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tecSaaS® Embedded Electronics

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Description

The modular platform tecSaaS®, “Spectroscopy as a Sensor”, is a series of standalone smart sensors with embedded processing, for industrial and mobile applications. A powerful on-board processor architecture with modular software & firmware handles the data of UV-VIS-NIR spectral sensors in real-time, and only passes relevant results to the process interface. tecSaaS® offers complex algorithms such as chemometrics or FFT, and allows to define customized mathematical processing.

Supported sensors: tecSaaS® platforms support spectrometers with CCD, PDA, CMOS and InGaAs detectors, or filtered single photodiodes, in single or dual-channel referencing configurations.

Core hardware architecture: The system control and data processing electronics has been defined with special attention to the requirements of controlling / reading the sensors and to the typical data processing used in spectroscopy. It includes an ARM Cortex M4 type CPU, an FPGA with sufficient power for additional spectral data processing as well as suitable memory and relevant electrical interfaces.

Firmware: Based on a lean real-time operating system, modular firmware is ready for use, only requiring configuration selection and parameter setting. It supports the functions required for instrument control, spectral data acquisition/processing and process communication. A formula parser can be used to define mathematics generating the results for the control system. Complex processing modules, e.g. for chemometric prediction, can be implemented.

Process interface: As a standard interface, Modbus/TCP is selected to transfer results to the process control system. Other Ethernet, CAN or serial interface-based communications are possible.

Reliability and security considerations: tecSaaS® is designed for productive industrial and mobile environments, in which reliable and secure operation is most important. Hardware and firmware are dedicated to the instrument purpose with a lean operating system, in which only functionality required for the measurements is available. Real-time performance is achieved for many inline applications, as the controller’s resources are entirely dedicated to the task.

tecSaaS® Firmware options: tecSaaS® modular software can be licensed at different levels of functionality and versatility. The basic level contains spectroscopic control and processing functions including light source control, two trigger modes, real-time spectra preprocessing functions, T%/R%/Abs.-processing, result engine and a Modbus/TCP process interface.

The advance firmware level adds on-board handling of up to 10 additional methods as well as color processing, FFT, peak finder and real-time bubble (outlier) detection.

Chemometric prediction add-on packages for SensorLogic and Camo, also containing additional methods, are available.

MPT software tool: For startup, monitoring and parameter setting, the Monitoring and Parameterization Tool (MPT) is provided for PCs with Windows OS. The PC is temporarily connected to the Ethernet port of the tecSaaS® device. After completion of setup and monitoring tasks, PC is disconnected and no longer required in regular operation.

MPT supports all functionality required for setting up standard operation of the tecSaaS® unit, including up- and download of methods containing all required parameters for operation and data processing.

MPT Advance adds special data conversion, export functions and support functionality for performing calibrations with the sensor.

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Features

  • Smart Sensor technology with embedded electronics, supporting a wide choice of sensors, such as UV-VIS-NIR spectral detectors and photometers.
  • Real-time capabilities, based on a lean RTOS [Real Time Operating System], for output of post-processed data to the control system without the need of an external PC.
  • Powerful, modular hardware core architecture – CPU, FPGA, memory, interfaces – to answer a wide range of inline measurements, expandable with additional modules.

Advantages

  • Chemometrics software and online predictors can be implemented. Models and methods created for a PC system can be transferred and used through the MPT software interface.
  • Process integration can be realized using Modbus/TCP, CAN, ISOBUS and other communication interfaces for reliable industrial operation.
  • Setup only by parameterization or special build for customized projects. Parameterization of software instead of programming: No professional programmer is required.
  • For complex methodologies, proprietary processing modules and algorithms can be integrated as binary code.

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