Sei sulla pagina 1di 28

UNIT II

PART -A
1. Define Virtual Instrumentation.

Industry standard computers equipped with user friendly application software, cost-effective hardware and driver software that together perform the functions of traditional instruments. 2. State the advantages of Virtual Instrumentation.

User friendly High performance Cost effective High flexible Customizability

3. Define Data Acquisition System (DAS /DAQ).

The system used for data processing, data conversion, data transmission and data storage is called Data Acquisition System.

4. What is the purpose of using Data Acquisition System?

Data Acquisition Systems are used to measure and record analog signals basically in two different ways.

Signal which originate from direct measurement of electrical quantities. These signal may be dc (or) ac voltages, frequency or resistance etc.. Signals which originate from use of transducers.

5. Draw the block diagram of Digital data acquisition system.

6. What are the functions of Digital data acquisition system?

Handling of analog signals. Making the measurement accurate. Converting the analog data to digital form. Internal programming & control.

7. What is a DAQ card?

DAQ card is a basic A/D converter coupled with an interface that allows a personal computer to control the actions of the A/D, as well as to capture the digital output information from the converter. A DAQ card is designed to plug directly into a personal computer's bus. All the power required for the A/D converter and associated interface components is obtained directly from the PC bus.
8. List the Uses of counter/timers in DAQ card. Pulse-width measurement

Frequency measurement & generation Edge or event counting (totalizing) Frequency shift-keying (FSK) Frequency division Pulse-train generation and pulse-width modulation (PWM)

9. List the applications of DAQ system.

Used in laboratory research. Used in process monitoring and control. Used in data logging. Used in analytical chemistry. Used in tests and analysis of physical phenomena. Used in control of mechanical or electrical machinery.

10. When Differential Inputs are used?

Differential inputs provide a more stable reading when EMI (or) RFI is present, and therefore, it is recommended to use them whenever noise is generally a problem. This is especially true when measuring THERMOCOUPLE, STRAIN GAGE and BRIDGE TYPE PRESSURE SENSOR inputs, since they produce very small signals that are very susceptible to noise. PART -B 1. Explain the multi-channel analog Data Acquisition System.
Block diagram of a multi-channel analog Data Acquisition System:-

A transducer is a device that converts a physical property or phenomenon into a corresponding measurable electrical signal, such as voltage, current, change in resistance or capacitor values, etc. The ability of a data acquisition system to measure different phenomena depends on the transducers to convert the physical phenomena into signals measurable by the data acquisition hardware. Transducers are synonymous with sensors in DAQ systems. There are specific transducers for many different applications, such as measuring temperature, pressure, or fluid flow.

DAQ also deploy various Signal Conditioning techniques to adequately modify various different electrical signals into voltage that can then be digitized using ADCs. In electronics, signal conditioning means manipulating an analog signal in such a way that it meets the requirements of the next stage for further processing. Most common use is in analog-todigital converters. In control engineering applications, it is common to have a sensing stage (which consists of a sensor), a signal conditioning stage (where usually amplification of the signal is done) and a processing stage (normally carried out by an ADC and a micro-controller). Operational amplifiers (op-amps) are commonly employed to carry out the amplification of the signal in the signal conditioning stage. Signal conditioning can include amplification, filtering, converting, range matching, isolation and any other processes required to make sensor output suitable for processing after conditioning.

A multiplexer (or mux) is a device that selects one of several analog or digital input signals and forwards the selected input into a single line. Sample and Hold circuits are used internally in Analog to Digital conversion. It is used to hold a given signal value from any particular sensor on a robot, for analysis and later use, especially if we don't want to bother encoding it and sending it to the CPU's memory. Analog to digital (A/D, ADC) converters are electrical circuit devices that convert continuous signals, such as voltages or currents, from the analog domain to the digital domain where the signals are represented by numbers. Most processing equipment today are digital in nature, and they work with signals which are binary valued. In a digital or binary representation, a signal is represented by a word, which is composed of a finite number of bits. The processing of signals is preferably carried out in the digital domain because digital processing is fast, accurate and reliable. Analog to digital converters are widely used for converting analog signals to corresponding digital signals for many electronic circuits. Digital recorders are used to display various datas in a digital format or it can be stored using storage devices.
Block diagram of a multi-channel analog Data Acquisition System:-

2. Explain and compare the Single ended and differential ended in details.
Differential Inputs:A signal input circuit where SIGNAL LO and SIGNAL HI are electrically floating with respect to ANALOG GROUND. For example, a differential input A/D card will have one HI (+) and one LOW (-) pin for each input. There will also be a LLGND (LOW LEVEL GROUND) pin which may be used if a ground connection is required. This allows the measurement of the voltage difference between two signals tied to the same ground and provides superior common-mode noise rejection.

