A CO2 Watch from the Sky

In July of this year NASA sent a rebuilt Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) into orbit to better understand where CO2 is coming from and being absorbed on Earth.

Three spectrometers aboard OCO-2, measuring intensities of small wave length bands, will determine absorption levels of CO2 from the same location and time over a span of at least two years. From the data scientists will be able to monitor surface changes over the time frame.

OCO-2 is one satellite in a train line of six Earth observing satellites, transmitting data within 14 minutes of each other, allowing scientists to study and correlate data. Since the satellites cross the equator in the early afternoon it follow that the line is called the (A)fternoon Train.

Read more about OCO-2 and the A-train, in “Keeping an eye in the Sky” by Stephen J. Mraz in Machine Design, June 12, 2014 issue.  Visit machinedesign.com for the latest issue.

Man vs. Machine: Vehicle Testing

When testing vehicles for durability and mileage requirements we always come back to the reason we test so thoroughly—the customer.The reason we test, test and test a vehicle is, after all, the end consumer’s safety and enjoyment of the vehicle. Over the past decade we have noticed the pros and cons of testing a vehicle through the use of an dynamometer and other mechanical testing devices versus real-world, real driver testing. Both methods are a great way to evaluate a given vehicle, however, many vehicle testing providers omit the human element.

While mechanized testing, such as a dynamometer, can produce excellent testing and calibration results; it falls short when factors like drivability come into play. While a machine can pump out facts and figures, a human being will tell you whether or not, for instance, the cab is cramped or if there’s a rattle in the dashboard. As with any product, manufacturers strive to keep their target market in mind. In this case, if a vehicle passes durability and mileage tests, but the cab is just uncomfortable or the controls are counter-intuitive, it may hurt the sales of the given vehicle. Real-world, driver testing can help avoid this problem.

At Boshart, we offer a variety of testing options. We realize that our customers’ reputation is on the line as they bring a new vehicle to market. Therefore, we are committed to thorough vehicle testing, both in the lab and on the road. Our on-road driver/technicians perform drive cycles based on the specific testing needs of each vehicle. From high altitude to inclement weather, our driver/technicians along with on-board data collection systems provide the statistics and human experience necessary to provide well-rounded testing reports.

Some of our expert on-road testing services include:

  • Emission system durability—exposure to real-world driving patterns and conditions
  • Full useful life testing of the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system
  • Brake and tire testing
  • Passenger comfort systems
  • Vehicle exposure to extreme conditions such as heat, cold, altitude, vibration, dust, sand, etc.
  • Powertrain and Transmission
  • Component evaluation

Are you getting the thorough testing results you need? Do you want your vehicle to exceed customer expectations? We can help you get there. Please contact us for information on our complete vehicle testing services.


On Board Diagnostic Systems (OBD) aren’t new to the automotive industry, and they have been required by The California Air Resources Board (CARB) in cars and light duty applications since the early 1990’s. Beginning this year, CARB requires OBD systems on all heavy-duty highway applications as stated inTitle 13, California Code of Regulations, Section 1971.1 This is the next step to ensure that all emission reduction systems on HD engines continue to operate properly to maintain the certified emission standards for heavy-duty 2010 engines used in highway vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. CARB’s mandate requires that all major emissions control systems be monitored, and that any problems or malfunctions be detected prior to emissions exceeding the mandated thresholds.

CARB is requiring that just one engine rating (OBD parent rating) within one of the manufacturer’s engine families (the highest weighted sales number for 2010) be certified to the Full OBD requirements in 2010 through 2012. Other reduced OBD requirements apply to other engine ratings (OBD child ratings) within the same family selected for Full OBD. All other engine families not selected for Full OBD shall apply an Engine Manufacturer Diagnostic (EMD) System according to 1971.1(d)(7.1.4). Visithttp://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/obdprog/hdobdreg.htm to access the rule and related documents.

One of the additional requirements of this HD OBD regulation is to report data to CARB regarding In-Use Monitoring of Performance of the OBD systems according to Section 1971.1(l)(3). This data must be provided within twelve months of introduction of the engines into commerce. Data from fifteen vehicles per grouping is required. CARB requires data from different groupings based on emission architecture as well as from a performance grouping. Preceding the collection of data, the manufacturer must provide a data collection and reporting plan to CARB for review and approval.

Boshart  has been conducting this data collection and reporting for numerous light duty vehicle manufacturers for years. We are using the same process, modified for this application, for the HD engine industry. This whole data collection process, including the plan submittal to CARB, can be supplied as a turn-key project for full reporting compliance. At Boshart we locate vehicles, collect, translate and report OBD data for you to send to CARB, making compliance a painless experience. We are fluent in all Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and International Organization of Standards (ISO) coding languages such as SAE J2403 and ISO 15765-4:2001.

Call us today and you OBDon’t have to worry about it.