implemented a wide variety of projects which reflect the
diverse nature of our ability to deliver solid software
systems in many areas of applied science.
Real-Time PID Control
SDS has implemented
hydraulic servo valve control systems using LabVIEW RT
under closed-loop PID control operating at multi-kHz
rates. In addition to the core control algorithms, the
systems utilize numerous analog and digital I/O signals
which are used for diagnostics, safety checks, and
performance monitoring. The LabVIEW RT architecture
allows the Real-Time Controller to be located away from
the Host Controller--this is especially useful in
situations where safety or facility layout issues
require physical separation between system equipment and
System Design Sciences
has extensive experience with numerous motion control systems including
servo and stepper motor solutions with vendors such as
Elmo, Galil, National Instruments, and Animatics. We are capable of performing motor
PID tuning for optimizing the performance of your
system. Some of the motion concepts that we have
programmed are as follows:
data acquisition and motion control in PXI systems.
code downloaded to motion control card for high
systems with gearing and motion profiles.
SDS has developed robust software configuration management (SCM)
processes using Perforce and CVS systems. Our methods and tools for configuration
management are applicable to any software project and provide the following benefits:
Continuous recorded history of software development -- any version of software can be
reproduced with little effort and any version can be used as a baseline for development of new branches.
Management of system configurations -- hardware and software parameters are tracked
over time, and differences between subsystems are captured and maintained
(for example, hardware-specific parameters of multiple machines).
Detailed defect tracking -- a recorded history is maintained for the identification
and resolution of specific problems.
Support for multiple developers -- our SCM techniques automatically arbitrate software
development between many developers and across many software versions.
System test and verification results -- our configuration management tools are applied
to verification and test stages of system development to provide detailed recorded
histories of system performance and operational status of specific system revisions.
SDS utilizes CVSDude for web-based CVS hosting to provide high-availability and
secure access to project repositories:
Electronic Circuit Board Design
SDS has designed and manufactured multiple custom printed circuit boards, many of
which can be applied to generic applications. By way of example, our company has developed
a "motherboard" for the Rabbit Semiconductor RCM4200 embedded module. The RCM4200
itself provides a wealth of peripheral support: Ethernet, general purpose I/O, timers,
interrupts, quadrature decoders, serial (I2C, RS232, SPI, etc.), and analog-to-digital.
Our custom PCB enables the RCM4200 to be used in automation, robotics,
and industrial environments by providing the necessary signal translation and communication
transceiver hardware. Namely, our "MFI-RCM4200" PCB provides: two TTL-level quadrature decoder channels,
eight analog-to-digital channels (with support for noise-immune 4-20mA
signals with an integrated, customizable low-pass filter), two RS-232C channels, eight TTL-compatible
digital inputs, and eight digital outputs capable of sinking or sourcing 2.5amps (each) through opto-isolated
relays. This PCB is a compact solution for many automation arenas:
► Imaging and Vision
have extensive vision experience at SDS. We have
implemented complicated algorithms such as
Region-of-Interest selection and feature identification
using the NI Vision Toolkit in several applications. We
have provided custom applications for IEEE 1394 cameras
as well as high speed digital applications.
One of our environmental control applications employs a PC-based data acquisition
and control system using NI LabVIEW and NI DAQ hardware to control an environmental
test chamber. This system utilizes an NI6220 multifunction I/O PCI card in conjunction
with an NI SCB-68 terminal block, which includes a built-in cold-junction compensation
(CJC) circuit. The system is capable of monitoring 16 analog input channels and controlling
or monitoring 24 digital input/output channels. In this particular application, the analog
inputs are monitoring multiple temperature and humidity sensors, while the digital control
signals are in charge of commanding various HVAC equipment such as heaters, air conditioners,
humidifiers, fans, heat lamps, etc. The core logic of the software functionality applies certain
actions based on a set of conditions that reflect the state of the environmental chamber.
These conditional actions compare analog input signals to other analog inputs and/or
time and/or numeric thresholds and then command digital output signals based on the
logical evaluation of the conditions. The application supports user-customized data logging, data
acquisition parameters (analog filtering, sample rate), and fully configurable DAQ channel setup.
Below is an example snapshot from this application: