Using Keysight Oscilloscopes to Test Automotive Electronics

The automotive industry is undergoing a rapid transformation, with vehicles becoming more reliant on sophisticated electronic systems than ever before. In this era of advanced automotive electronics, Keysight oscilloscopes can be used as valuable tools for testing and troubleshooting. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Keysight oscilloscopes are suited for automotive applications and their role in ensuring the reliability and performance of automotive electronics.

Closeup of Keysight EDUX1052G Digital Storage Oscilloscope screen

Oscilloscope Testing Capabilities

High Bandwidth for Accurate Signal Capture
Automotive electronics often involve high-frequency signals. Keysight oscilloscopes are equipped with high bandwidth capabilities, allowing them to accurately capture and display these high-frequency signals. This ensures that automotive engineers can scrutinize even the most intricate details of electronic systems.

High Sampling Rate for Fast-Changing Signals
Fast-changing signals are common in automotive applications, particularly in engine control and communication between electronic control units (ECUs). Keysight oscilloscopes boast a high sampling rate, ensuring that these fast-changing signals are captured without distortion. This capability is essential for diagnosing issues in real-time.

Deep Memory for Complex Signals
Complex signals are the norm in automotive systems, making deep memory storage crucial. Keysight oscilloscopes offer ample memory capacity to capture and store these complex signals, providing engineers with the data needed for in-depth analysis and troubleshooting.

Advanced Triggering for Complex Waveforms
Automotive electronics often involve intricate waveforms. Keysight oscilloscopes are equipped with advanced triggering capabilities that enable precise capture and analysis of complex waveforms. This is particularly important for diagnosing issues in systems like anti-lock braking systems (ABS).

Serial Bus Decoding for Communication Analysis
Many automotive systems rely on serial communication buses for data exchange. Keysight oscilloscopes come equipped with serial bus decoding capabilities, allowing engineers to monitor and troubleshoot these communication channels effectively. This is invaluable for ensuring seamless communication between various vehicle components.

Keysight oscilloscopes go beyond the basics, offering features such as power analysis, eye diagram analysis, and signal integrity analysis. These features allow engineers to assess power consumption, evaluate the performance of serial buses, and ensure the integrity of signals within automotive systems.

Applications of Keysight Oscilloscopes

Let’s delve into specific scenarios where Keysight oscilloscopes play a critical role in testing automotive electronics.

Line of gray cars in a manufacturing facility

1- Debugging Engine Control Units (ECUs)
ECUs are the brains behind a vehicle’s operation, controlling functions such as engine performance and emissions. Keysight oscilloscopes help engineers debug ECUs by capturing and analyzing the signals they send and receive, ensuring optimal vehicle performance.

2- Testing Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS systems use intricate waveforms to regulate braking, enhancing vehicle safety. Keysight oscilloscopes such as the Keysight MSO7104B Infiniium oscilloscope can be instrumental in testing ABS systems, ensuring that they operate flawlessly by capturing and scrutinizing these complex waveforms.

3- Troubleshooting Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Electric vehicles (EVs) rely heavily on complex electronic systems, including battery management, motor control, and power electronics. Keysight oscilloscopes assist in troubleshooting EVs by capturing and analyzing the signals used in these systems, thereby guaranteeing their reliability.

Keysight oscilloscopes are indispensable tools with their high bandwidth, sampling rate, memory capacity, advanced triggering, serial bus decoding, and additional features that make them tailor-made for testing and diagnosing automotive electronics. Whether debugging ECUs, testing ABS systems, or troubleshooting EVs, Keysight oscilloscopes play a pivotal role in ensuring the quality and reliability of automotive electronics.