This paper describes a hardware and software platform used to develop prototypes of advanced instrumentation in a university research environment. It consists of a commercial processor board, running a real-time operating system, linked to analogue electronics via a highly flexible field-programmable gate-array (FPGA). The use of Handel-C to configure the FPGA means that the prototypes are essentially ‘software products’ and that the intellectual property created is readily ported to commercial applications using components with appropriate price, performance and power consumption. Two examples, from the process and transport industries, demonstrate how the platform can be used to move from research prototype to near-commercial product.
- Intelligent instrumentation
- Technology transfer