REAL TIME EMBEDDED SYSTEM CONTROL

Research, design and implement a custom realtime control system enabling the earthquake simulator to be controlled by globally monitored seismic data. The preferred operating system will be unix based, enabling for communication between Global Seismic Network (GSN) data and controller (Embedded System) which manages the variable voltage signal to solenoids actuating the hydraulics (Simulator).

It is an important aspect of the project that the research for design is thoroughly investigated before hardware installation and programming takes place. This step in the design process is crucial towards defining the technical aspect of the project and likely to influence the most success in seeking a result..

The following steps will be modelled as a guide for realisation of embedded control;
1. Define system requirements.
2. Design / Research specifications incorporating open loop life cycle planning.
3. Engineering design and programming.
4. Hardware implementation, testing and simulation of controller.

System requirement specifications can take many forms and at the very least this project should define in measurable terms what the system must do. It will also address and define user interface requirements, programming practices, documentation standards, acceptance testing criteria and procedures, ownership of intellectual property while at the same time addressing the current trends of contemporary technological development and the cultural / scientific context of the completed work (Earthquake Simulator) and subsequent documentation archives shown in the public arena (WWW)

Once the system requirements are confirmed the design work can begin. Required code modules (ADA 95,C, C++, Perl) have to be selected, interfaces must be identified and initial assumptions relating to programming tools and libraries determined (Compilers and Database Management Systems). The life cycle of the system is an important factor to be considered as current technologies chosen for control systems design for an open approach to hedge against obsolescence. This open approach is intended for the system design lifetime to be long, the overall mission generalised for future control utilising other possible forms of data (Stock Data) and periodic upgrades based on probable IT trends.

Testing and simulation of the embedded system will utilise the earthquake simulator itself as the actual test stand. This method will be the most convincing as the actual measurement sensors and actuators of the machine can be monitored directly for output, troubleshooting and orientates the testing of the overall system towards a possible condition of feedback; whereby the interconnected apparatus utilised come together universally forming a harmonious loop of machine control whereby the action exercised by the output signal directly creates the condition for the system input.

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