Here is a summary of some of the most interesting projects.

We will add more, but for most we need the expressed clearance of our customers. Therefore some will probably never be presented here.

Structure Monitoring
These projects monitor the physical shape of buildings, mostly old churches (that's where the money is). These are usually long term endeavours. The first significant one was the Rott project. This project is now terminated because of cost reasons. It was designed to monitor the church in Rott am Inn (Bavaria, Germany). It was installed in 1997 and was to run for 15 years without human intervention. The computer was running Linux, of course.

Other projects of this kind, although with shorter run times, are those at the monastery of Andechs (that with the famous brewery!) and at the monastery in Altomünster, both in Bavaria, Germany. In contrast to the laser equipment in Rott these use incremental encoders, but the resolution is 1µm, compared to 1/10mm in Rott. These projects are done with our long-time partner, the Geodätisches Institut (Institute for Surveying) at the Technische Universität München.

Nivkal Projects
These were a series of projects, all about calibration of levelling rods (these are these big "metersticks" that surveyors use to measure (relative) altitudes of points in the landscape). The system measures the position of the markings to a precision of 0.1µm and outputs tables and diagrams for the customer.

The first of the systems was installed in 1982 at the Geodätisches Institut (Institute for Surveying) at the Technische Universität München and ran on a CBM 3032 (8bit, 1MHz, 31kB free memory).

The second is located in the Landesvermessungsamt Bad Godesberg, Germany. This is based on a RTX2000 processor. The user interface and the surveyor-specific tasks are run on a HP workstation with a window environment. The last generation is again installed at the Geodätisches Institut (Institute for Surveying) , it substituted the old one.

Based on a dual-processor design it was (Spring 1998) extended to allow for the calibration of the new, bar code based rods in conjunction with their electronic meters. This series of projects is again a co-production with the Geodätisches Institut, Technische Universität München.

With the same partner a complete new version was developed, that does not use a microscope to detect the markings, but a high resolution digital camera. Additionally, most of the previously external hardware was integrated into a dual processor PC (e.g. Agilent 10887P Calibrator board, ITI PC-DIG camera interface).

These niv-kal projects are no longer maintained, due to the sudden death of the leader of all these efforts, Wolfgang Maurer.

Classified Projects
We had (and have) some projects, about which we are not allowed to publish any details, especially not company or product names, short of any links to either of them. So you will find a rather "dry" and abstract description here. And some are missing altogether, because they are deemed so secret, that we are not allowed to mention them at all (no, we do not work for the military, at least not to our knowledge), but some companies are very sensitive.

Voice over IP. This project was a cooperation with one of the medium sized telcom suppliers in Europe. Our part in that project was to cooperate with the HW developers of the customer (mostly peer reviews and debugging) and to supply the HW-related code of the system. This involved the code on the DSPs and the driver to communicate with them. The whole system runs under Linux (again), so it was rather painless for us to write the driver, although some real-time issues arose, that were not so easy to resolve (but we did).

Now (2008) the name of this project can be exposed: CableStar of Kapsch in Wien (Austria). This project failed, because of creeping requirements and insane time-tables.

Data Interchange Between Manufacturers and Suppliers This project was a little tricky, because it involved many parties. The main problem was the different "languages" their systems spoke, not the people. Finally the problem could be resolved by defining a (new) common language and writing some converters. This isn't the best way for the future, but it protects the investments of all parties. Our role was to define the common language, so that it is "future proof" and readily implementable, i.e. it is more or less straightforward to write a converter.

Porting FORTH is a constant activity of our company. We port this system (it is not a simple programming language, but a complete system with interpreter and compiler) to a different platform every 2-4 years, depending on customer demand. We have split this system up into several layers, so we are able to support processors with only some hundred bytes of ROM (EEROM, EPROM or FLASH) and some dozen bytes of RAM. The rest of the development system runs on a PC. Only the actual code is loaded to the target, although you have the full functionality of the interpreter and the compiler.

© Paul Elektronik, 1998-2009