QUALIFICATION OF ANTENNA DYNAMICS
Resonate Systems were engaged by Hensoldt GmbH to develop two custom data acquisition systems to assist with the qualificationof radar antenna performance against specifications.
With a tight schedule, the systems needed to be specified, designed, built and commissioned within 3 months.
Resonate Systems applied agile project management techniques and test-driven development to identify and address key technical risk areas and rapidly iterate towards a solution that satisfied Hensoldt’s critical requirements within the required timeframe.
Each deployed system consisted of two 20-channel data acquistion system: One attached to rotating components and transmitting data via WiFi; and the other mounted on the radar tower.
The systems were to be simultaneously deployed at two sites running continuously for a period of 4 months.
The systems measured a range of signal types from devices including wind sensors, tachometers, AC and DC accelerometers, laser distance sensors, rotary encoders, and tilt sensors.
All data was time synchronous and stored in a common format with meaningful meta-data tailored towards Hensoldt’s requirements.
Using open-source tools such as Python and MongoDB, Resonate Systems developed a data management process that allowed for effective searching of the data sets during the analysis stage.
Training in the effective use of these software tools was provided to Hensoldt allowing their engineering team to complete their assessment and support the equipment in future installations.
By completion of the monitoring period the systems had characterised over 1.5 million antenna rotations and allowed Hensoldt to develop a deep understanding of the mechanical dynamics of the radar in a range of environmental conditions.
DEVELOPMENT OF A SAMPLE ANALYSIS AUTOMATION INTERFACE
APAL Agricultural Laboratory
Resonate Systems worked with APAL to industrialise a soil analysis process.
APAL collaborated with CSIRO and the University of Adelaide over a 12-month period to develop more efficient and cost-effective spectroscopic Near InfraRed (NIR).
The collaboration pushed to develop methods for high throughput soil analysis in agriculture to reduce previous laborious and expensive manual processes.
By streamlining this process, the objective to produce a tenfold increase in throughput per day was achieved.
The analysis performed by measuring the laser light reflected back from the soil sample is followed by statistical modelling to determine the soil composition.
Prior to Resonate Systems’ development, this process was undertaken manually requiring a number of inputs into data files of various formats.
Resonate Systems’ role was to take that analysis module and automate it by developing supporting data-handling and automation routines to interface the core NIR soil analysis module provided by the University of Adelaide Researchers.
Throughout the process, existing manual test setup and data entry procedures were replaced by software automation. To achieve this, Resonate Systems worked alongside APAL to understand the interface between existing NIR scanning equipment and prediction software.
Scripting routines for loading and unloading of the soil samples by robot were also developed thus removing the need for human interaction between setting up the measurements and analysing the results.
To achieve the objectives the project was delivered in 3 stages:
Stage 1 - Build an automated platform to import spectra from the analysis instrumentation, perform predictions and then export data.
Stage 2 - Automate the reporting and Quality Assurance of results through integration with APAL's laboratory information management system (LIMS).
Stage 3 - Interface NIR instrumentation with customised hardware capable of running the daily throughput targets.
The project delivered software process improvements to the NIR soil analysis system. The reduced sample time now drives efficiency withing APAL and adds value to the APAL’s customers.
University of Adelaide
EXPERIMENT SEQUENCE AUTOMATION
In collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for
Optimising Resource Extraction, Professor Nigel Spooner’s
group at the University of Adelaide are researching ways to
create a new and unique mineralogy ‘spectral fingerprint’
database.This will lead to the rapid development of new, low-cost
and robust sensing technology capable of being applied in a range
of mining and mineral processing applications.
At this development stage, manually executing a single iteration of
the research experiment could take up to 20 minutes for a
proficient user. The project requires running thousands of
iterations of the experiment, making automation the only feasible
mean for effectively conducting this research programme.
A high degree of automation was needed to control multiple pieces
of scientific-grade hardware and to deliver the necessary
experimental data within the required timeframes.
