Some real life examples

Linux in space

A Linux system has been used to test plant growth and development in zero/low gravity situations on board the Space Shuttle.

The system was a PC104-based 486 computer, linked to Earth via a NASA comms link. Connected to the computer were an array of devices, include gas chromatographs, video cameras/frame grabbers, A/D cards, accelerometers, pumps and a touch-sensitive LCD.

Monitoring earthquakes

The PASSCAL software suite is designed for field processing of seismic data. It was designed under SunOS, but was ported to Linux a few years ago providing a low-cost alternative to expensive Sparc-based laptops for field work.

A useful article explaining the advantages of Linux when developing PASSCAL can be found here.

Linux in physics, maths & astronomy

Linux is being used around the world for the control and analysis of high-end physics & applied maths:

Monitoring waste water with Linux

The Water Studies Centre at Monash University has developed a real-time Linux based waste-water monitoring system that has the following features:

Linux was selected as the development and run-time environment for this project because:

Our experiences showed that Linux was very successful, with only a couple of disadvantages:

  1. People unfamiliar with Linux may be (initially) apprehensive about using a free operating system in a commercial environment
  2. Plant operators need to be trained to use X-Windows, although a window manager that resembles Windows 95/98, such as fvwm-95 or icewm helps

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Updated: 20 June 1999