GPS Instrument Control

Problem:

Returning an airborne instrument

Solution:

"We used a Mosaic QCard as part of an undergraduate engineering project where we developed a system that automatically returned equipment used in weather balloon experiments to set GPS coordinates. We had the QCard output commands to a servo controller based on the current GPS location of the aircraft. A servo shifted the weight of the payload in order to steer a parafoil, similar to how a hang glider shifts his/her weight to steer.

The QCard integrated seamlessly with the rest of our hardware.

The GPS wildcard served for position acquisition. The Control-C glossary made programming the device clear and simple while allowing the user to take advantage of the flexibility of the C programming language.

The staff at Mosaic was responsive and extremely helpful. We felt as if they were an integral part of our development team. We highly recommend Mosaic Industries for any application."

Camera Control

Problem:

Smooth control of aperture, zoom and focus as well as a keypad/display operator interface was required by a leading manufacturer of motion picture camera equipment.

Solution:

The QED Board implements PID (proportional/integral/differential) control of DC motors. Analog-to-digital (A/D) inputs with 12 bit resolution acquire input from the operator that specifies the desired settings, and the PID algorithm controls the motors with optimal response speed and smoothness. A keypad/display interface provides feedback to the operator and enables customization of various performance options.

Distributed Factory Automation

Problem:

A distributed control system was needed for factory automation and production tracking.

Solution:

Each piece of production equipment in the factory was outfitted with a QED Product Design Kit, providing a user- friendly keypad/display interface to replace manual machine setup. The QED computers were networked to a master PC to provide production recording and tracking.

Industrial Gas Sensing Instruments

Problem:

A manufacturer of high quality gas sensing equipment serving the petrochemical and beverage industries needed a way to modernize their entire instrument line.

Solution:

The QED Board replaced hard-wired embedded data acquisition and instrument control circuitry, delivering a high degree of flexibility including the ability to accommodate special features requested by customers. A backlit liquid crystal display provides a modern user interface with excellent visibility over wide-ranging ambient lighting conditions. In one instrument line, the QED Board is mated to two QED Digital I/O Boards which provide an additional 36 high current/high voltage isolated input/output signals; this compact 3-board combination implements all of the non-sensor electronics in the instrument.

Laboratory Automation

Problem:

A laboratory automation solution was required to control and coordinate the creation of well controlled solvent and gas concentrations and humidity for analytical instrument testing.

Solution

A distributed network of QED Product Design Kits (PDKs) automates gas and solvent delivery and humidity control. The PDKs communicate using a multidrop RS-232 serial network implemented using the QED Board's versatile serial communications hardware.

Locomotive Control

Problem:

The performance of locomotives can be optimized by retrofitting them with a modern traction control system to maximize power delivery to the rail under a wide variety of track conditions.

Solution:

The QED Board with its 16 analog inputs, 8 analog outputs, dozens of digital I/O lines, built-in keypad/LCD display interface, multitasking kernel, and interactive programming environment provided an ideal solution. The QED Board monitors the wheel speed and the motor power output, implements a sophisticated real-time control algorithm, and actuates analog and digital outputs that modulate the applied power to the wheels. A keypad/display interface facilitates status reporting, installation and maintenance. The industrial temperature range version of the board is used to accommodate the rugged environmental conditions found in railroad applications.

Portable Gas Detection

Problem:

A portable instrument was needed to allow gas utility personnel to locate natural gas leaks and to accurately measure the ambient concentrations of methane and carbon monoxide(CO) gases.

Solution

The QED Board is the brain of this handheld instrument, providing all instrument control functions together with a mating board that holds the gas sensors as well as some sensor conditioning and battery charging electronics. A compact 4x20 character display and a 4-button membrane keypad implement a simple and user-friendly front panel. A menu-driven operator interface provides access to a variety of functions including help screens and automated calibration.

Smart Front End for PLCs

Problem

An automotive manufacturing facility automated by a leading line of PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) required the addition of a vibration analysis feature.

Solution

The backplane board of the QED Industrial Control System (ICS) hosts a QED Board, QED Analog Conditioning Board, and QED Digital I/O Board to provide a complete hardware and software solution. All "field" analog and digital I/O connections are wired to the 80 convenient screw terminals on the QED Backplane Board. In this application, the Analog Conditioning Board provides two dozen 4-20 mA inputs (half with 12 bit resolution, and half with 8 bit resolution), and two 4-20 mA outputs. The Digital I/O Board provides 18 channels of isolated digital I/O (8 high voltage inputs and 10 high current outputs). One serial port implements a PLC protocol to communicate with a master PLC, and the other onboard serial port communicates with a sensing peripheral. This QED electronics performs functions that cannot be accomplished by the PLC within the performance and cost requirements of the project.

Upgrading Semiconductor Fabrication Equipment

Problem:

A controller was needed to automate and upgrade semiconductor fabrication equipment.

Solution:

The QED Board interfaces to a vision system and controls 3 stepper motors to add state-of-the-art wafer positioning capability to semiconductor fabrication equipment. In the initial design the QED Board interfaces to third party stepper motor indexers; the next stage of design efforts involve incorporating the newly developed stepper motor drive capabilities to perform direct stepper motor control using the QED Board and QED Digital I/O Board.

Weighing Systems

Problem

An automated batch processing control system was needed for industrial weighing applications such as concrete mixing.

Solution

An easy-to-use menu-based system relies on the QED Board with its built-in keypad/display interface, serial communications, and ample battery-backed RAM and on-board real-time calendar/clock. Custom features requested by customers are easily implemented with software modifications.

Welding Control

Problem:

An equipment vendor wanted to add a modern menu-based operator interface to automate precision welding equipment.

Solution:

The QED Board with its ample battery-backed RAM allows numerous welding profiles to be created and later recalled with a simple keypress. The QED Product Design Kit (PDK) provided a complete prototyping and final product solution. The PDK's embedded QED Board and versatile prototyping board speeded product development. The prototype design was transferred to a custom board that mates with the QED Board, and the modified PDK with its integrated keypad, 4x20 character display, and embedded electronics is now shipped as the final product.


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Embedded Application Stories | Embedded Controllers | GPS Instrument Control | Laboratory Automation | Industrial Gas Sensing Instruments | PID Control