Real-Time Systems Inc.

Specializing in Embedded Controller Design

Recent Projects

Marine steering systems

Designed analog and digital hardware for a microprocessor-controlled gyro-compass and radar interface for radar mapping consoles. This I/O concentrator features a two-channel synchro-to-digital converter of our own design. It also includes interfaces for other sensors such as stepper-motor compass repeaters, speed logs, and anemometers. The first version of this product used a Motorola 68HC11 programmed in assembler; the current version uses an STM32 ARM Cortex-M3 processor programmed in C++.

Designed microprocessor and motor driver hardware and software for various electro-hydraulic marine power steering systems. All of these systems include a custom 90 Amp four-quadrant phase-correct PWM motor driver with software current limiting and sensorless speed control. Some of the systems also include CANBus communications for control and monitoring using the NMEA-2000 marine-specific protocol.

Designed the complete hardware and software solution for a LORAN-C adaptor for marine autopilots. This unit bolts on to an existing analog autopilot, causing the vessel to follow a fixed track, even in the presence of wind and currents.

Security systems

Designed a unique wireless security sensor which runs for five years on a single coin cell battery, and is small enough to be hidden inside a window or door frame. This project included the design of a high-speed automated testing and programming systems to support expected production levels of 1 million units per year. Now in volume production.

Hydroelectric generator and transmission monitoring

Designed hardware and software for remote monitoring of a non-contact optical voltage and current measurement system. An embedded UNIX system captures snapshots of a 50 Mbit/sec TDM data stream and provides for remote retrieval via TCP/IP, while simultaneously monitoring the system for faults. Ported the NetBSD operating system to the Motorola MPC8260 for this project, and wrote a boot loader using our C++ real-time kernel.

Provided embedded software for a protective system which monitors in real time the air gap between rotor and stator in a hydroelectric generators. The system phase-locks to the generator rotation, which allows checking for both absolute rotation-to-rotation gap violations. (Zilog Z8000 processor, programmed in assembler.)

Provided embedded software and graphical user interface software for a patrtial discharge monitoring system. This system counts millivolt pulses present on the output of a hydroelectric generator due to arcing within the generator's insulation. The counts are then transmitted to a master via modem for statistical analysis.

Cable television headend equipment

Designed microprocessor hardware and software to control broadband fiber-optic laser transmitters, receivers, and optical amplifiers. The transmitters and amplifiers required servo control of laser temperature, laser bias, and modulation depth. All of these servos were accomplished in assembler and C++ code running on Motorola 68HC11 and 68HC12 microprocessors. These products are in volume production, shipping world-wide.

Designed microprocessor-based front panel controllers for commercial satellite receivers with menu based user interfaces, real-time receiver control, and processor-based frequency-locked tuning loops. Also designed protocols and embedded controllers for a distributed control system of cable-television headend equipment. Multiple products, some in volume production (over 10,000/year).

Sawmill automation sensors

Designed embedded software and DSP code for a laser/CCD non-contact log profile scanner. A high-speed pattern-matching algorithm extracts the target's shape from the pattern of illuminated pixels in a linear CCD. UDP/IP over Ethernet is used to transfer large amounts of data in real time to sawmill optimizing systems. Now in production. The system delivers 100 scans per second on a 26 MHz Motorola 68HC16, and includes a user interface on a desktop computer running Linux.

Designed hardware and embedded software for a non-contact laser ranging sensor system. This system consists of many inexpensive sensor heads connected to concentrator units. The sensor heads send 1000 measurements per second via RS-485 links to the concentrator, which synchronizes the measurements from 16 heads and forwards them to a master computer via UDP.

Personal communications systems

Designed microprocessor hardware and software for several different systems of base-station extenders for personal communications systems (PCS). Systems were comprised of multiple Motorola 68HC11's, programmed in assembler, monitored in real-time by a desktop PC running a graphical user interface.

Golf course information system

Designed embedded software for golf course information network system. This system is uses Real Time Systems own embedded operating system software and TCP/IP protocol stack communicating via radio and IRDA links. Differential GPS provides precise position information to the golfers and course managers. A handheld graphical user interface shows the players' positions on course maps. (Hitachi SH7707 and Motorola 68HC12 processors, programmed in C++.)

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