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In-dummy data acquisition

Kistler’s digital transducer interface technology is enabling Continental Safety Engineering to yield data quicker and more accurately than ever before



Continental Safety Engineering uses Kistler DTI (digital transducer interface) technology in its crash test dummies for reliable data acquisition.

DTI technology converts the analog signal into digital signals directly at the sensor and transmits this to a central data recorder via a digital data bus circuit. The reduced space requirements provide multiple benefits – less bulky data acquisition is required in the trunk and the replace­ment of the thick analog sensor cabling with a single digital cable from the dummy to the vehicle, making installation easier and preparation time much quicker.

In 2015, Kistler integrated 10 of Continental’s H3 dummies with DTI as well as a WorldSID ATD. The challenge with the H3 dummies was to integrate this technology into the existing processes and infra­structure.

With the analog measurement technology, each sensor channel has to be plugged into the data acquisition system by hand. This would have resulted in long setup times with potential for error. Continental also uses Kistler’s KiDAU data acquisition unit.

Data acquisition in transition
At Continental’s development site, approximately 550 sled tests and 450 crash tests are currently performed per year.

“With such a high number of tests, we wanted to bring our test equipment up-to-date with the latest technology to ensure efficient processes and guarantee accurate, reliable measurement data,” says Thomas Wild, manager for measurement and video technology at Continental Safety Engineering. “In general, the requirements of tests are increasing and with them the number of vehicle measurement points.”

The number of sensors needed in a crash test is continuously increasing: while just 246 analog measurement channels were controlled and processed in 1993, this can exceed 600 today. At the same time, the installation space available in the vehicle is decreasing. Furthermore, there is a requirement for increased reliability and reduced error rate. Setup times are also becoming tighter and the number of analog input channels reduced.

DTI technology the new standard
DTI technology greatly expands the capabilities of in-dummy data acquisition. The technology uses an integrated data bus system, where signals from a wide range of sensors are converted into digital output signals via digitization modules (DiMods).

These are installed directly in the Kistler sensors or, with existing sensors, via available Kistler DTI integration solutions. The digitized sensor signals are then recorded during the crash by a central Kistler DTI data recorder mounted in the dummy. A single cable for data, synchronization, triggering and power supply extends from the dummy to the vehicle communication box. Post test, the data is downloaded via the vehicle communication box for evaluation by the facility com­puter on Ethernet.

Qualitative crash tests of the future
The DTI technology can be installed in all dummy models, including THOR-M. Continental is now able to reliably combine a number of different devices consisting of tried-and-tested and new hardware. As a result, it was not necessary to completely convert all technical devices to the new technology, thereby saving the company a great deal of time and money.

“Kistler knows what is important in highly complex crash tests – especially when converting to DTI technology. Thus, we continue to enable the highest quality data capture in crash tests in future. Sensors deliver not only accurate measurement data, they are also extremely reliable and durable. For us, this is the perfect combination. We are therefore already in discussions for other projects,” adds Wild.

July 4, 2017


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