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  • Linux
  • C++
  • Java

Customer

ZAPS Technologies turned to Softeq to tap the company’s versatile expertise in embedded software development by porting the software system underlying its flagship product — a water quality monitoring system — from Windows to a more resource-efficient Linux OS.

Softeq’s team was also to develop a solution that would support web-based access to the device to retrieve data from the instrument’s sensors.

Problem

Technology for Safer World

When Gary Klinkhammer, founder of Corvallis-based ZAPS Technologies, provider of high-precision optical instrumentation and services for water quality monitoring and analysis, was creating ZAPS, he pursued the idea of putting technology to making the world a safer place to live, as well as saving money.

The two concepts are the foundation of the LiquIDTM Station, the company’s flagship product, which provides automated multi-parameter detection and measurement for varied fluid systems. Taking into account how hard water testing can be on equipment, LiquIDTM is designed to help avoid unnecessary chemical use and mechanical wear and tear, thus saving money.

Gearing Toward Greater Extensibility and Manageability

The initial solution was built using the LabVIEW technology, which eventually could not provide the required level of extensibility to enable multiple applications.

ZAPS Technologies turned to Softeq to tap its versatile expertise in embedded software development by porting the underlying software system from Windows to a more resource-efficient Linux. The system was also to be re-written using more traditional programming languages such as C++ and Java to achieve better maintainability.

The LiquIDTM Station was to provide the remote control and calibration capability to manage two key modules — optical filters module and measurement data collection module — which was previously realized through a remote desktop feature. Softeq's team was required to develop a solution enabling web access to administer the device and retrieve data collected by the sensors.

Solution

LiquIDTM STATION

LiquIDTM Station

The LiquIDTM Station is an optical monitoring instrument enabling continuous observation of water quality with results accessible online. It works by pumping water into the machine, passing it through a single, innovative optical flow cell utilizing fluorescence, UV-Vis absorption, and “hybrid-hyperspectral” detection. The instrument takes readings about every two minutes and produces no waste other than the return of the sample flow stream.

Seamless Software to Hardware Communication

The Softeq team carried out system porting to Linux and developed a number of Java-driven interfaces to enable software to seamlessly communicate with specific hardware devices:

  • LabJack U3 data acquisition device
  • NI 6602 counter/timer for creating measurement devices. This interface development posed some challenges due to limited capabilities of the NI driver that had to be worked around
  • Interface for accessing motherboard inherent functionality
Remote Data Access

LiquIDTM Station supports remote data access through a secure Web User Interface (WUI) enabling:

  • Data retrieving and storage
  • Data processing and visualization
  • Alerts being sent to the end-user in case of critical water conditions, e.g. contaminants exceeding the acceptable level of concentration

The networking and remote access security is ensured with the SSL and SSH protocols respectively. The roles and passwords are segregated to enable secure system updating and remote management.

Watch the video


“We hired Softeq to convert prototype software into production-level software, across the whole gamut from machine-level code all the way to web user interface.”

Mike Brown
VP Business Development,
ZAPS Technologies

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