Contract Development Examples
This project designed and developed the electronics and
software for a laboratory ultra-pure water purification system.
The system uses an ARM Cortex M4 processor to deliver an low cost and
power efficient system.
A simple 4" touch screen interface is employed for operator control.
The system has the capability for Ethernet and WiFi interfaces for IoT
operation. It has an ultrasonic water level measurement system, a set
of three high accuracy DSP based water quality measurement interfaces,
a secure filter ID reader interface along with 16 x 24V DC power
driving electronic switches
Automotive Emission Control System
Our customer had a basic proof of concept prototype system for the reduction of pollutants generated by
automotive internal combustion engines. Beam re-engineered the electronics system developing a sophisticated, but low cost, controller to match the existing case design and a remote
RF user interface unit. The controller unit designed to be mounted in the engine bay of a vehicle, can be controlled and display status
information both via Wifi to a mobile phone and via an 868MHz RF link to a simple fob unit located inside the vehicle viewable by the driver.
The unit was designed to comply with automotive standards and was tested against these.
The unit's processor is an ARM based Cortex-4 STM32F4 and supports a web browser accessed interface together with a JSON application interface for custom mobile apps.
As part of our internal R&D program we have developed
hardware boards and software tools to allow us to get the most out of
the new 32 bit ARM Cortex processors. This has resulted in the set of
ArmMod boards that enable easy prototyping of systems and the Armsys
software development platform that provide a powerful C++ RTOS based
design environment for real-time software on these systems.
Cable Insulation Measuring Systems
Using our extensive instrumentation research and development
abilities we have developed innovative cable monitoring techniques to
measure insulation resistance and capacitance with high accuracy on
cable systems that can have a large intrinsic capacitance. From this
research and development we have developed systems employing Linux
based control nodes along with lower power Cortex M4 boards performing
digital signal processing (DSP) to measure these low level insulation
monitoring currents in high levels of noise on high voltage systems.
Touch screen controled industrial measurement instruments based on this
technology are now being employed.
Securicot Baby Monitoring System
This project was carried out with Dectel and involved the
design and development of a Hotel baby monitoring system that would
operate reliably over the old existing telephone lines to each bedroom.
The system employs ARM Cortex M4 and Cortex M0 processors to deliver an
low cost and efficient system.
A simple 7" touch screen interface is employed for operator control.
The system has the capability for Ethernet and WiFi interfaces as well
as telephone line operation.
FPGA Network Process Engines
This project design and developed a FPGA based system to
process radio signals is a small 1U rack mounted case. We design and
produced the 16 layer PCB that utilises a XilinxVirtex-6 FPFA to
process the radio signals in real-time. The board utilises a dual core
PowerPC processor running Linux to provide a network appliance system.
The system has 4 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces along with a fibre
interface per board.
The FPGA design was developed in VHDL and the Linux OS ported to the
system along with the development of management software.
The unit was design for low power operation. It consumes 1/10 of the
power of the PC based unit it replaces.
CERN Trajectory Measurement System
This project was carried out in
partnership with CERN and Alpha
and involved the design, construction,
commissioning, support and maintenance of a new trajectory
measurement system for the CERN
Proton Synchrotron. The FPGA based system has 120 analogue signal
acquisition channels sampled by a set of synchronised high performance
ADC's. The resulting data is fed into a powerfull FPGA based digital
signal processing chip to derive the positions of the particle bunches
undergoing acceleration in the CERN
The system continuously samples
120 Analogue channels sampled at 125MHz, 14 bits and processes this
data in real-time to determine information on the position of particle
bunches as they orbit at around 437kHz. Overal the system captures and
processes 15 billion samples per second. the multiple Xilinx Vertex
FPGA's are employed in a modular system to capture and process the
data. The system is controlled over a Gigabit Ethernet network from
which portions of the resulting data can be accessed.
More information is at: TmsOverview and http://portal.beam.ltd.uk/support/cern/
Blacknest Data System
organisation that collects and and analyses Terabytes of seismic sensor
data. This data is collected from a variety of locations and in
differing formats. Beam have developed a solution for the data ingest,
storage and subsequent user access of this data. The system supports
web and email access to the data. A documented API enables Blacknest
scientists to develop customised applications.
Lifestream Video Conferencing System
Developed for a specific medical application of remote data
and Video viewing, this project involved the development of a special
purpose packet switched backplane system based on Gigabit Ethernet.
We developed a cost sensitive Ethernet based backplane system,
a Gigabit switch card together with ancillary cards for the mounting of
a custom video compression card and redundant power supplies. Three and
five slot variants of the backplane were produced.
Our customer had approximately 7000 degrading 24 track 1" data
tapes containing valuble historic seismic data.