Two signal wires associated with each input signal -- one for the input and one for the reference (return) signal. Measurement is the difference in voltage between the input and the reference, which helps to reduce noise and any voltage that is common to both wires.

Single-Ended Inputs:A single-ended input has no common mode range because there is only ONE low wire, which is shared by all inputs. For example, if you have an A/D board with 16 single-ended inputs, there will be 16 HIGH (+) lines and one LOW (-) line (sometimes called LLGND). Some cards may have several LOW lines to provide extra places to make your ground connection; however, these lines are tied together and are basically the same thing.

For single-ended input, there is one signal wire associated with each input signal, and each input signal is connected to the same ground. Single-ended measurements are more susceptible to noise than differential measurements due to differences in the signal paths.

Advantages of using Single - Ended Inputs:-

Cost effective Saves the connector space High performance

Easy to install

Where differential inputs should be used? Whenever electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI) is present, a voltage can be induced on BOTH signal wires. A differential input amplifier will reject the COMMON MODE VOLTAGE, provided that the common mode voltage plus the input signal does not exceed the device's CMR specification. The effect on a single-ended input is usually a voltage fluctuation between signal high and signal ground. When To Use Single-Ended Or Differential Inputs?

Differential inputs provide a more stable reading when EMI or RFI is present, and therefore, it is recommended to use them whenever noise is generally a problem. This is especially true when measuring THERMOCOUPLE, STRAIN GAGE and BRIDGE TYPE PRESSURE SENSOR inputs, since they produce very small signals that are very susceptible to noise. Single-ended inputs are lower in cost, and provide twice the number of inputs for the same size wiring connector, since they require only one analog HIGH (+) input per channel and one LLGND (-) shared by all inputs. Differential inputs require signal HIGH and LOW inputs for each channel and one common shared LLGND. Single-ended inputs save connector space, cost, and are easier to install.
Difference between Single-Ended and Differential:

Differential Ended Input signal < 1 volt Leads connecting the signal > 3 meters Input requires separate ground-reference point or return signal

Single Ended Input signal > 1 volt Leads connecting signal < 3 meters Input can share a common reference point with other signals Susceptible to noise than differential measurements

Signal leads travel in a noisy environment

3. Explain the PC based Data Acquisition System with a neat block diagram.

Block diagram:-

Data acquisition is the process of gathering or generating information in an automated fashion from analog and digital measurement sources such as sensors and devices under test. Data acquisition uses a combination of PC-based measurement hardware and software to provide a flexible, user-defined measurement system. A data acquisition system (DAQ) is a collection of sensors and communication links to sample or collect and then return data to a central location for further processing, display, or archiving. Data acquisition is the process of extracting, transforming, and transporting data from the source systems and external data sources to the host processing system to be displayed, analyzed, and stored. A data acquisition system (DAQ) typically consist of transducers for asserting and measuring electrical signals, signal conditioning logic to perform amplification, isolation, and filtering, and other hardware for receiving analog signals and providing them to a processing system, such as a personal computer. A data acquisition system may be used to obtain, and possibly record, information about an environment. Information obtained from the environment by the data acquisition system may be used to adjust a system operating in or controlling that environment. Digital data processing systems are employed in many applications, including a variety of laboratory process control, real time data analysis, and real time data reduction operations, process monitoring and control, data logging, analytical chemistry, tests and analysis of physical phenomena, and control of mechanical or electrical machinery. Data recorders are used in a wide variety of applications for imprinting various types of forms, and documents. Data collection systems or data loggers generally include memory chips or strip charts for electronic recording, probes or sensors which

