-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 97 www.windmill.co.uk August 2006 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to the latest issue of Monitor. This month: how our people counting software now makes it easier to accurately monitor footfall. Plus, how scientists are using the free Windmill software for reliable, continuous measurement of CO2. We hope you find the newsletter useful. Should you wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Windmill News: Improved People Counting Software * Windmill Notes: Determining Soil Health * DAQ News Roundup * Data Acquisition and Control Exhibitions ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill News: Improved People Counting Software ________________________________________________________ We've improved our people counting software to make it much easier check the accuracy of the counts and, if necessary, to automatically adjust the appropriate settings. During validation of the system, the software calculates, and improves, the accuracy of counting. It compares the actual count to the software count, analyses video pictures of people passing, then makes suggestions to improve the accuracy. You can accept these with just one mouse click, or you can adjust the suggestions before applying the changes. For instance, it may be that the system is counting shadows as people. The software detects that this is the likely source of the error and makes appropriate adjustments. Once the settings are saved the system counts reliably for that situation. Each counting position can be uniquely configured to take account of lighting, person size, shadows and so on. The software is used by the Video Turnstile system, supplied by Biodata and others. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Determining Soil Health ________________________________________________________ Researchers in Mexico have developed a new method for continuously measuring the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during respiration of microorganisms like bacteria. This accurate, low-cost, system makes it much easier to reliably determine soil fertility or contamination. CO2 is often used as an indicator for microbiological activity in soils or sediments. Inhibition of microbial respiration indicates a contaminated soil. In agricultural science, the amount of CO2 efflux of soils is an indication of soil fertility. CO2 respiration measurements are also used to evaluate microbiological remediation processes, predicting or optimising microbial processes in contaminated soils. Previously, continuously monitoring CO2 emission was expensive. It needed a strict flow control, repeated calibration, air filtering and continuous correction for temperature and atmospheric pressure. The new system is an open one, with a continuous air-flow through. Evolved CO2 is absorbed and precipitated as carbonate by a Ba(OH)2 solution, causing a decrease in ionic strength and conductivity of solution. This decrease in ionic strength can be continuously detected by a conductivity meter. The researchers, from the Instituto Mexicano de Tecnologia del Agua, connected their conductivity meter (from Orion Research Inc) to a PC running Windmill 4.3 data acquisition software. This they downloaded for free from the Windmill web site. Windmill read the conductivity and temperature of the alkaline Ba(OH)2 solution from the meter and automatically transferred the data to Microsoft Excel software. Excel corrected the conductivity readings for temperature and calculated the CO2 concentration. This new laboratory method reduces costs for reliable, continuous measurements of CO2 evolution and, according to the researchers, offers the possibility for nearly all biological and chemical laboratories to adapt to this technology. Further Reading: ================ Afferden, M., Hansen, A.M., Kaiser, C. and Chapelain, N. (2006) 'Laboratory test system to measure microbial respiration rate', Int. J. Environment and Pollution, Vol. 26, Nos. 1/2/3, pp.220-233. Free Software Helps Determine Soil Contamination http://www.windmill.co.uk/soil.html Other Data Aquisition Applications http://www.windmill.co.uk/software.html#applications ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our roundup of the latest findings in data acquisition and control. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed at https://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml. Read http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsfeed.php for information how to display the news on your own web site, read it via e-mail or through a newsfeed viewer. US Aim to Reduce Control Systems Vulnerabilities The US National Cyber Security Division have launched a web-based control systems security program to improve the security of control systems (SCADA, DCS, etc). The web site includes recommended practices and case studies. Source: US-Cert http://www.crsp.inl.gov/ Fingertip Digitizer can Control Devices Researchers at the University of Buffalo say their "Fingertip Digitizer", which users wear on the tip of the index finger, can be used to direct the actions of an electronic device. It is claimed to help bridge the gap between what a person knows and what a computer knows. A real-time, multi-rate data acquisition system used with the Fingertip Digitizer reads the force feedback exerted by an object as it is touched by the user. To read hand gestures, the system tracks the acceleration and location of the fingertip device as the finger moves and gestures. Source: University of Buffalo http://www.buffalo.edu/ Wine-tasting robot to spot Fraudulent Bottles A robotic wine taster, capable of distinguishing between 30 different varieties or blends of grape, has been developed by engineers in Japan. It is about twice the size of a 3-litre wine box and comprises a microcomputer and optical sensors. http://www.newscientisttech.com/ Use of Wireless Technology in Manufacturing to Grow 26% Annually Wireless technology is about to see widespread adoption on the plant floor and in the field. The worldwide market for wireless technology in manufacturing is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 26% over the next five years, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. Source: Arc Advisory Group http://www.arcweb.com/ Keeping cool on the pitch Biological engineering students at the University of Arkansas have developed a wireless biosensor for sports players. The prototype sensor has been designed to accurately record and monitor an American football player's body temperature while the player is active. It wirelessly gathers and monitors body temperature and communicates information on many players in real time. It includes a thermocouple temperature sensor, a transmitter, two amplifiers and a base-station receiver connected to a laptop with user-interface software. Source: The Engineer https://www.theengineer.co.uk/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences ________________________________________________________ Continuing our quarterly list of exhibitions around the world covering data acquisition and control. Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems Aberdeen Scotland 6-7 September Bienniel event for companies who supply products and services specific to the offshore industry and those representing processing, power generation, paper, distilling, water and waste, and marine engineering. http://www.instrumentation.co.uk/ MICONEX Beijing China 13-16 September International fair for measurement, instrumentation and automation. http://www.cis.org.cn/ Automatizace Brno Czech Republic 18-22 September International engineering fair featuring automation, measuring, control and regulation. http://www.bvv.cz/automatizace-gb PTA Moscow Russia 18-20 September The leading Russian annual exhibition of technologies and equipment for process automation and embedded systems. http://www.pta-expo.ru/en/ Analytica China Shanghai China 19-21 September 3rd International trade fair for analysis and laboratory technology. http://www.analytica-world.com/?id=22509 BIAS Milan Italy 20-23 September Automation, instrumentation, sensors, control systems and IT for industry. http://www.fieremostre.it/fiere/geninfo.jsp?edizId=bs06 ISA Expo 2006 Houston Texas USA 17-19 October Automation conference, exhibition and training. Aims to provide automation and control professionals with a venue for dialogue, discussion and discovery. https://www.isa.org/expo/ HET Instrument Utrecht Netherlands 30 Oct - 3 November Industrial automation and laboratory techniques exhibition. http://www.hetinstrument.nl/en/ International Congress for Wireless Sensors & Networks Paris France 28-29 November Addresses the trends and challenges of the wireless sensors market. http://www.icwsn.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see http://www.windmill.co.uk We are happy for you to copy and distribute this newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site or publication, providing the above notice is included and a link back to our website is in place. An archive of previous issues is at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office, Manchester, M8 8QR, UK Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.windmill.co.uk/ https://www.windmillsoft.com/
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