We developed a system to extract and save the data from these
tapes. This Linux based system uses Digital Acquisition (DAQ) cards
with the open source COMEDI DAQ interface to capture and process in
real time the analogue data from the 24 analogue tape tracks. FM
decoding of the tracks is perfomed in real-time using FIR and IIR
filters together with a Hilbert transform based FM Demodulator. The
resulting digitised seismic data is stored on disk and can be written
to DVD. The whole system is controlled with an easy to use GUI
interface. In addition to the software design and development we
designed and produced the analogue, front-end, tape head amplifiers and
anti-aliasing filters for the system.
Linux Device Drivers
Beam have developed a number of Linux Devices Drivers. Details
can be found on our Open Source Drivers
The WrpServer system was designed to record and allow
the playback of Wideband Radio IF signal channels obtained from a set
of DdcServers. The WrpServer employs a set of Giga-bit Ethernet ports
and an array of SCSI disks in a RAID configuration in order to record
the Wideband IF signal channels in real-time. The overall maximum data
rate processed by the system is about 48 MBytes per second when
recording 8 Wideband IF channels.
The DdcServer is a part of a software radio system
developed for Procitec that processes, in real-time, a digital
broadband radio IF input signal with a bandwidth of between 200KHz and
2 MHz coming from a RF receiver via a Fibre FPDP interface. The input
signal is transformed into narrow band channels (20 kHz) by digital
down converting (DDC) using FPGA technology. Each channel can be used
and programmed independently with the possibility of overlapping
channels. The result consists of 150 narrow band channels which can
accessed by remote systems though a Gigabit Ethernet interface. The
overall data rate processed by the system is about 24 MBytes per
second. The system was implemented using the Linux OS as a network
managed 19inch rack unit.
is a Video cache server for use in TV
broadcasting environments. Quantel produce a broadcast quality Video
processing system called Quentin. This system consists of a number of
Video Servers with video and audio clips distributed across them. The
servers have the video both at broadcast resolution, 25 Mbit, and at
1.5 Mbit MPEG. In use, for example, in a busy newsroom, a large
number of journalists have the ability to view the video data using the
Quantel Qview application from Microsoft Windows based Edit
workstations: the machines upon which they type their copy, read email
and so on.
The CacheServer was designed and developed by BEAM to act as a
cache for the Video servers video information. It operates as a classic
read-only cache of Video Data Thunks (The basic data chunk), accepting
requests for Thunks from the multiple journalist's machines, forwarding
these requests to the Video servers if it cannot satisfy them itself,
and storing them (in RAM and on disk) for future use in a strictly
"most recently used" manner. The system was implemented using the Linux
OS as a network managed 19inch rack unit.
Camserve - Covert CCTV camera DVR with WiFi and G3 Interface
Employing the latest Video compression techniques (H.264 and
MPEG4) the Camserve unit is a small, low power, DVR with WiFi and
G3 interfaces for use in Covert CCTV applications as well as standard
(More info ...)
The AstroFFT Digital Spectrometer System was designed
to pick out coherent signals from large levels of noise. One example of
use is to survey the Galaxy searching for maser emission from water
both in star-forming regions and in the circumstellar envelopes of
The system processes, in real time, multiple wide
bandwidth (23MHz) analogue signals from a radio telescope. The system
employs the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to calculate the spectrum of
the signals and integrates the power of this spectrum over time.
The AstroFFT system consists of a network accessible host
containing multiple FFT processing engines. Each processing engine has
two, fast, analogue to digital converters connected directly to one of
the latest generation of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA's). The
FFT, power and integration calculations are performed by this FPGA.
This novel architecture provides the high level of performance required
with the flexibility to modify or use different processing algorithms.
This was implemented as a Linux based 19inch rack system with GUI for
Developed for a TV equipment company,RMON is a remote
monitoring and control system for broadcast video processing and
editing systems. Based upon Linux technology and deployed on PC
platforms it uses TCP/IP and PPP protocols across point to point modem
links, Internet and local Ethernet networks. The system employs an easy
to use GUI allowing technicians to access remote logs, control the
remote systems and upload new software.
The Clipnet system was developed for Quantel. It is a
Video clip network access system operating over Gigabit networks. It
provides for the fast transfer of Video clips from one system to
another as well as providing directory information. The system was
written in 'C++' and ported to Linux, WindowsNT and Silicon Graphics
We have extensive experience in cross platform porting.
- GNU Fortran to Embedded AlphaProcessor System
- GNAT ADA to Embedded Alpha Processor System
- GNU 'C' and 'C++' to Embedded Alpha Processor System
- GNU debugger to Embedded Alpha Processor System.
- Port of telephone interface DSP driver to Unix.
- Port of RCS with user specific modifications to Unix
Research, Design and Development of Braille/Speech screen
reading system for Blind users of Unix X-Window systems.
Development of Plasma Etching process control software
Developed in C++ under the Microsoft Windows operating system
this GUI based application encapsulated process knowledge for the
control of a plasma processing installation.
Hardware and Software for professional joystick
An analogue force joystick to mouse system mouse protocol
converter. Developed for use in research modelling. Embedded single
chip microprocessor technology.
HBOX design and development
An interface box between a telephone line, PC sound card,
telephone headset and external sound source. Used in call centre