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Facility Spotlight: MATT

Many promising vehicle technologies have been developed in recent years, from engines and transmissions to advanced batteries and fuel cells. A cost-effective method was needed to bring all these technologies together for testing in a single vehicle system, so Argonne engineers created the Modular Automotive Technology Testbed (MATT).

MATT is a test platform that looks like a vehicle stripped down to its bare essentials. The base is a frame with wheels, but the test bed is outfitted with the different component modules that make up the vehicle powertrain.

The Argonne tool has been compared to an automotive Erector Set® because its modular approach enables the evaluation of different engines, transmissions and other core powertrain components.

For researchers in Argonne’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility, MATT provides an efficient new means of performing vehicle systems research and evaluating advanced technology components.

“One of the major advantages of MATT is that it allows us to separately test and benchmark individual components as they work in a system,” said Argonne engineer Henning Lohse-Busch.

Argonne automotive engineers Thomas Wallner (left) and Henning Lohse-Busch put an engine through its paces on MATT.



Summer 2010


The scalable, virtual hybrid module enables MATT to operate as a conventional vehicle, a hybrid or even a pure electric vehicle using the exact same hardware. Special computer programs are used to help simulate real-world vehicle operation.

Data obtained using MATT helps researchers understand which combination of components result in a vehicle that best meets efficiency, emissions and performance targets.

When used with Argonne’s PSAT and PSAT-PRO (Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit) modeling and simulation software along with component hardware-in-the loop principals, MATT allows researchers to:

4 Add, rearrange and interconnect a variety of systems and components,

4 Emulate different vehicle behaviors (conventional, hybrid and electric vehicle),

4 Have complete flexibility to implement any energy management and torque split strategies,

4 Measure physical energy consumption and emissions data over drive cycles, and

4 Equip selected systems and components with instrumentation.

Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Program under the direction of Lee Slezak.

For more information, contact Henning Lohse-Busch hlb@anl.gov


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