One of our first serious projects as Toplevel Technologies
LLC was to develop embedded software for a device,
which measures power utility phase angle over
long distances. The embedded application design
and programming was ultimately completed for Avistar
Using patented methods to detect the zero crossing
of an AC waveform, this embedded device application
measures phase angle in power utility distribution
systems. One phase angle reading is taken every
second, and only three hardware components are
necessary. Phase angle readings can be taken hundreds
of miles apart.
This project was micro controller based, and
captured interrupt signals and used timers to
determine correct phase angle. Embedded design
methods were used as a foundation for the phase
angle measuring application.
Customer requirements were established early.
Data flow and program control diagrams were used
to specify the system. We programmed the prototype.
After extensive field-testing, unit requirements
were reviewed and new requirements added for easier
use and faster functionality of the system.
A second software development process was started,
again using standard software engineering design
processes. After requirements were established,
and hardware specified, we designed, tested, and
debugged the embedded software system. The software
was delivered on time and worked as advertised.
The project was actually developed in Colorado.
The development and project management company
was a Fort Collins engineering business and a
local engineer search found expertise to complete
the project. This included project management,
software engineering, and hardware design. Testing
was performed in a local utility distribution
It was very satisfying to watch power line engineers
verify their power distribution line designs,
something they had never been able to do before!