(dr. ir.) Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers is a Dutch research engineer based in Miami, FL. He has worked on simulated aircraft electronics (avionics) for 15 years and converted to a professional career in avionics in 2011. (read more about Jeroen).

Three Years at Avionica

Ok, ok, even after posting the "I Am Back" note, basically nothing happened on the web site for another year. But I have a good excuse.

Most of my hobbyist life has been suspended for the last three years as I took up a job as lead SATCOM engineer at Avionica, a small (but quickly growing) company based in Miami. We excel at producing innovative avionics, mostly for for large transport category airliners, in the communication and flight data processing areas.

satLINK MAX, together with Remote Data Concentrator and SIM card holder

The last two years we have been working on our flagship product, satLINK MAX, a 4-channel Iridium satellite communication system that is the first on the planet to offer fully certified Iridium ATS Safety Voice communications around the globe. With this box, flight crew can remain in contact with air traffic control by voice and datalink at all times, including deep water, expansive rain forests, deserts, and both poles. We offer all this in an enclosure 1/4 the size of a shoebox, and if you add another box the size of a pocket book, you save 15 kg in wiring weight.

We performed the first install in May in Hong Kong on a 777, and last week we got the final FAA approval to send the first shipment of boxes out to our launch customer for their 777 fleet.

Shipping first product as the crown on two years of work!

I am quite proud to be a member of the Avionica team that kicked this project to completion in record time for the industry, and look forward to at least one more of this kind of development. This industry does not build on technical capability alone. To get your box installed in airliners of major companies, you have to bring much more to the table than technical excellence. Stewardship for the whole team throughout, long days and nights, many sacrificed weekends, ultra-exhaustive international trips where you see just the inside of an aircraft for six days straight, and a relentless drive to continuously improve everything are crucial. But we pulled it off!

Huge thanks to my family to put up with all this, including moving to Miami in the first place. Without you it would not have been possible.

And, really, another huge thanks to Hardy, the author of PS1 and the just-released Precision Simulator X, who has laid the ground work that developed my interest in and knowledge of the aviation industry in general.

I am at least as proud to have been one of the alpha and beta test team members for this system simulator, which exceeds anything else on the planet by a wide margin, and has set a new standard for what can be achieved on home equipment.

satLINK MAX and PSX both represent a significant milestone in my professional and hobbyist life, and it won't be my last!


DS1820-based temperature sensors still effective for Linux

A few years ago I built a hub for a number of temperature sensors, based on the DS1820. Although computers with serial RS232 interfaces become extinct, most server machines still have these connectors, as they are useful for remote console management. The combination of a few DS1820s and the serial interface offers a very nice, cheap way to connect multiple temperature sensors to a monitor.

MACS earns its place in W3C SKOS world

W3C has published a press release, announcing a new standard that builds a bridge between the world of knowledge organization systems — including thesauri, classifications, subject headings, taxonomies, and folksonomies — and the linked data community, bringing benefits to both. The MACS Project is listed as one of the few existing projects that have successfully provided results in the efforts to use semantic technologies to accomplish real-world goals.

The professional side of life

Talking about my professional life on this web site does not happen often, because I work on projects for customers that usually are not public. Two projects that I can talk about are MACS and TAS3.

MACS has been discussed a while ago, and has seen recent developments towards integration in The European Library. It is one of the few projects where explicit manual work, supported by IT, provides a large amount of crosslinks between existing, independent vocabularies. Although it is not exactly ontology alignment or another semantic web buzzword, it does attract lots of attention. The main reason is that we do have the data instead of writing what we could do if we would have the data.

TAS3 is, at least for my personal web site, a new kid on the block. And it is quite a handful of a teenager.

TAS3 stands for Trusted Architecture for Securely Shared Services. It is a European Commission-sponsored integrated research and development project of about EUR 15 million total expenditure. TAS3 aims to provide a reference architecture that allows people to control what is happening with their personal information, such as healthcare records or employability information. Sensitive stuff, that usually is locked away in heavily protected systems. TAS3, on the contrary, wants to open up these secure vaults and allow your sensitive but valuable personal information to travel to the places where you want it to go. Of course, it needs to be safeguarded against abuse. So TAS3 handcuffs your valuable data to a special agent that travels with it, and watches whatever happens to your data as a dedicated body guard. (more)

Getting Your Work to Fly

Although Matt's simulator is half the globe away and I can't visit him very often, I still am proud to be one of the people that made it work. Matt's sim contains most of the software you see in the left margin. Due to the unique design we pulled off, he still is at the top of the world -- after more than ten years. And this made his sim appear in the Guinness Book of Records. Which makes me feel a tiny bit part of it.

More about The Subjectory

This piece of text has been presented at ELAG 2008 in Wageningen, back in May. I found it interesting enough to post again on my own web site. If you like you can also watch my actual ELAG presentation video.

Subject headings as a closed, professionally managed indexing vocabulary are increasingly under fire. Although their efficiency for searching already indexed documents is undisputed, there always have been problems with subject headings. These have caused many if not most library end users to bypass the subject headings catalog when searching for documents, relying on full text search and other ‘least effort’ methods. But despite their decreasing popularity with the user crowd, subject headings are still widely used – not in the least due to an indexing legacy of decades that simply cannot, and should not, be thrown away.

Social tagging and other, unmanaged, open, free-as-in-freedom systems are gaining momentum. This is largely due to several major, interlinked changes in the way people consume information resources. The advancements in network technology have brought ‘data at the people’s fingertips,’ which has spawned the hyperlink, the Web, Google, user-changeable databases, social tagging, and many more fundamentally networked technologies commonly called ‘Web 2.0.’

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