measure product environmental parameters and are connected to the data logger. Hand-held portable data collection systems permit in field data collection for up-to-date information processing. Data acquisition systems and methods may be used in a variety of applications. For example, data acquisition systems may be used in nuclear magnetic resonance imaging systems and fourier transform spectrometer systems. In the healthcare field, hospitals utilize a significant amount of data retrieval and acquisition, with respect to patient information. In cardiography and similar medical applications, it is common to use a plurality of transducers which are affixed to a patient for deriving signals indicative of physiological conditions and functions. Data acquisition apparatus is often provided in a wellbore to monitor the movement of fluid within a fluid producing reservoir or movement of fluid within the wellbore itself. Seismic data is collected to remotely sense subsurface geologic conditions, particularly in connection with the exploration for and production of hydrocarbon reserves, such as oil, natural gas, or coal. The automotive industry utilizes data acquisition and analysis in order to optimize vehicle performance. A data acquisition system (DAQ) is a combination of computer hardware and software that gathers, stores or processes data in order to control or monitor some sort of physical process. A typical data acquisition system comprises a computer system with DAQ hardware, wherein the DAQ hardware is typically plugged into one of the I/O slots of the computer system. The DAQ hardware is configured and controlled by DAQ software executing on the computer system. A data acquisition system mostly includes transducers, sensors, amplifiers and other means for provision of the signal representation by their measurement and/or monitoring. These components provide field electrical signals representing a process, physical phenomena, equipment being monitored or measured, etc. The transducers or other detecting means convert the physical phenomena being measured into electrical signals, such as voltage or current, measurable by the DAQ hardware. A data collection system for providing a controller with data typically comprises a sensor, including a sensing element and an electronic circuit for converting the output of the sensing element into electric signal, and a readout device for analyzing the output of the electronic circuit of the sensor. In data acquisition systems, information about a plurality of parameters is often obtained by simultaneously deploying numerous sensors. Data acquisition involves interfacing an analog sensor with a recording or display device to measure and record some value of interest over a period of time. A signal generated by the one or more sensors may need to be amplified and/or filtered by the data acquisition system for proper operation. Sensors are commercially available

which can produce environmental information in the form of an electrical or optical signal about the local area in which the sensor is situated. DAQ hardware is what usually interfaces between the signal and a PC. It could be in the form of modules that can be connected to the computer's ports (parallel, serial, USB, etc...) or cards connected to slots (PCI, ISA) in the mother board. Usually the space on the back of a PCI card is too small for all the connections needed, so an external breakout box is required. The cable between this Box and the PC is expensive due to the many wires and the required shielding and because it is exotic. DAQ-cards often contain multiple components (multiplexer, ADC, DAC, TTL-IO, high speed timers, RAM). These are accessible via a bus by a micro controller, which can run small programs. The controller is more flexible than a hard wired logic, yet cheaper than a CPU so that it is alright to block it with simple polling loops. For example: Waiting for a trigger, starting the ADC, looking up the time, waiting for the ADC to finish, move value to RAM, switch multiplexer, get TTL input, let DAC proceed with voltage ramp. As 16 bit ADCs and DACs and OpAmps and sample and holds with equal precision as of 2007 only run at 1 MHz, even low cost digital controllers like the AVR32 have about 100 clock cycles for bookkeeping in between. Reconfigurable computing may deliver high speed for digital signals. Digital signal processors spend a lot of silicon on arithmetic and allow tight control loops or filters. The fixed connection with the PC allows for comfortable compilation and debugging. Using an external housing a modular design with slots in a bus can grow with the needs of the user. High speed binary data needs special purpose hardware called Time to digital converter and high speed 8 bit ADCs are called oscilloscope, Digital storage oscilloscope, which are typically not connected to DAQ hardware, but directly to the PC. Driver software that usually comes with the DAQ hardware or from other vendors, allows the operating system to recognize the DAQ hardware and programs to access the signals being read by the DAQ hardware. A good driver offers high and low level access. So one would start out with the high level solutions offered and improves down to assembly instructions in time critical or exotic applications.

4. Explain the essential need for Virtual Instrumentation and compare it with the traditional instruments.

Virtual Instrumentation:-

Virtual Instrumentation is the use of customizable software and modular measurement hardware to create user-defined measurement systems, called virtual instruments. A layer of software and/or hardware added to a general-purpose computer in such a fashion that users can interact with the computer as though it. A computer-based instrument using digital data acquisition or generation combined with software algorithms to create the functionality of an instrument. A LabVIEW virtual instrument roughly equivalent to a subroutine. A VI has both a diagram (and program) and a front panel (user interface).

