, ATI Vision, dSPACE ControlDesk).
- Parameterisation of the models via text files.
- Data exchanges between applications – linking the outputs of
applications to the inputs of others, as well as allowing
parameters to be shared between applications.
These rFpro plugins can operate in different plugin modes,
depending on how they are loaded by rFpro’s host plugin SimControl:
- Physics Plugin: The applications have access to the full API
enabling vehicle models to be hosted.
- Hardware Plugin: This mode would be used when a 3rd Party
plugin was being used for physics, a restricted API is available
that allows access to the physics plugin output and other rFpro
data, for use in interfacing with other systems such as hardware
input and outputs or a motion platform.
- Sensor IG Plugin: A particular API is provided to allow the
simulation of ADAS sensors, such as radar, lidar, ultrasonic and
The most convenient method for developing applications for
PTWinSim and/or vTAG is to use Simulink with @Source and the Podium Technology rFpro
Blockset. In combination, you receive:
- Access to the complete rFpro/SimControl API to bring in data to
models such as terrain, driver controls, scoring, weather, as well
as write back data to define the vehicle position and state.
- Access to all the call-backs triggered by rFpro/SimControl with
the @Source System Call block.
- Library of default call-backs that save the rFpro data to
measurement channels for display and logging.
- Sample models to demonstrate how to make best use of the
API. The three models on this page demonstrate how data is
extracted from rFpro for input into the vehicle model, the vehicle
model and finally writing the vehicle state back to rFpro.