Fields of expertise

 

CTA’s fields of expertise are aligned with tomorrow’s vehicles.  They will be lighter, quieter, cleaner, safer and easier to drive. CTA chose to invest in the future of mobility by developing engineering expertise to design lighter structures and components, electrify the propulsion system, manage noise and vibrations and make vehicles safer and easier to drive through mecatronics and connectivity.

 

Lightweighting

 

With support from governments (CRSNG, CNRC and Prima), 4 industrial partners (BRP, Rio Tinto, Verbom and Shawinigan Aluminium) as well as Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval, CTA has developped a unique expertise in lightweighting for structures and components.  This expertise includes a wide variety of engineering tools and methodologies:

 

  • Experimental caracterisation of materials and assemblies under static and fatigue loading.  Our experience covers such fabrication processes such as adhesives, laser welding, HSBF (High Speed Blow Forming), additive manufacturing and hemming.
  • Advanced Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Structural Optimisation using Altair and Ansys software suites.
  • Structural topologic and parametric optimisation using Altair software suite.
  • Calculation of mechanism input forces through Multi Body Dynamics (MBD) simulation using Altair and Simpack.
  • Design and prototyping of structures, frames and components.
  • Experimental measurements of input forces to structures and frames through on-board data acquisition and analysis.

noise and vibration management (NVH)

 

With support from the Canadian government (CRSNG), industrial partner BRP and GAUS (Groupe d’Acoustique de l’Université de Sherbrooke), CTA planned and carried out a number of large projects targeted at understanding and managing Noise and Vibration Harshness (NVH) on recreational vehicles. These projects allowed CTA to develop specialized test benches and procedures, simulation techniques, prototypes as well as engineering tools to better predict NVH.  This expertise is available to our customers wishing to meet regulations or develop a unique sound signature for their products.

 

  • Design and prototyping of noise and vibration reduction solutions through «Transfert paths» identification, isolation or «Active Noise Canceling».
  • Numerical modeling of vibratory behaviour for components and assemblies.
  • Noise and vibration measurements using LMS tools.
  • Sound intensity measurement using Polytec acoustic antenna.
  • Identification and level ranking of sound and vibration sources.
  • Motion measurement and amplification using RDi technologies equipment.

eLECTRIFICATION

 

CTA designs and builds electric vehicles since 2010, at a time when the Canadian government and BRP went ahead to develop a hybrid Can-Am Spyder. In 2011, CTA was awarded a contract by MDA to design and build lunar and martian rovers for the Canadian Space Agency.  The following years have seen electrification grow significantly at CTA through many projects, from academic research to fully commercialized products.  This expertise allows us to support our customers in their electrification projects.

 

  • Battery and propulsion system dimensioning as a function of the product’s lifecycle.
  • Performance, ageing and thermal distribution prediction through simulation.
  • Battery and Battery Management System (BMS) design and prototyping.
  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU) design and prototyping using Altium designer and Mentor PADS.
  • Control logic design and embedded code development using Matlab/Simulink, Opal-RT and Pi-Innovo tools.
  • Cell, module and complete battery assembly laboratory caracterization.
  • Electric motor caracterization with battery emulation capabilities.
  • Complete system prototyping and integration to functional vehicles.
  • On-board data acquisition and analysis.

CTA designed and built a large number of custom batteries, tailored to specific customer needs ranging from extremely low temperature space environment to low cost consumer goods through high power delivery capacity required by aviation applications.

 

Some achievements

MeChATRONics

 

Mechatronics is the engineering union of “mechanics” and “electronics”.  It is the science of controling mechanical and electrical systems through sensors and electronic control units.  This field of expertise can be used to make vehicles more comfortable and safe by introducing various driving aids and additional vehicle functions.  CTA can help defining, designing, building, programing and testing a wide range of mechatronics systems, ranging from rider assistance systems to performance enhancement systems and can assist customers in engineering product changing innovations:

  • Sensor and actuator selection.
  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU) design and prototyping using Altium designer and Mentor PADS.
  • Control logic design and embedded code development using Matlab/Simulink, Opal-RT and Pi-Innovo tools.
  • On-board and laboratory data acquisition.

Some achievements

Connectivity

 

Connectivity applied to vehicles uses sensors (accelerometers, thermocouples, cameras, LIDAR, radar and others) to generate data that will be interpreted to take actions.  Data can be collected from the vehicle itself, the driver’s biometry, smart phones and watches, on-road sensors, Cloud data and other vehicles among others.  It can then be supplied to on-board mechatronic control units that will take decisions to enhance a driver’s experience  such as autonomous driving or Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS).  Data can also be supplied to external databases to further enhance the driving experience (traffic database, fleet management database, etc.).

Based on its network of collaborators and projects completed to this day, CTA will be able to guide and support customers in the design and execution of projects of their own:

 

  • Project definition.
  • Component selection and unit design.
  • Prototyping.
  • Software generation.
  • Testing et validation.