The integration of real-time simulations in test environments allows the efficient development and verification of the individual components of a mechatronic system in many cases. Currently, this especially applies for the test-driven development of embedded control units and their corresponding software. A reduced number of field tests, the automated run of test procedures and the application of error injection methods can be achieved by the widely used Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) technique. In signal level HiL test, an existing control unit is connected to a virtual real-time simulation of the residual system.
If however the device under test includes a mechanical interface, as for example in vibration technology, the coupling of the test object to a virtual residual system requires the application of a mechanical HiL interface. In this paper a generic approach for the design of mechanical HiL interfaces for the application in vibration engineering based on emulated mechanical properties, excitation signals as well as available actuators and their control algorithms is presented. The application of a mechanical HiL interface is shown for the real-time emulation of a simplified elastomeric mount.