Research Spotlight

Real-time fusion of GEO sensors

Steinbeis integrates sensors into time-critical applications

It seems geo-sensors are everywhere these days. From simple, insitu micro-sensors and “mobile” sensors (like those in many modern smartphones) to high-resolution, imaging sensors used in aircraft and satellites for remote detection. Rapid developments in data transmission rates are almost making it possible to integrate these sensors immediately into a wide variety of time-critical applications. And this is precisely what experts at the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Applied Geosciences and Environmental Research are now working on.

The types of time-critical applications covered by this work include security at major events, early detection and warning systems for catastrophes, and even agricultural applications like the precise sowing of fertilizers. The big development challenge in this area is how to fuse these different types of sensors – that is, how to combine collected information from very different data sources. The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Applied Geoinformatics and Environmental Studies is working closely with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen in this field of research. In various studies, the DLR is flying over major events while the Steinbeis experts carry out in-situ imaging. The results will be used to develop a Web-based infrastructure for real-time sensor fusion.

Biological membrane reactors improve water purification

Steinbeis is partner in the EU project BioNexGen

Clean water is the basis for health and the quality of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that water pollution is the single largest threat to our future. Water management and purification are big challenges for research and innovation. Biomembrane reactor (MBR) technology is key to effective sewage treatment and recycling. The Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum has now partnered up in an EU project devoted to advancing the development of this technology.

MBR technology will be an integral part of sustainable water management for sewage treatment in urban, rural, and industrial areas. The Institute for Applied Research at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is conducting research as part of collaboration on the EU project BioNexGen. This involves work with European partners to develop membranes with new nano-scale functional layers to be used in water purification. The goal is to develop a new category of membranes that can make use of biomembrane reactors in organic wastewater. Using nanotechnology results in lower contamination levels and a more constant water flow. In addition, researchers expect to achieve a stronger filtering effect with respect to lighter molecular organic dirt particles. Another difference anticipated with the developed biomembrane reactors will be increased durability and lower energy consumption. The work should result in a technology that makes the SME partners more competitive in the European market and countries in the MENA region. The Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum supported the university with its application for the project, and, as a project partner, it has taken on the tasks of project and knowledge management. This involves handling issues related to intellectual property, the application of research results, and training courses for the project consortium.


Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner, Dr. Jonathan Loeffler, Dr. Sandrine Doretto
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (Karlsruhe)

New higher-output measurement of driving dynamics

Steinbeis experts help to develop a gyroscopic system

Driver assistance systems are becoming increasingly important in automotive manufacturing as the safety and comfort offered by modern vehicles increases. Accurately determining all vehicle movements is a must for precise measuring of vehicle driving dynamics. The automotive dynamic motion analyzer (ADMA) is a gyroscopic system that records all motion states of a vehicle with extreme precision. The Steinbeis Innovation Center Embedded Design and Networking has contributed to the development of the new generation of this system.

The first gyroscopic ADMA system was developed specifically for such applications by GeneSys Elektronik over a decade ago. In the new generation – ADMA 3.0 – the data output rate has been increased to 1000 Hz. A total of three Ethernet and five CAN bus interfaces allow for high-speed data transfers. This means data output, configuration, and updates can be carried out via the different Ethernet interfaces. The new development rests primarily on a very fast digital signal processor and a high-performance FPGA (which handles the freely selectable combination of data flows as well as the network management). For the most part, the system was developed and implemented by specialists at the Steinbeis Innovation Center Embedded Design and Networking, in close collaboration with the developers at GeneSys.

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