Electronic Design

ADI's Blackfin Used In Pipeline Monitoring System

Analog Devices Inc. Blackfin processors were used in the world’s first undersea-pipeline monitoring system. The system was developed by Bjørge AS, based on NAXYS Technology for Norway’s largest-ever industrial project, which taps the Ormen Lange natural gas field. The Naxys technology uses hydro-acoustics and other non-contact sensor technologies for their complex sub-sea monitoring and analysis tasks. The system was developed using National Instruments LabVIEW Development Module for ADI Blackfin Processors. When production starts in fall 2007, gas will be pumped through a pipeline 120 kilometers long, at depths up to 850 meters, to on-shore production facilities. Bjørge's system uses acoustics to synchronize multiple sensor nodes, each of which is driven by a Blackfin ADSP-BF533 processor running at 500 MHz. Bjørge opted for the low-power off-the-shelf Zmobile platform from Switzerland-based Schmid Engineering AG. The platform is based on the Blackfin processor with versatile mixed-signal and communication features. Bjørge selected the Blackfin processor for its signal processing resources and power management capabilities. The sensors at the core of its monitoring system are required to perform for up to six months on a single battery charge. "We needed to quickly design a solution that fit within very tight constraints on physical size and power consumption, which at the same time offered the computational horsepower to run sophisticated analytical and control programs," Harald Manum, senior engineer at Bjørge, said in a statement. "Full support for the new graphical embedded system design approach using National Instruments’ LabVIEWTM Embedded was a key requirement for Bjørge. ADI’s Blackfin was the only embedded processor that was up to the job."

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