VI (or ".vi") is the Virtual Instrument file format. It is used by National Instruments' LabVIEW development software. LabVIEW lets you develop applications for automating and controlling processes in manufacturing and other environments. National Instruments uses a concept of "virtual "instrumentation" to generalize and accelerate the development of this kind of application. Virtual Instrumentation is the use of customizable software and modular measurement hardware to create user-defined measurement systems, called virtual instruments. 'Traditional' or 'natural' instrumentation systems are made up of pre-defined hardware components, such as digital multimeters and oscilloscopes that are completely specific to their stimulus, analysis, or measurement function. Because of their hard-coded function, these systems are more limited in their versatility than virtual instrumentation systems. The primary difference between 'natural' instrumentation and virtual instrumentation is the software component of a virtual instrument. The software enables complex and expensive equipment to be replaced by simpler and less expensive hardware; e. g. analog to digital converter can act as a hardware complement of a virtual oscilloscope, a potentiostat enables frequency response acquisition and analysis in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy with virtual instrumentation.

The concept of a synthetic instrument is a subset of the virtual instrument concept. A synthetic instrument is a kind of virtual instrument that is purely software defined. A synthetic instrument performs a specific synthesis, analysis, or measurement function on completely generic, measurement agnostic hardware. Virtual instruments can still have measurement specific hardware, and tend to

emphasize modular hardware approaches that facilitate this specificity. Hardware supporting synthetic instruments is by definition not specific to the measurement, nor is it necessarily (or usually) modular.

Leveraging commercially available technologies, such as the PC and the analog to digital converter, virtual instrumentation has grown significantly since its inception in the late 1970s. Additionally, software packages like National Instruments' LabVIEW and other graphical programming languages helped grow adoption by making it easier for non-programmers to develop systems. Virtual instruments are computer programs that interact with real world objects by means of sensors and actuators and implement functions of real or imaginary instruments. The sensor is usually a simple hardware that acquires data from the object, transforms it into electric signals and transmits to the computer for further processing. Simple virtual measuring instruments just acquire and analyze data, but more complex virtual instruments communicate with objects in both directions. The outgoing signals execute probing and control by actuators.

Real world signals are of analogue nature, while a computer is a digital instrument; therefore the computer needs also interpreters analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue converters for communication with the object under investigation. ADC and DAC boards that implement this function in inexpensive systems are usually placed inside the computer. Compact external ADC/DAC converters with USB interface are also becoming popular. Both the input and output signals in electrochemistry are of electric origin, so the sensors and actuators in principle may be omitted. However, a potentiostat is a common instrument available in every electrochemical laboratory and there is no absolute necessity to simulate its functions. We use a potentiostat as the only hardware component of the virtual impedance spectrometer, besides a

computer with its ADC/DAC interface. The potentiostat also adjusts power consumption in the electrochemical experiment (the power of a common DAC board is sufficient to control electrochemical reaction just on microelectrode). While the virtual spectrometer controls the electrode potential by a potentiostat with low load on the CPU, the major part of the computer resources is consumed to implement probing, data acquisition, signal processing and visualization of impedance spectra variation immediately in the potential scan in the real-time mode. With virtual instrumentation, software based on user requirements defines general-purpose measurement and control hardware functionality. Virtual instrumentation combines productive software, modular I/O, and scalable platforms, such as the PC, with flexible software and a wide variety of measurement and control hardware, so engineers and scientists can create user-defined systems that meet their exact application needs. With virtual instrumentation, engineers and scientists reduce development time, design higher quality products, and lower their design costs.

National Instruments introduced virtual instrumentation more than 25 years ago, changing the way engineers and scientists measure and automate the world around them. In 2004, National Instruments sold more than 6 million channels of virtual instrumentation in 90 countries. Today, virtual instrumentation has reached mainstream acceptance and is used in thousands of applications around the world in industries from automotive, to consumer electronics, to oil and gas. Need for virtual instrumentation:Virtual instrumentation is necessary because it delivers instrumentation with the rapid adaptability required for todays concept, product, and process design, development, and delivery. Only

with virtual instrumentation can engineers and scientists create the user-defined instruments required to keep up with the worlds demands. To meet the ever-increasing demand to innovate and deliver ideas and products faster, scientists and engineers are turning to advanced electronics, processors, and software. Consider a modern cell phone. Most contain the latest features of the last generation, including audio, a phone book, and text messaging capabilities. New versions include a camera, MP3 player, and Bluetooth networking and Internet browsing. The increased functionality of advanced electronics increased functionality is possible because devices have become more software centric. Engineers and scientists can add new functions to the device without changing the hardware, resulting in improved concepts and products without costly hardware redevelopment. This extends product life and usefulness and reduces product delivery times. Engineers and scientists can improve functionality through software instead of developing further specific electronics to do a particular job. However, this increase in functionality comes with a price. Upgraded functionality introduces the possibility of unforeseen interaction or error. So, just as device-level software helps rapidly develop and extend functionality, design and test instrumentation also must adapt to verify the improvements. The only way to meet these demands is to use test and control architectures that are also software centric. Because virtual instrumentation uses highly productive software, modular I/O, and commercial platforms, it is uniquely positioned to keep pace with the required new idea and product development rate. National Instruments LabVIEW, a premier virtual instrumentation graphical development environment, uses symbolic or graphical representations to speed up development. The software symbolically represents functions. Consolidating functions within rapidly deployed graphical blocks further speeds development.

