NetCon System

The NetCon (NETworked CONtrol) system is a platform for teaching and research of real-time control systems through Intranet/Internet. It consists of three hardware and software parts: NetController, NetConLink and NetConTop. Classic, modern and advanced control methods can easily be implemented for real-time control using the NetCon system, which is based on the visual configuration technology. The NetCon system was co-developed by the Institute of Automation in the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Advanced Control and Network Research Unit in the University of Glamorgan.


NetController is the hardware part of the NetCon system. Various real-time control algorithms can run on the NetController. It is mainly based on a 32-bit ARM RISC microprocessor, which is a cost-effective high-performance microcontroller solution for Ethernet-based systems. NetController is composed of a main board, an AD/DA board, a LCD board and an IO board. The main board has a 32-bit ARM CPU (200MHz), 64M memory, a network port, and 2 USB ports. The AD/DA provides 16 analog-digital channels and 4 digital-analog channels. The LCD board can drive a 5? LCD color monitor. The IO board has 16 digital input-output ports. NetController?s operating system is Linux 2.4.



NetConLink is the visual control configuration software of the NetCon system, which is developed on the basis of Matlab, Simulink, Real-Time workshop and Linux. It can provide the user with a convenient way to implement control strategies of real-time control systems in a visual graphic form through the Internet. NetConLink converts a visual control block diagram to the executable code for NetController to run and provides the interface for NetConTop to access parameters and signals of an applied control program run on NetController.


NetConTop is the visual supervisory configuration software of the NetCon system, which is designed for the windows operating system. It provides the user a convenient way to configure a visual diagram to monitor the operation conditions of real-time control systems through Netcontroller. NetConTop has many functions, e.g., real-time data acquisition, various visual instruments. NetConTop makes the user easy to implement remote real-time tuning, control and monitoring through the Internet.