What is hardware-in-the-loop?

Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) is an engineering testing method. It connects physical components to a simulated environment, allowing for the validation of control systems, particularly in complex fields like aerospace, automotive, and power systems.

How does it work?

In this method, the simulated environment, known as the "loop", mimics the behavior of the overall system. Meanwhile, physical hardware components such as sensors, actuators, or controllers, interact with the loop. They are usually referred to as "plants".

By connecting a plant to the loop, engineers can meticulously assess and refine control algorithms in a repeatable manner. This dynamic interaction allows for thorough testing under diverse conditions, promoting early issue detection and resolution.

Reliable and cost-effective

HIL significantly enhances development efficiency. It offers a middle ground between virtual simulations and costly physical testing, reducing risks and costs. Engineers can identify and address potential issues in the control system early in the development process. Therefore, it improves the overall reliability and success of intricate engineering projects.