Extreme advances in science and technology have opened up unlimited possibilities for development and creation of new products. By using a single hardware platform consisting of the latest embedded control and acquisition system with re-configurable FPGA technology plus an elaborate sets of data acquisition and controlling modules combined with a customized and adaptive circuit that can be interfaced to virtually any machinery, electronics and electrical devices to control, manipulate and monitor variety of diverse tasks.
The customized interface circuits was developed for a category of specific application such as Industrial, Medical, Consumer Electronics, R&D and are refer to as personality modules. As an example, we have developed a high speed/high power-switching module that can control and manipulate power ranging from fraction of a watt up to several kilowatts operating from DC up to several hundred kilohertz. We are using this personality module combined with the hardware platform described above to create various products programmatically for industrial applications just by downloading and executing a graphical program (known as virtual instrument) with an FPGA code for custom I/O timing and processing.
The system is built-in Ethernet port that allows programmatic communication over the network for remote monitoring, control and downloading FPGA codes over any IP network, as well as integrated USB, CAN and RS232 ports. Figure 1, is simplified block diagram for the industrial applications. Figure 2, is our sample hardware prototype for Industrial applications.
Possible products and applications - as many as you can imagine (we think of thousand!)
Industrial Sample Applications:
1. Precision Programmable Power Source
2. Lead Acid Battery Charging and Testing System
3. Li-Ion Battery Charging and Testing System
4. DC to AC Power Inverter (Single Phase 50/60/400Hz)
5. DC to AC Power Inverter (Three Phase 50/60/400Hz)
6. UPS Emergency Backup Power System
7. Stepper Motor Drive, Precision Motion Control Servo
8. Industrial Control and Automation
9. Thermoelectric Heating and Cooling System
10. Induction Heating System
Medical Sample Applications:
1. Radio Frequency Ablation System (RFA)
2. Continues Cardiac Output Measuring System (CCO)
3. Physiologic Monitoring Systems
Consumer Electronics Sample Applications:
1. Home Heating and Cooling System (HVAC)
2. Induction Cooktop
3. Home Automation
4. Washer and Dryers
Research and Development (R&D) Sample Applications:
1. Precision Programmable Power Supplies
2. Magnetic Design, Core testing
3. Virtual Lab
How does it work?
Simply, by adding the personality module of your choice to the hardware platform described above and installing appropriate DAQ modules (many to choose from) such as Analog Input, Analog Output, Digital Input/output, Relay, Temperature etc. Connect your external device (if any), select the desire product from the user interface menu and run the program.
Note: we are using National Instruments hardware and LabVIEW Graphical Programming for developing this project.