Another virtual instrumentation component is modular I/O, designed to be rapidly combined in any order or quantity to ensure that virtual instrumentation can both monitor and control any development aspect. Using well-designed software drivers for modular I/O, engineers and scientists quickly can access functions during concurrent operation. The third virtual instrumentation element using commercial platforms, often enhanced with accurate synchronization ensures that virtual instrumentation takes advantage of the very latest computer capabilities and data transfer technologies. This element delivers virtual instrumentation on a long term technology base that scales with the high investments made in processors, buses, and more. In summary, as innovation mandates software use of to accelerate new concept and product development, it also requires instrumentation to rapidly adapt to new functionality. Because virtual

instrumentation applies software, modular I/O, and commercial platforms, it delivers instrumentation capabilities uniquely qualified to keep pace with todays concept and product development.

Difference between virtual instrument and a traditional instrument:-

Virtual instruments are defined by the user while traditional instruments have fixed vendor-defined functionality.

Traditional instruments (left) and software based virtual instruments (right) largely share the same architectural components, but radically different philosophies

Every virtual instrument consists of two parts software and hardware. A virtual instrument typically has a sticker price comparable to and many times less than a similar traditional instrument for the current measurement task. However, the savings compound over time, because virtual instruments are much more flexible when changing measurement tasks.

By not using vendor-defined, prepackaged software and hardware, engineers and scientists get maximum user-defined flexibility. A traditional instrument provides them with all software and measurement circuitry packaged into a product with a finite list of fixed-functionality using the instrument front panel. A virtual instrument provides all the software and hardware needed to accomplish the measurement or control task. In addition, with a virtual instrument, engineers and

scientists can customize the acquisition, analysis, storage, sharing, and presentation functionality using productive, powerful software.

5. Explain in detail about Data Acquisition System.

Data Acquisition System:Data acquisition is the sampling of the real world to generate data that can be manipulated by a computer. Sometimes abbreviated DAQ or DAS, data acquisition typically involves acquisition of signals and waveforms and processing the signals to obtain desired information. The components of data acquisition systems include appropriate sensors that convert any measurement parameter to an electrical signal, which is acquired by data acquisition hardware. Acquired data is displayed, analyzed, and stored on a computer, either using vendor supplied software, or custom displays and control can be developed using various general purpose programming languages such as BASIC, C, Fortran, Java, Lisp, Pascal. Specialised programming languages used for data acquisition include,
EPICS

used to build large

scale data acquisition systems, LabVIEW, which offers a graphical programming environment optimized for data acquisition and MATLAB provides a programming language but also built-in graphical tools and libraries for data acquisition and analysis.

Data acquisition begins with the physical phenomenon or physical property of an object (under investigation) to be measured. This physical property or phenomenon could be the temperature or temperature change of a room, the intensity or intensity change of a light source, the pressure inside a chamber, the force applied to an object, or many other things. An effective data acquisition system can measure all of these different properties or phenomena. A transducer is a device that converts a physical property or phenomenon into a corresponding measurable electrical signal, such as voltage, current, change in resistance or capacitor values, etc. The ability of a data acquisition system to measure different phenomena depends on the transducers to convert the physical phenomena into signals measurable by the data acquisition hardware. Transducers are synonymous with sensors in DAQ systems. There are specific transducers for many different applications, such as measuring temperature, pressure, or fluid flow. DAQ also deploy various Signal