Resonate Systems was engaged to develop a framework to
interface, configure and provide a consistent and scalable method
of communicating with several instruments.Ten pieces of
laboratory equipment, from the OPOs (Optical Parametric
Oscillators) to simple rotating stages were interfaced. While each
individual interface was being developed, they were integrated into
the main interface (UI), allowing users to continue testing with a
combination of automatic and manual configuration until the full
functionality was achieved.
FIBRE MARKING RIG
Resonate Systems developed a software application to automatically detect Fibre Bragg gratings in an optical fibre and mark the location.
Developed within the National Instruments (NI) Labview programming language, the software included the interfacing to a Fibre Bragg gratings (FBGs) interrogator and Lastek marking and printing jig.
FBGs allow optic fibres to be used as extremely sensitive temperature and mechanical strain sensors.
The research team have incorporated these sensors into medical devices such as catheters to give practitioners a high level of feedback and information to assist with monitoring conditions and procedures.
In order to create the sensors, the FBGs must be located within the optical fibre.
These are not visible and therefore have to be located by stimulating a change in their properties as the fibre is scanned. The existing software to control this process was written over many years of research and had become cumbersome to manage and maintain.
Resonate Systems’ certified LabView architect rewrote the software using best practices to achieve a clean modular architecture and greatly improve stability and testing speed.
This included wrapping various sections of a job into discrete, modular sections of code that allow for simple variations into the future and changes to particular pieces of equipment. Resonate Systems performed off-site testing prior to commissioning as well as spending appreciable time in the laboratory post installation to ensure that the implementation run smoothly.
Resonate Systems delivered an optical fibre marking device that accurately (+/- 0.1 mm) identifies and marks the locations of specific perturbations in the core of optical fibres.
As a result of the development, the manufacturing time required to produce optical fibre based pressure, force and strain sensing devices was reduced by a factor of 8x, in some cases, to six minutes with the feasibility to further increase the operation speed in future.
ROLLING STOCK STRUCTURAL
To assist SNC Lavalin in monitoring the structural integrity of rolling stock, Resonate Systems developed a customised measurement system for a long-term study; including components such as a web front-end to data, enabling end users to request and inspect data remotely.
To gain a full understanding of the dynamic environment and loads rolling stock is subject to over its lifetime, the custom data acquisition system measured static and dynamic strain and GPS data.
Resonate Systems designed and developed the system to be rugged and capable to monitor for a period of 12 to 18 months. The system was also provided remote data uploads to a dedicated web portal.
The systems were installed in locations subjected to high level of vibration and with limited opportunities to perform inspection and maintenance once in the field. As such, the design had to be robust, simple to operate and verified/approved for rail use
With clearly defined measurement requirements from SNC Lavalin and to meet the project objectives, Resonate Systems defined how to best acquire data and specified the full set of necessary infrastructure required to meet the client’s objectives.
Through this project, Resonate Systems demonstrated a broad range of capabilities by having designed and built the custom onboard monitoring system, undertaking the on-site installation, developing a tailored web data access portal and through the provision of timely client reports.
O-Bahn CITY ACCESS PROJECT
GROUND VIBRATION MONITORING
A $160M major infrastructure project within the Adelaide CBD, the O-Bahn City Access project involved construction of a 670-metre tunnel and road realignments to reduce bus travel time and traffic congestion in that area.
The AvaTrace M80 vibration monitor is ideally suited to construction projects as they provide a number of benefits including, their ease of use in the field.
The units are lightweight, portable and have an extensive battery life of up to eight months depending on use and conditions.
AvaTrace M80 and AvaNet cloud services helped minimising time and labour costs spent on changing batteries and retrieving data manually.
Real-time alerts are activated when project vibration levels are exceeded with the cloud-based data portal AvaNet being accessible at all times by users.
The O’Bahn monitoring project included a number of community stakeholders and vibration sensitive areas, including residences and buildings on Adelaide’s Hackney Road, the National Wine Centre and commercial premises on East Terrace.
Resonate Consultants used AVATrace M80 vibration monitors to minimise the risk of building damage including, heritage structures from construction-induced vibration and to ensure project-specific vibration requirements were achieved.
When vibration levels were exceeded, alerts were sent to the client and steps taken to review the works to reduce vibration levels within the project area.