Understanding the dynamic behavior of cars—in particular two-dimensional horizontal speed parameters (also known as the car’s “slip angle”)—is critical to optimizing performance and improving essential equipment like tires. Horizontal speed parameters can be estimated through indirect modeling of wheel speed and yaw-angle measurements; however, this method suffers from modeling errors and other uncertainties. Some optical sensors give measurements that are, in practice, not reliable in wet conditions.

We set out to develop a compact and real-time sensor that could deliver a direct slip-angle measurement with high accuracy and flexibility in a variety of conditions. This article describes how the Xilinx Virtex FPGA family, with its embedded MicroBlaze processors, helped us achieve our goal.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / Second Quarter 2008. Article © Xcell Journal.