Examination of a Test System’s Measurement Accuracy

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Dr. Hamar János Krisztián
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

The measurement is the obvious way to supervise the function of a system. Based on the results of the measurement major decisions are made including, among others, whether the system fulfils the requirements. Such substantial decisions can only be made based on an adequate measurement system. Consequently, the analysis of a test environment is one of the most important part of the testing.

In my final project an embedded system will be examined from the viewpoint of the measurement technology. This measurement environment was developed for testing a given module. The requirements against the test system significantly depend on the features of the system under test (SUT), hence it is necessary to get familiar with the module under test first. The next step in my work is to get acquainted with the current test environment, identifying the elements and the structure of the system. At this point the main task begins, which is the analysis of the measurement system. First, the error of the separate equipment needs to be determined. The measurement consists of calibrated modules, where the errors were considered based on the datasheet, and one part of the test system is developed specifically for this task. During the analysis of this part the method of Measurement System Analysis was used. To implement this method a program based on CAN messages has to be created, which can send commands to the equipment under test and the tester. Finally, the measured error values are summarized, and the results are evaluated. During this analysis it was proven, that the test system is not satisfactory in some aspect. Consequently, I had decided not to continue the analysis but looked for other viable solutions.

To build a complex measurement system is really challenging. During the construction many aspects have to be considered, for example the accuracy of the system, the development time, the price and etc. Considering these aspects a market research was carried out especially among the National Instruments products. After that the optimal equipment was chosen with the appropriate modules, and this possibility was thoroughly examined. A module of the test environment was built up, and a program was implemented in LabVIEW. This development is useful to evaluate this solution and it is a good starting point to develop the whole test environment.


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