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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Power line communications in vehicles : channel measurements and impedance matching networks TaheriNejad, Nima


In today's Electric Vehicles (EVs) and conventional Combustion Engine Vehicles(CEVs), data communication between electronic control units is accomplished by sending communication signals over dedicated wires. The space requirement, weight, and installation costs for these wires can become significant, especially in electric vehicles of the future, which are highly sophisticated electronic systems. This has motivated research and development activities in the area of Vehicular Power Line Communication (VPLC). VPLC systems reuse power wires inside a vehicle for data communication purposes. Thus, they eliminate the need for extra wires dedicated to communication. However, there are several impediments to overcome in order to achieve a reliable and robust VPLC. Many of these challenges originate from inherent properties of current wirings in vehicles, which are not designed with communication in mind. Therefore, to develop suitable data transmission equipments, a good understanding of the communication channel characteristics is essential. Considering the importance of proper characterization as a first step towards the design and deployment of VPLC systems, in this work, we have tried to contribute to the available body of knowledge on channel characterization for VPLC in EVs and CEVs. As tangible contributions, we present methodology and results of two measurement campaigns in this thesis. The main outcomes of this part of our research are quantitative statements about Channel Transfer Functions and Access Impedance for two vehicles and discussions of our results in the context of VPLC system design. Building on the results of these measurements, an adaptive impedance matching system is designed to improve the power transmission between VPLC devices and the vehicular power line network, and consequently improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the communication system. The adaptive impedance matching system is first behaviorally described in VHDL-AMS and simulated using Cadence™ and then for each unit a circuit design compatible for implementation on an Integrated Circuit (IC) platform is suggested. Tested against the challenges of VPLC observed in our measurement campaigns, the proposed system proved to be capable of significantly improving the reliability of communication over power wires in vehicle.

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