Featured Forth Applications

photos: Forth apps featured incl. satcom, satellite-tracking antenna, power plant controls, and instrumentation
Forth applications are found in heavy industry, manufacturing, aerospace, academia, embedded systems and devices, transportation, instrumentation and controls…
  • Satellite Earth Station Antenna ControlsSatellite Earth Station Antenna Controls
    The innovations at Radeus Labs, Inc. include satellite communications technology. They invited FORTH, Inc. to join their Model 8200™ development team, ...
  • Synchronous Optical Networking MultiplexersSynchronous Optical Networking Multiplexers
    GE Digital Energy Under a series of contracts with GE Digital Energy, FORTH, Inc. developed the firmware for the Ether-100, CDAX, ...
  • Space Shuttle Robot Arm SimulatorSpace Shuttle Robot Arm Simulator
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center NASA’s Space Shuttle carries a 50-foot long, six-joint arm for use in satellite deployment and retrieval ...
  • University Engineering Course & SwiftX®University Engineering Course & SwiftX<sup>®</sup>
    University of Detroit Mercy Dr. Mark J. Paulik Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Detroit Mercy (Detroit, Michigan) I began using your ...
  • SMART Antenna Controllers FirmwareSMART Antenna Controllers Firmware
    Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Systems Under a series of contracts with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Systems, FORTH, Inc. participated ...
  • Solar Power Plant ControlsSolar Power Plant Controls
    Sacramento Municipal Utility District Gary Sprung, Senior Real-Time Specialist Operations Management Systems Dept. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (Sacramento, California) Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) ...
  • Space Shuttle Scientific Instrumentation InterfaceSpace Shuttle Scientific Instrumentation Interface
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Robert T. Caffrey, NASA/GSFC The following material is taken from the paper, "Forth in Space: Interfacing SSBUV, ...

More Forth Apps From Our Files

App note, source code 168 KB zip Instantiation of a Freescale ColdFire V1 CPU core on an Altera Cyclone III FPGA and the development of a simple multitasked SwiftX application to run on it.

App note, source code 498 KB zip SwiftX-AVR implementation specific to the Arduino Uno and Diecimila boards. Source code included for a simple Morse Code beacon application for both boards.

App note 340 kB zip Developing a Morse Code S.O.S. Beacon application in SwiftX. Source code is included in the latest SwiftX versions for the simple Morse Code beacon application for multiple boards, including the TI LaunchPad.

Quality control system monitoring photographic film density. Includes film motion control, automatic recognition of film density steps, and custom IEEE-488 bus interface.

photo: astronaut Robert Wood

Robot Arm Simulator
Control of 50-foot long, six-joint arm for Space Shuttle simulator. Extensive math routines convert two three-axis joystick commands into required joint velocities in six different co-ordinate systems. Entire system developed by one programmer in five weeks.

Essential Services Node
Multitasking operating system, Forth language compiler, and libraries for UT69R000 radiation-hardened microprocessor used in Space Shuttle instrumentation.

Small Payload Accomodations Interface Module
Development of the Forth-based Small Payload Accomodations Interface Module (SPAIM), which interfaces the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) instrument to the Space Shuttle’s avionic systems. The SSBUV instrument is used to calibrate ozone-measuring instruments aboard NOAA satellites. (See “Interfacing SSBUV, a Scientific Instrument, to the Space Shuttle” for details.)

Process Automation
Owens-Corning has used Forth for many years as the basic firmware in its distributed industrial controllers. These controllers perform a wide variety of functions, managing winders, weighing devices, etc., used in the manufacture of various fiberglas products.

Mount Lemmon Observatory
PC-based system for telescope control, data acquisition, data analysis, and graphics display. Includes provision for remote observing, using a custom protocol to multiplex packets from three independent data streams over a single, voice-grade circuit.

photo: FedEx SuperTracker - embedded-systems handheld device

FedEx SuperTracker and Enhanced SuperTracker
This familiar, handheld device was programmed in Forth using the chipFORTH™ cross-development system from FORTH, Inc. Its capabilities were unsurpassed by the other available tools of that time. The device made extremely efficient use of the relatively inexpensive hardware and remained in service for about 20 years, through numerous upgrades and enhancements. An estimated 50–60,000 of these devices were deployed. In 1998, FedEx upgraded their development system to FORTH, Inc.’s SwiftX® for embedded systems.

icon: Adobe PDF

An article about Open Terminal Architecture (OTA) and smart cards appeared in Forth Dimensions. Download the five-page reprint (245 Kb, PDF).

Smart cards and Open Terminal Architecture (OTA)
The SwiftX Interactive Development Environment was used to develop terminal firmware for Europay International’s Open Terminal Architecture (OTA) used in smart-card point-of-sale terminals. Processor-independent byte-codes, or tokens (conceptually similar to Java implementations), were devised to make smart-card payment applications portable across a broad disparity of terminal hardware. Also see Edward K. Conklin’s “Smart Cards and the Open Terminal Architecture,” Dr. Dobb’s Journal (Dec. 1998).

Building automation and auxiliary services for King Khaled International Airport (Saudi Arabia). System contains nine PDP 11/44s, 378 8086-based computers, and 320 8085-based security processors, collectively monitoring and controlling over 36,000 points.

One company has implemented neural networks to tune control loops in a complex extruder application in a food processing plant. The system architecture involves a Modicon AT-984 plugged into a FactoryMate bus, the reverse of the more customary method of plugging a DOS co-processor into a PLC rack.

A food processing company used EXPRESS as a subsystem in a new processing line featuring MODICON PLCs and a large DCS. The Forth-based system is responsible for handling the “minor ingredients” such as seasonings. Dispensing minor ingredients is often a troublesome component of food processing systems, because the quantities are small and must be metered out quite accurately. The Forth software was selected for this critical function because of its precise timing capabilities.