Conditioning techniques to adequately modify various different electrical signals into voltage that can then be digitized using ADCs. DAQ hardware is what usually interfaces between the signal and a PC. It could be in the form of modules that can be connected to the computer's ports (parallel, serial, USB, etc...) or cards connected to slots (PCI, ISA) in the mother board. Usually the space on the back of a PCI card is too small for all the connections needed, so an external breakout box is required. The cable between this Box and the PC is expensive due to the many wires and the required shielding and because it is exotic. DAQ-cards often contain multiple components (multiplexer, ADC, DAC, TTL-IO, high speed timers, RAM). These are accessible via a bus by a micro controller, which can run small programs. The controller is more flexible than a hard wired logic, yet cheaper than a CPU so that it is alright to block it with simple polling loops. For example: Waiting for a trigger, starting the ADC, looking up the time, waiting for the ADC to finish, move value to RAM, switch multiplexer, get TTL input, let DAC proceed with voltage ramp. As 16 bit ADCs and DACs and OpAmps and sample and holds with equal precision as of 2007 only run at 1 MHz, even low cost digital controllers like the AVR32 have about 100 clock cycles for bookkeeping in between. Reconfigurable computing may deliver high speed for digital signals. Digital signal processors spend a lot of silicon on arithmetic and allow tight control loops or filters. The fixed connection with the PC allows for comfortable compilation and debugging. Using an external housing a modular design with slots in a bus can grow with the needs of the user. High speed binary data needs special purpose hardware called Time to digital converter and high speed 8 bit ADCs are called oscilloscope, Digital storage oscilloscope, which are typically not connected to DAQ hardware, but directly to the PC. Driver software that usually comes with the DAQ hardware or from other vendors, allows the operating system to recognize the DAQ hardware and programs to access the signals being read by the DAQ hardware. A good driver offers high and low level access. So one would start out with the high level solutions offered and improves down to assembly instructions in time critical or exotic applications.

A data acquisition system is a device designed to measure and log some parameters. The purpose of the data acquisition system is generally the analysis of the logged data and the improvement of the object of measurements. The data acquisition system is normally electronics based, and it is made of hardware and software. The hardware part is made of sensors, cables and electronics components (among which memory is where information are stored). The software part is made of the data acquisition logic and the analysis software (and some other utilities that can be used to configure the

logic or to move data from data acquisition memory to a laptop or to a mainframe computer). An example: Data logging, carried out by a data acquisition system (DAS), can be used to measure parameters such as temperature and humidity in storage facilities with perishable products; the measurement data is then stored for analysis to improve quality assurance. Another example: a data acquisition system can be placed on a race car to measure RPM and vehicle speed to analyze car's behaviour once it's back to pits and improve the car setup. A data acquisition system (DAQ) is a collection of sensors and communication links to sample or collect and then return data to a central location for further processing, display, or archiving. Data acquisition is the process of extracting, transforming, and transporting data from the source systems and external data sources to the host processing system to be displayed, analyzed, and stored. A data acquisition system (DAQ) typically consist of transducers for asserting and measuring electrical signals, signal conditioning logic to perform amplification, isolation, and filtering, and other hardware for receiving analog signals and providing them to a processing system, such as a personal computer. A data acquisition system may be used to obtain, and possibly record, information about an environment. Information obtained from the environment by the data acquisition system may be used to adjust a system operating in or controlling that environment. Digital data processing systems are employed in many applications, including a variety of laboratory process control, real time data analysis, and real time data reduction operations, process monitoring and control, data logging, analytical chemistry, tests and analysis of physical phenomena, and control of mechanical or electrical machinery. Data recorders are used in a wide variety of applications for imprinting various types of forms, and documents. Data collection systems or data loggers generally include memory chips or strip charts for electronic recording, probes or sensors which measure product environmental parameters and are connected to the data logger. Hand-held portable data collection systems permit in field data collection for up-to-date information processing. Data acquisition systems and methods may be used in a variety of applications. For example, data acquisition systems may be used in nuclear magnetic resonance imaging systems and fourier transform spectrometer systems. In the healthcare field, hospitals utilize a significant amount of data retrieval and acquisition, with respect to patient information. In cardiography and similar medical applications, it is common to use a plurality of transducers which are affixed to a patient for deriving signals indicative of physiological conditions and functions. Data acquisition apparatus is often provided in a wellbore to monitor the movement of fluid within a fluid producing reservoir or movement of fluid

