An embedded system is an application-oriented system that is designed to perform single tasks or limited numbers of tasks working towards one main objective. A real-time embedded system is a computer system with timing constraints, like a system that responds to external input stimuli or events within a finite and specified time period. In this case, timing constraints are finish time, start time and response time.
A good example of a real-time embedded system application is a weapons defense system whose sole job is to protect the naval destroyer by shooting down incoming missiles. The weapons defense system is made up of three sub-systems: a weapons firing system, a radar system and a control system. Weapon firing systems and the radar system are controlled while the control system acts like the command and decision system.
The radar system monitors for potential threats like incoming missiles and measures its coordinates, whichare then forwarded to the control system. The control system determines the threat degree possessed by the target as per the information gathered from the radar system. The command and decision system determines the different target parameters like flight path, possible point of impact and speed. Based on these parameters, the control system activates the weapons firing system that fires until the target is completely destroyed. The communication between the radar and the command and decision system happens in real time.
Real-Time Applications of Embedded Systems
Embedded systems have a wide variety of applications that vary from consumer electronics to entertainment devices, weapons to medical instruments, industrial equipment to academic equipmenttoaerospace control systems. Embedded systems are also used in many different industries, like office automation, banking and finance, home appliances, security, telecommunications, personal automobiles and instrumentations, among others. Here are a few real-world uses of embedded systems.
Detecting speeding on highways
This relies on a highway speed checker device that senses speeding on highways and notifies traffic authorities if it notes a vehicle that violates the defined highway speed limits.
Street light control
This works by detecting the movement of vehicles on highways and triggering street lights to turn on before an approaching vehicle reaches them. The street lights then go off after the vehicle passes in order to conserve energy.
Vehicle trackers work by determining the exact location of a vehicle with the help of GPS. They are used to curb theft and possible criminal activities. The GPS modem sends a message to a specific mobile that stores data. The location information in terms of longitude and latitude values are displayed using an LCD display. Its microcontroller checks the GPS modem regularly.
Home automation systems
This entails the use of home automation systems with Android applications and remote based control. Remote operations are performed by Android OS-based phones and tablets. Android applications act as transmitters to send on and off commands to the receiver where loads are connected.
These are just a few examples of embedded systems in today’s world. Because embedded systems act as the core control to the interfaced peripherals’ devices, they are found in many applications that use different electrical components.