This is Ulrich: Our specialist for embedded software

How do we at NOVUM ensure that we achieve high-quality measurements? And what characterizes a high-quality measurement? Our embedded software engineer and team leader Ulrich answers these and other exciting questions about his work at NOVUM.

You make embedded software. What is that?

This is a type of computer software. It forms the interface between the hardware of a microcontroller and the applications for the user. Microcontrollers are small computers that are permanently installed in devices and control and regulate them.

Do you have an example of embedded software?

Let’s take a look at a parking assistant in the car. There are sensors that have to be programmed to detect the distance. Or the buttons to go up and down in an elevator. The display panel in the elevator and the LEDs must also be programmed.

What are you currently working on?

I am mainly working on a device that can carry out independent impedance measurements on a battery. The device should first detect whether a battery is at rest. To then take measurements at the specified interval and then send the measurement data to our cloud. Our customer can view the results there.

What criteria characterize a high-quality measurement?

Measurements must be precise and repeatable. If a measurement is taken twice, the result should be approximately the same. This means that the measurements must not scatter, but must be close together. Imagine standing on your scale twice in a row  Then you want the same value to be displayed. At the same time, you also expect the correct value to be displayed.

How do you ensure that you achieve high-quality measurements?

We use a high-precision resistor as a measuring standard. This is how we calibrate the accuracy of our measuring devices.

What functions does the Battery Analyzer offer?

You can use it to test batteries for battery condition, capacity and residual value without any prior knowledge. The Battery Analyzer initially collects data for each battery type using capacity and impedance measurements to train an AI model. After a certain number of measurements, it switches to quick tests that enable the customer to determine battery quality classes within a few seconds.

What settings can be made for the impedance measurement?

We can adjust many things within the system limits that are specified. For example, the strength of the excitation current, the number of frequencies or the frequency range.

Speaking of system limits. What is that?

These are physical properties or parameters in which a system can fulfill its function. For example, we can currently only use the Battery Analyzer to measure batteries that have a minimum of 2 volts and a maximum of 82 volts. We cannot measure below or above this because we have defined these circuit limits. We cannot measure the impedance of a normal household battery (AA) because its voltage is around 1.5V. This is again comparable to the bathroom scales, which you cannot use to measure spices.

What fascinates you about embedded software development?

The haptic feedback I get from the device, in the sense of a measurement curve or a flashing LED. And that it only works because I programmed it that way. The range of things you need to know and be able to do if something doesn’t work is also fascinating. Errors can occur in many places: Hardware, software or somewhere in between.


Anne Schwerin

Head of Communication

+49 (0) 351 475 911 50