within the wellbore itself. Seismic data is collected to remotely sense subsurface geologic conditions, particularly in connection with the exploration for and production of hydrocarbon reserves, such as oil, natural gas, or coal. The automotive industry utilizes data acquisition and analysis in order to optimize vehicle performance. A data acquisition system (DAQ) is a combination of computer hardware and software that gathers, stores or processes data in order to control or monitor some sort of physical process. A typical data acquisition system comprises a computer system with DAQ hardware, wherein the DAQ hardware is typically plugged into one of the I/O slots of the computer system. The DAQ hardware is configured and controlled by DAQ software executing on the computer system. A data acquisition system mostly includes transducers, sensors, amplifiers and other means for provision of the signal representation by their measurement and/or monitoring. These components provide field electrical signals representing a process, physical phenomena, equipment being monitored or measured, etc. The transducers or other detecting means convert the physical phenomena being measured into electrical signals, such as voltage or current, measurable by the DAQ hardware. A data collection system for providing a controller with data typically comprises a sensor, including a sensing element and an electronic circuit for converting the output of the sensing element into electric signal, and a readout device for analyzing the output of the electronic circuit of the sensor. In data acquisition systems, information about a plurality of parameters is often obtained by simultaneously deploying numerous sensors. Data acquisition involves interfacing an analog sensor with a recording or display device to measure and record some value of interest over a period of time. A signal generated by the one or more sensors may need to be amplified and/or filtered by the data acquisition system for proper operation. Sensors are commercially available which can produce environmental information in the form of an electrical or optical signal about the local area in which the sensor is situated. The advent of the information age has been made possible by computer technology. Information processing and handling had been performed by hand on paper. Computers provide an effective and efficient way for humans to manage, locate, peruse and manipulate data or objects. A personal computer may be configured by software programs and by plug-in peripheral equipment to perform a wide variety of special purpose tasks, including data reduction or computation, data acquisition and control. In the particular area of data acquisition, peripheral devices for performing measurements of physical phenomena and converting such measurements to digital signals conventionally are attached to a personal computer through an expansion bus. Messages are transmitted through the expansion bus to

issue commands to instruments and to receive data back in return. Computer systems have been indispensable in reducing the amount of menial labor surrounding data acquisition and record keeping. Computer systems can maintain large databases associated with a particular organizations operation. For example, the internal revenue service can maintain tax data for each taxpayer on a computer system in a manner that facilitates a more efficient organization and access for agency purposes. In many organizations, computer storage devices such as hard disks and the like are replacing filing cabinets, thereby reducing the need for large space requirements for record keeping. With the advent of low cost digital computers, almost all data storage is now done digitally. Typical commercially-available data acquisition systems sample the voltage signal from a sensor in discrete time interval. Generally, this analog voltage must be converted to a digital signal that the computer can process and store. This analog-to-digital conversion is typically done with specialized data acquisition hardware and software which must be installed in a user's computer. All data acquisition systems generally operate in a similar fashion. They receive an external input from some type of sensing device, condition and/or convert the input to a format suitable for transmission, and transmit it a computer. In data acquisition systems, it is necessary to convert one or several analog signals into one or several digital signals capable of being stored in a digital memory and processed by a digital processor. Analog signals must be digitized before they can be used by a computer as a basis for supporting computations. An analog to digital converter is an electrical device that converts an analog signal to a digital signal. When the analog signal has been converted to a digital signal it can be processed and stored by computer systems. An analog to digital converter is often fabricated on a single integrated circuit. Data acquisition systems for generating digital data for the purposes of computation may receive analog input signals from a plurality of sensors. There are numerous applications where digital data from analog to digital converters is gathered, stored, and analyzed. Data and information are constantly being transferred from one location to another. Data acquisition systems can operate the TCP/IP protocol over an Ethernet network medium. Radio frequency (RF) wireless data acquisition systems can convert the input to a conditioned electronic signal which is used to modulate a carrier frequency which is then transmitted as a radio frequency signal to equipment in another location. Block diagram of Digital data acquisition system:-

A transducer is a device that converts a physical property or phenomenon into a corresponding measurable electrical signal, such as voltage, current, change in resistance or capacitor values, etc. The ability of a data acquisition system to measure different phenomena depends on the transducers to convert the physical phenomena into signals measurable by the data acquisition hardware. Transducers are synonymous with sensors in DAQ systems. There are specific transducers for many different applications, such as measuring temperature, pressure, or fluid flow.

