New generation instrument

The client sought to strengthen their already good market position with a higher specification, higher throughput, next generation gas flow sensor product.

The Skills Required

Fen deployed its range of DSP and embedded software experience to clean up, enhance, capture and interpret the raw signal data to great effect.
Timing critical embedded code ensured the real time flow control loop was sufficiently accurate as to serve the demanding, higher level product performance requirements.

Fen's considerable instrumentation design experience was used in the modelling and design of a low noise front-end.
Whilst DSP filtering was applied to further enhance the clarity of signal, fundamentally the raw analogue signal needed a generational improvement in clarity.

Fen carefully modelled different stimulus and detection methods of the flow transducer system to maximise both the clarity of transmitted signal and minimise background noise, and improve the detection circuitry for better temporal resolution.

The Brief

A next generation instrument was required to measure gas concentrations of a wider range of gas types, flow-rates and pressures to a much tighter specification than the current generation of instruments.

The demanding specification necessitated a new approach to the physical principle at the core of the product, requiring a design and simulation phase ahead of electronics implementation.

The client also sought to resolve obsolescence problems starting to affect the original instrument.



The Solution

The project involved the development of a precision low-level front end. The first stage of work involved much research into advanced algorithms for extracting very low-level signal data from a high noise background.

Given the range of gas types, flow-rates and pressures, careful consideration had to be given during the design and test phases to ensure the generational improvement expected of the product was achieved in practice.

Fen used high speed signal processing utilising the benefits of carefully selected FPGA and DSP silicon, resulting in the new instrument exceeding the performance of the current instrument and resolving the legacy obsolescence.

This project drew heavily on Fen’s considerable experience of instrumentation design where very small signals need to be detected against a challenging environment.



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