TRACE-CHECK Release 2022.1

Top features at a glance

Initial ROS2 connection for recording and analysis of rosbag files

In the ADAS/AD field, digital twins are being used increasingly in the development of sensor-based driver assistance systems. These virtual images of physical systems can be set up as co-simulation platforms using ROS (Robot Operating System), or even as virtual environments for a test object (Device Under Test).

This can then be used to run various simulations based on different scenarios in order to test the (sensor) software which is to be tested right in the early stages of the development process. To test the software, the communication in the ROS network has to be analyzed. However, the manual evaluation of these ROS messages is very time-consuming.

For this reason, a ROS2 connection to ECU-TEST was created. This can be used to automate systems based on ROS2 Foxy Fitzroy.

Via this interface, it is possible for ECU-TEST to record and analyze so-called ROS topics (rosbag files). In addition to this, the ROS system itself can also be tested in depth and in an automated manner in this way.

New trigger mode: Define range by event and time offset

A new trigger mode was introduced in Release 2022.1:

  • with time offset if the start trigger is fulfilled

This can be used to create time-defined trigger ranges that extend around a start trigger event.


  • Start trigger: Edge(Signal, 0, 1)
  • Start offset: -2s (start of trigger)
  • Stop offset: 5s (end of trigger)


The trigger range in this example is opened 2 seconds before a 0-1 edge and ends 5 seconds after that. Thus, with this new mode, it is possible for more trigger ranges of the same trigger block to overlap.

Truncated trigger ranges at the beginning and end of the trace or of the parent range can be explicitly evaluated (e.g. with FAILED). The corresponding setting can be found under 'Extended options' of the trigger block.

Export structured signals to MDF4 file

Structured signals from the analysis of service-based communication or OSI can be exported to an MDF4 file with the trace step 'Signal recording'.

This enables, for example, the processing of structured signal data in preliminary analyses and also the provisioning for downstream analyses in analysis packages.

AutoSPY: Improvements in signal identification


In the interactive signal viewer AutoSPY it is now much easier to identify the correct signals:

  • The support for number-to-text mappings (enumerations of status signals on a bus, for instance) not only facilitates the signal identification, but also the interpretation of the signal values. The associated numerical raw value can still continue to be displayed.
  • When opening the AutoSPY Viewer from a static plot of the TRF report, signal color and line style are carried over: this has been a feature since several releases. With the ECU-TEST 2022.1 onwards, the signal curves are also automatically formatted if an astrace file is opened directly with the viewer.
  • Pressing F11 will minimize all docking windows. In this way, more space is created quickly for the table view or chart view. Shift + F11 restores all minimized toolboxes.

Also, the mouse zoom (Z) has been improved:

  • Left click: Increases the time range
  • Shift + left click: Increases the value range
  • Shift + Ctrl + left click: Increases the time range and value range
  • Right click: leads to the corresponding reduction in each case
  • Pressing and holding down the left mouse button: Pulls up a zoom window that sets new visible time range and value range


Offline filtering of PCAP traces


In the online case, ECU-TEST has been using an efficient and intelligent filter mechanism since release 2021.4 to handle very high data rates with high performance. In this process, parts of the service-based communication that are not relevant for the test case and the analysis will be recognized as part of a learning phase and filtered out at the operating system level in a resource-optimized manner. This results in reduced PCAP traces that contain only the data that is relevant to the test case and to the analysis.

Now ECU-TEST 2022.1 also supports the offline filtering of service based communication from PCAP traces. Here, the traces are created away from ECU-TEST, e.g. by loggers. This enables significant performance gains in the trace analysis of this data.

The length of the learning phase can be configured in the ECU-TEST settings in the 'Trace analysis' area.

Signal-based trace merge

The new signal-based merging of traces generates synchronized and interpreted MDF4 traces based on arbitrary recordings of a package.

Specifically, all signals of the signal groups used are transferred to a common MDF4 file by means of the trace merge, with due consideration for the respective synchronization.

This is done with due consideration for the following:

  • Signals in the signal groups
  • Signals of the special signal group 'Assign automatically’
  • Signals of the 'Record all test variables' option
  • Signals from analysis packages


In contrast to message-based original formats (such as ASC or BLF), the interpreted signal data can also be used further without the associated data bases (such as bus descriptions or service descriptions). On the whole, the comprehensive reuse of related trace data is significantly easier.