This project has its main focus on the design and construction of hardware and software for the 2006 LTU Formula Student racing car. However, it also deals with the subject of microcontroller and electronics implementation in automobiles as well as a description of the Formula Student event, at which the electronics are used.
During a short project course, the author came in contact with computer aided design of electronics and programming of microcontrollers. Design of the hardware for the steeringwheel was also begun. This led to the fact that a project focusing on the software and hardware for the steering wheel and the software for the gear shifting and clutch control ECU as well as the implementation of these systems in the racing car, would make a natural follow-up.
The hardware in the steering wheel consists of a printed circuit board (PCB) with various components mounted, the main one being the Atmel AVR AT90CAN128 microcontroller. This microcontroller is an excellent choice for use in autmotive systems because it offers a wide variety of functions, among these a CAN controller and it is affordable and it is easy to use.
The hardware for the gear shifting and clutch control unit was made by two members of the previous year’s Formula Student team, as an upgrade for this year’s car. The main change for this year was the fitting of both clutch control and gear shifting on the same PCB, using one microcontroller to control both systems. The CAN128 is used here as well, which gave the author a good platform for software development. The actuators controlled by this card is an electrical motor for the clutch and a solenoid for the gear shifting. All of the software has been written in C using a freely available GCC compiler.
Author: Malmgren, Daniel
Source: Lulea University of Technology