High Tech day in French speaking Switzerland

After our first night in Geneva and an early rise, we set off to Omnisens in Morges, Switzerland. This company designs, produces, installs and maintains equipment and software to monitor temperature and stress along pipelines and cables using fiber optic cables. They are able to accurately (down to a few meters) detect leaks, faults, people doing different things and many other things. They can detect these things this accurately over many tens of kilometers using just one fiber optic cable with one machine. Their engineers gave us a demo of the measurements in action on a 50km spool of cable, and the results were astonishing.

After our visit to Omnisens, we continued on our way to Melexis in Bevaix, in between various mountain ranges and an impressive lake. Because we arrived early, we enjoyed our packed lunch by the lakeside, where many took part in a spontaneous stone skipping competition. After our lunch Melexis told us about the analog chip design of their automotive grade Hall effect sensors. These sensors are used in a variety of applications, mostly sensing the position of a magnet. The most used example of this is the position sensor in a car’s accelerator peddle. Their second presentation was about designing for the automotive sector, which has very demanding requirements in terms of robustness and performance.

Today’s dinner took a Columbian twist where most of us enjoyed too much meat at Le Luserna back in Geneva. Now it’s time for a few drinks on our last night in Switzerland. Tomorrow morning we’ll leave for for beautiful Grenoble.