- Scientific Competences:
- Computer Science: Distributed and Parallel Systems, Communication and Protocols
- Computer Science: Digital Circuit Design on gate- and algorithmic level
- Computer Science: Selected Algorithms from Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Physics: Optical Systems and Measuring Techniques
- Physics: Laser-physics and Systems
- Physics: Optical Spectroscopy
- Development of Scientific Software
- Digital Logic and Hardware Circuit Design
- Computer Architecture
- Optical Measuring Techniques
- Design & Manufacturing of Optical Components
- Design & Manufacturing of Electronic Systems
- Software Programming
- Numerical Simulation
- Electromagnetic Measuring Techniques
- Development and programming of distributed data acquisition, measuring, and processing systems, based on ethernet network technology and single board computers (embedded sysetsm), combined with ordinary PC work place computers. Features:
- Simple coupling of measuring instruments with hardware reduced single board computers connected to local area network.
- Ordinary PCs using UNIX like operating systems serve as operational platform and development environment.
- Software development for network coupled parallel computer clusters and parallel numeric applications.
Digital Logic and Hardware Circuit Design
- Modelling and Synthesis on Hardware-Behaviour-Level
- Using modern VHDL and Verilog “programming” languages enables the design of digital logic circuits on hardware behaviour level with a Register-Transfer-Logic (RTL) architecture. Gate-level synthesis provides transformation from RTL to gate-level and final target technology mapping (FPGA or standard-cell ASIC). Both FPGA (Xilinx and Actel) and standard-cell ASIC (sxlib) synthesis and design are supported. A large set of different gate-level synthesis tools are available.
- Modelling and Synthesis on Algorithmic Program Level
- Using an imperative programming language (for example C) enables the design of digital logic circuits on an high abstract algorithmic level. A high-level-synthesis tool is used to transform the program-model-level to hardware-behaviour-level and Register-Transfer-Logik. We are using our own developed High-Level-Synthesis framework ConPro to perform the design flow. The ConPro programming language is an enhanced imperative programming language with a multi-process model and communicating sequential processes using interprocess-communication known from multi-threaded programming-models. Using this design framework it is possible to design complex and large design reaching and superpose the million gate boundary.
Optical Measuring Techniques
- Development of laser optical measuring methods, for example surface distortion measurements.
- Development of laser based distance measurement using the Time-Of-Flight (TOF) method.
- Light-Waveguide and Fiber technologies
Design & Manufacturing of Optical Components
- CNC based manufacturing of mechanical components for optical part prototypes and opto-electronical systems.
- 2D- and 3D-CAD based design of mechanical parts
- Design and manufacturing of miniaturized opto-mechanical components (for example fiber coupler)
The following picture shows an example of an in-house manufactured housing of a laser diode module.
Design & Manufacturing of Electronic Systems
- SMD manufacture and assembling: assembling of electronic and miniaturized component groups with modern surface mount technolgy SMD.
- CNC based manufacture of electronic printed circuit boards using isolation milling methods with milling width down to 200 micro meters.
The following picture shows examples of in-house manufactured and partially assembled prototypes of a high voltage supply module used for avalanche photodiodes and pulsed laser diodes.
- Design and development of electronic measuring and laboratory systems used in these main areas:
- Optical measuring instruments
- Sensor data processing: acquisition of physical properties like: light intensity, temperature, pressure, current, voltage, and many more.
- Electronic high voltage switches and generators for optical pockels cell, avalanche photo-diode and laser diode control.
- Diode laser control (Impulse and CW)
- Digital logic circuit techniques:
- Microcontroller circuits and components (Atmel AVR microcontroller)
- Programmable Logic: CPLDs (Complex programmable logic devices) and FPGAs (Field programmable gate arrays) used in varity of application fields, mainly focusing on data processing and control.
The following picture shows an example of the FPGA development board SPACON1 used for control of laser diodes. The board consists of a Xilinx Spartan-II FPGA (TQFP housing) and auxiliary electronics (power, memory).
- Imperative Programming Languages
- Traditional imperative languages like C, Fortan, and Pascal, and machine assembly languages ( x86, UltraSparc)
- Functional Programming Languages
- Modern functional programming languages of the ML family for abstract and some kind of safety high-level programming: Haskel,SML,OCaML. The OCaML language merges different programming styles: a functional core, imperative statements like variables with side effects and loops, and finally object orientated features with methods.
- Virtual Machines
- Use of virtual machine concepts as a portable and operating system independent program execution environment (for example OCaML bytecode or Forth-interpreter).
Numerical Simulation of light scattering from surfaces of arbitrary geometry and micro topography.
Electromagnetic Measuring Techniques
Measuring techniques for electromagnetic high frequency fields and solving of EMI and EMC problems.
Advice concerning equipment of scientific laboratories: Electronic measuring instruments, physical measuring instruments, mechanical measuring instruments, optical components for optical experiments, production machines (CNC for prototyping), educational physical and optical experiment kits, and many more topics.