DAQ Systems

Data acquisition is the process of sampling signals measuring real world physical parameters and storing the signals as digital numeric values that can be viewed and analysed on a computer. Our laboratory data acquisition systems are ideal for test beds and environments that are hazardous or poorly accessible. System configuration is straightforward by selecting the chassis type suited to your test environment and selecting the input modules for the signals to be acquired. Our systems have from 4 to 144 high speed analogue inputs in a single acquisition unit with simultaneous sampling, high resolution and internal data storage, and are expandable for higher channel counts. All systems include the latest data acquisition and analysis software for setup, real time visualisation, post processing and reporting.

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Choosing the Right Type of Data Acquisition System (DAQ)

As you can imagine with a large proportion of engineering activities, choosing the incorrect tool may have serious implications on the results of your measurements. The information contained below is to help visitors make a more informed decision on a Data Acquisition System which is most appropriate for their requirements.

The data acquisition system input modules needs to match the output type of the sensors being used in the measurement application. Sensor output types commonly used are voltage, current, Wheatstone bridge (full/half/quarter), IEPE, resistance, potentiometer, counter, digital, thermocouple, CAN bus.

Our TRION input modules are compatible with the signal types described. The TRION-MULTI is the most flexible as it allows the user to switch between input types in software.

All modules have 4, 6 or 8 channels. Multiple modules can be installed in acquisition systems to provide higher channel counts.

Input modules have an anti-aliasing filter before analogue to digital conversion. Its cut-off filter is automatically set based on sample rate. In addition a low pass filter with configurable frequency and filter type and order is available.

Our TRION modules have configurable sample rate for each channel.

For accurate waveform reproduction of a sinusoid with frequency y Hz, a sample rate above Nyquist's 2*y Hz is required, 10x or more is recommended. This will ensure the avoidance of aliasing in the stored data.

All sensors require an external power supply, except battery powered ones. Data acquisition input modules are available with multi-pin connectors that provide continuous excitation to sensors, both voltage and current. This simplifies DAQ system installation as a single connector is required at the DAQ end of the sensor cable and a separate external power supply is not required.

Our TRION acquisition modules feature configurable voltage and current excitation for maximum flexibility.

Many test and measurement applications require recording of both analogue signals, e.g. force, position, pressure, vibration, torque, from dedicated sensors and digital bus data, e.g. CAN, ARINC-429, MIL-STD 1553, MODBUS, at the same time. Doing this allows comparison of both a control system output and a vehicle or system response.

Our data acquisition systems have capability to store both analogue signals and digital bus traffic in synchronisation in a single data file. This simplifies the acquisition and analysis process. Digital bus traffic can be decoded in real time so that channels are stored with engineering unit values.

This depends on the number of channels and sample rate used, the resolution of the input module(s), as well as mainframe storage drive size. For our data acquisition systems, storage space ranges from 256GB to 1TB.

As an example, 16 channels stored continuously at 50 kS/s per channel stored to a 1TB drive, has a storage time of 168 hours (7 days). As sample rate increases for a fixed number of channels, recording time is reduced.

Event triggered recording can also be used to only record in the event of event conditions, e.g. peak exceedance.