STARS Powertrain

Test Automation Software for Powertrain Testing

The STARS Powertrain software combines the STARS platform with a powertrain-specific configuration which provides functions and structures suitable for a wide range of powertrain testing applications.

STARS is a high performance, flexible automation platform with integrated automation, data acquisition and control functions that provides a broad range of application functionality in a single, powerful environment.



Segment: Automotive
Manufacturing Company: HORIBA Test Automation Ltd.
Key benefits
  • Execution of test schedules, monitoring, scripts in real-time with up to 1 kHz due to the in-built STARS real-time system
  • Data acquisition with high throughput of more than 150.000 values/sec and high sampling rates up to 5 kHz/channel
  • Project and test stand structure can be setup to the customer requirements.
  • STARS resources can be used in STARS projects and in STARS test stands.
  • Several instances of STARS resources, e.g., test schedules or limit data sets can be used at the same time.
  • Open software: The STARS user can write scripts which can be executed in STARS in real-time with up to 1 kHz. STARS includes a generic interface to communicate with external software via Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications.
  • Open interfaces: Support of interface standards such as CANopen and EtherCat for I/O connection, ASAM ODS Interface for evaluation tools.
  • Easy integration of new equipment
  • Data acquisition with high throughput of more than 150.000 values/sec and high sampling rates up to 5 kHz per channel
  • High flexibility and customization provided by the STARS Automation platform
  • The possibility to run dynamic cycles on an engine dynamometer with STARS VETS as an application extension


Multi-configuration test stands

HORIBA Automotive can offer the mechanical solutions to handle many different test specimen configurations. This flexibility is also contained in the STARS and SPARC Driveline applications. Changing configurations is simple in both systems – simply select the system configuration in the list of STARS test stands and the configuration for the SPARC system is automatically loaded and run. Editing of the configuration of SPARC is fully supported in STARS using dedicated editors.

Real-time Capabilities

At the heart of STARS is a powerful and capable real time system that can operate at frequencies of up to 5 kHz.

The real-time system hosts:

  • Test Schedules and real-time scripts operating at up to 5 kHz
  • Data loggers and Data players that can record and replay data at rates of up to 5kHz
  • Alarms and events operating up to 100Hz
  • Intelligent instruments drivers
  • Interface to the SPARC driveline controller at rates up to 1kHz
  • Real-time MATLAB Simulink generated models



Use Workflows to capture your test processes - the key to increasing the repeatability and productivity of your test operations. By encapsulating complex test logic within Workflows, STARS is simple to use all levels of operator. The most complex of testing tasks can be performed with only a small amount of training. Workflows can be created in a very short time using the high level graphical editor.

Online Classification

STARS has a built-in Online Classification capabilities to aid the process of analysing and classifying, in real-time at rates of up to 1kHz, signals with respect to their amplitude distribution over time. To do this the signal range is divided into a fixed number of classes and the number of events is counted for which the signal is level is within each class. Based on this information it is possible to evaluate the underlying characteristics of a signal and make comparisons between different signals. In powertrain testing, online classification gives insight into the degree of mechanical stress to which a test specimen or system is subjected during different duty cycles.

MATLAB Integration

STARS can simplify the operation of MATLAB models in driveline testing by providing interface blocks in the graphical workflow toolkit. These blocks allow users to specify which MATLAB model to run, options on the model and can specify the data that will flow into and out of the model. This allows a complete test process to be defined that integrates your MATLAB model and can hide the complexity of its operation from the test stand operator.

Instruments and Robots

STARS is able to interface to and control a wide range of intelligent instruments using simple to program test schedules. In addition, STARS has a dedicated real-time Ethernet interface to the SPARC driveline controller. This interface allows the STARS system to read variables and set demands at rates of up to 1kHz. Through this interface STARS can also control gearshift robots in a coordinated manner with the control of the test rig.

STARS Benefits

  • Familiar and intuitive user interface– STARS uses common Windows paradigms, such as the shortcut bar and Windows explorer trees, making it easy to use, no matter how infrequently you use the system. This reduces training time and therefore cost.
  • Graphical tools – Intuitive graphical ‘point and click’ user interfaces are used wherever possible. This also reduces training time and therefore cost.
  • Standard Instrument Plug-Ins– Instruments of the same type are controlled from Test Schedules via a common ‘plug-in’, regardless of the minor differences in the underlying functionality of a specific instrument. This allows tests to be designed using simple and familiar commands that are independent from the specific instrument that will be used during the test.
  • Powerful display pages – A number of pre-configured display pages will delivered with the system that allows users to interactively control the complete test stand and instrumentation. In addition, by using the simple, graphical editor, users may quickly create their own displays to read and write data as well as control the test stand.


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