Project: Sunrise-19

Prototype Sunrise-19
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Bart studied Embedded Systems Engineering at the HAN in Arnhem and then went to work for various companies. In the meantime he has been working at ALTEN in Apeldoorn as an embedded software engineer since January 2019. At the end of March, his former colleague Richard Schaper (director of R2R) contacted him to ask whether he was busy. He was looking for good engineers who wanted to work on one of the most important projects of our time: the development of ventilation equipment for COVID -19 patients. Bart didn’t have to think long about that. After quickly switching with his Business Manager, he was able to start working on the Sunrise-19 project the very next day.

The name Sunrise says it all: the sun is the source of all life. It has a corona, its atmosphere or the appearance that surrounds it. In order to give the name Corona a positive quality at this time, the device was named after the sunrise. This thought is positive for everyone. The number 19 is to indicate that this device is intended for COVID-19 patients (source:

“What I like about this project is that there’s some pressure on it. It’s needed NOW. Everything is handled pragmatically; no unnecessary bureaucracy. We have to bang. You have to make sure that you have the right people together in a short period of time to do what is needed. That really gives me energy.

This is really a technical challenge. We work together with different disciplines, for example one of our core team members is an expert in the development of respiratory equipment. We buy in a number of parts, and we develop some ourselves. We buy the display itself, but I am responsible for the software that controls the display. We use the stm32f469i-discovery board from ST as a platform. It contains a touch display where different settings are made and/or data is read by doctors and nurses. As a basis we have FreeRTOS with which we operate the interface, read out the various sensors and run the ventilation algorithm. I am responsible for the interface of the respirator. I made this with TouchGFX Designer. This is a tool from ST to build an interface for the STM32 series. The interface communicates with the ventilation algorithm to pass on the settings and to display the measured value on the screen.

This week we hope to present the first working prototype. All separate components are ready and working. Now it is a matter of merging them.

The pressure is a bit less at the moment, because the number of patients in the Netherlands is, fortunately, decreasing. But, that doesn’t mean we can sit still. We came in 3rd at the LCH (National Consortium of Medical Devices). The other two providers are being certified for the Netherlands. This does not yet apply to us. However, we are going to look across national borders with our product to see if there is a need. Worldwide, the demand for respirators is of course still very high. We can supply a good machine for Corona patients to treat them.

Our machine is ‘simpler’ than the ventilator usually used in ICUs. These devices can provide air for all kinds of lung patients. For Corona patients a certain treatment is required, that situation is slightly different. A number of options are not used in those cases and can therefore be omitted. This saves development and production costs as well as time. In this way we can deliver a good product at a good price.

Hopefully orders will come in soon. I would like to continue to help with the further development of the device”.

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