In this section, a short description is given of most of the projects that were realized with our expertise. Some projects are already ‘old fashioned’ now, but where not easy to realize with the state of technology at that moment.
Broadband power amplifier
This was an amplifier built with discrete components for driving the coils of a convergence system of a CRT – projector. The amplifier must be able to deliver a saw-tooth current of more than 2 amps at about 100 kHz.
Immune processor board
The cathode ray tubes in a projector can flash at a sudden by the high voltage. This creates enormously high electromagnetic fields that disturb the electronic circuits in the projector. We succeeded in building a processorboard that could detect this flashing at restored all the settings in the state prior to the disturbance after the magnetic fields disappeared. Before this was realized, the whole system had to be readjusted manually.
Digital convergence adjustment
This was a full digital convergence adjustment for projectors on basis of high speed ECL- and TTL-logic. We designed a 16 Kbit shift register on a clock of 300Mc with ECL-logic. To get the target specs, we needed to use the components at their maximum specs. The control of this electronics was done with a simple 8 bit microprocessor. The system was controlled and adjusted via a set of commands.
Automatic picture adjustment
In this project we developed a full automatic picture adjustment for CRT-projectors. Both the geometry (square of 4:3) and the convergence could be adjusted. The system was built completely with self-developed techniques. A intelligent CCD-camera was used combined with a 8088 microprocessor. This camera was able to do some specific measurements and was controllable by a command-interface. A projector also had a set of instructions to be adjusted via an RS232-interface. A PC manipulated both systems, the camera and the projector, via an RS232-interface. The PC controlled the adjustment by means of a command set. Every instruction was a sequence primary instructions to both the projector and the intelligent camera. These instruction were read from a text file and fed into an interpreter. By making different files for all existing types of projectors, we could adjust any type of projector. This system was used successfully during many years in a production environment.
Automatic convergence adjustment
This system was developed on basis of the automatic picture adjustment system. A 8088-board was used for adjusting the convergence instead of a PC. The software was written on a HP64000-development system in the Pascal-language and some assembler. The system we designed was a full self-learning system where ease of use was of highest importance. We succeeded in making a very reliable product that could be easily adapted to the ever changing types of projectors.
Real-time control of a concrete factory
The project existed out of 2 parts. The first part was developing a manual control form of all electrical systems in the factory with a visual feedback on the screen. We developed a software module that was able to couple the status of an electrical systems with a visual status on the screen. The screen was animated in a way that represented the active state of a subsystems. This was done with a descriptive language so that any system could be configured without changing the software, and that the speed was high enough to minimize delays in the visualization. The second part was a menu-driven production of concrete. A database contained all the different types of concretes and base components. The user only had to choose the type and quantity. The stock of ingredients was automatically adjusted.
Data capturing system with modem transmission
The development was done on a PC. The software, written in C, was able to read out the captured data from the system via RS232 en to send this data via modem over a telephone line to another location . The software was written in a way that unqualified people were able to handle the system. The data may not be lost and an easy but reliable communication protocol was developed to handle all possible problems and disturbances. After the reception, the data was again decoded to a format that a standard spreadsheet could be used to manipulate the data.
Breath monitor for astronauts
For this system a microcontroller system was developed with a 80196 with some hardware to do frequency measurements. A command interface via RS423 was implemented to send the data to the main computer. To test the system in a real time mode, a application was developed with labview that could visualize in real-time the data in a graphical way.
Optimization of a diamant polishing machine
For this project we had to adapt an existing prototype for commercialization. The system was built up with 2 different subsystems, a PC with CAN interface that controlled a network of 16 base-systems with each 1 ‘pincers’ system, . The PC controlled the whole grinding process and used the subsytems as a measurement and manipulationtool. The subsystems contained several steppingmotors and sensors to be able to control the whole process very precisely. The resolution of the measurement was in the range of a few microns. A very reliable grinding systems was built to guarantee no damage to the diamants. Several protections were built in to correct any disturbance an to correct in a preventive way.
Electronic control system
This system was meant to control the temperature in several different rooms. With a 8051 controller a configurable system was built where elimination of several external and internal disturbances were corrected. the system was configurable via a serial interface with a PC.
Real-time control and switching system
This system, based on a standard 8051 controller, makes it possible to couple sensors (inputs) to actors (outputs). Every actor can execute a number of event driven base functions. Via a configuration database, the actions can be defined and changed on any moment. The system works standalone, but can also be monitored and controlled via a PC interface in real-time. On a regular basis, several checks are performed to control the consistency of the different internal database. When a problem is detected, the system takes action to correct the problem, but if this is not possible, it disables the function. The operating system is developed for its robustness and safety against failure. During the operation time of almost 3 years of continuous activity, the system did not fail on any of its functions.
For this project we developed both the hard- and software. The software for the 8051 is written in assembler for its compactness and speed. On PC we used Visual basic for its ease of design
Low power fan control system
A standard industrial fan was adapted with an electronic control system that made it possible to control the speed via an analog input signal. this fan was meant to be used in a biological experiment on the International Space Station.
Application on a HP9000 Unix machine
The application had to send information from a database to the pilot service. The system was configurable in a way that the information to be send could be selected by means of a simple textfile and that the information could be manipulated by means of different built in functions.
Wave measurement system
This system, in the harbor of Zeebrugge (Belgium), takes care of the ‘wave’-samples, that are sent by a stepgauge (wavesensor) that is fixed to the quay. The samples are manipulated in real-time (i.e. FFT-transformation) and stored in a database. These results were sent to a HP1000 computer with a solid communication protocol. The implementation was built around a cooperative multitasking-system, because several functions had to be executed in real-time.
System for captation of data on the North sea
Measurements were read via radio communication, were decoded and sent to the next stage for further manipulation. This data must be sent in real time and is used for the navigation of ships on the Northsea. There is also built a database for statistical purposes.
Client application in Visual Basic
In this application data from the tides, stored on a unix server via an informix database, are presented in different structured ways, dependant on the interpretation of this data.
For this project, the software was developed for a microcontroller to act as a MODBUS temperature sensor. Because of the tiny controller, some tricks where necessary to make it work perfectly in an existing system.
This project is based on our home control system (domotica). We used some low level functionality and added the new wanted features. This system is able to count pulses on its inputs and adds a timestamp to it. After the elapsed period, the data is stored into a memory buffer. Via a serial port and an ActiveX component, it is very easy to retrieve the stored information.
This system is developed for production machines, to count the production quantities and to detect failure or delays in machine cycli. The data can be stored and used for statistical purposes and for optimization of machines.