DAQ also deploy various Signal Conditioning techniques to adequately modify various different electrical signals into voltage that can then be digitized using ADCs. In electronics, signal conditioning means manipulating an analog signal in such a way that it meets the requirements of the next stage for further processing. Most common use is in analog-todigital converters. In control engineering applications, it is common to have a sensing stage (which consists of a sensor), a signal conditioning stage (where usually amplification of the signal is done) and a processing stage (normally carried out by an ADC and a micro-controller). Operational amplifiers (op-amps) are commonly employed to carry out the amplification of the signal in the signal conditioning stage. Signal conditioning can include amplification, filtering, converting, range matching, isolation and any other processes required to make sensor output suitable for processing after conditioning. A multiplexer (or mux) is a device that selects one of several analog or digital input signals and forwards the selected input into a single line. Analog to digital (A/D, ADC) converters are electrical circuit devices that convert continuous signals, such as voltages or

currents, from the analog domain to the digital domain where the signals are represented by numbers. Most processing equipment today are digital in nature, and they work with signals which are binary valued. In a digital or binary representation, a signal is represented by a word, which is composed of a finite number of bits. The processing of signals is preferably carried out in the digital domain because digital processing is fast, accurate and reliable. Analog to digital converters are widely used for converting analog signals to corresponding digital signals for many electronic circuits. Digital recorders are used to display various datas in a digital format or it can be stored using storage devices. 6. Explain in detail about Typical DAQ card and Universal DAQ card. Typical DAQ card:DAQ is an abbreviation for data acquisition. Therefore a DAQ card is a basic A/D converter coupled with an interface that allows a personal computer to control the actions of the A/D, as well as to capture the digital output information from the converter. A DAQ card is designed to plug directly into a personal computer's bus. All the power required for the A/D converter and associated interface components is obtained directly from the PC bus. A DAQ card today is more than a simple A/D function on a board. A data acquisition card can offer measurements of up to 64 channels at a resolution of 16 bits, (one part in 65,536) with data throughput rates up to 20 million samples per second. A data acquisition card can often include discrete digital bi-directional I/O lines, counter timers, and D/A converters for outputting analog signals for control applications. A high-performance DAQ card will work in a very wide range of test and measurement, and control applications. Combined with powerful software, DAQ cards will turn a personal computer into powerful measurement system that may be used to automate experiments, construct product test stands, monitor and control production equipment or be embedded in products ranging from medical monitoring systems to automobile test simulators. A DAQ card converts analog signals into a digital output form, which can be manipulated with software. Using software in conjunction with a personal computer, analog data can be displayed, logged, charted, graphed, or stored in memory as needed. Stored data can later be used and

compared with a set of established limits. Control decisions are made if the stored data is at the limit, above or below the limit. A DAQ card can make repetitive measurements, for continuous monitoring and controlling. Measurement Computing Corporation offers the largest selection of PC-based data acquisition and measurement products. Shop our online catalog by selecting a category above. From PCI, USB, PC/104, ISA, and PCMCIA bus to RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, and GPIB interfaces; Measurement Computing has everything you need for your PC-based data acquisition and control applications. Features of Counter/Timers used in DAQ:Up to eight 32-bit counter/timers with 80 MHz max time base. Programmable digital filters and glitch removal. Optional oscillator with 75 ppb stability time-base for high-precision measurements. Up to 48 VDC channel-to-channel isolation for industrial applications.

NI counter/timer devices use the National Instruments NI-TIO ASIC, designed specifically to meet the counting and timing requirements of measurement applications that are beyond the capabilities of generic, off-the-shelf counter/timer components. Counter/timer devices provide a variety of measurement solutions, including measuring a number of time-related quantities, counting events or totalizing, and monitoring position with quadrature encoders. Counter/timer devices feature up to eight 32-bit counters and often fulfill critical timing and synchronization functions as components of complex measurement systems. Uses of counter/timers:Frequency measurement Edge or event counting (totalizing) Pulse-width measurement Event timestamps Frequency generation Frequency shift-keying (FSK) Frequency division

Pulse-train generation and pulse-width modulation (PWM) Universal DAQ Card:-

Industrial Automation Group has introduced the PCI-1747U an addition to its family of PCI-bus analog input DAQ cards. The USB (Universal Serial Bus) provides an ideal method of providing connectivity between a computer and remote sensors for data acquisition. As a result USB data acquisition modules and devices are now widespread on the market. The use of USB has grown in all sectors of the computer market as a result of its convenience. In line with this the data acquisition sector has also used the interface for small and cost effective devices.
Features of Universal DAQ Card:-

It has 64 analog input channels. 16-bit resolution. Sampling rate 250 kS/s. It can run at 250 kS/s when different ranges are used on its 64 channels. Automatic channel scanning circuit that controls multiplexer switching during sampling. Onboard SRAM stores different gain for each channel. Possible to perform multi-channel high-speed sampling with different gain. High resolution. High speed and flexible input type. USB data acquisition advantages:Not only has USB proved itself an ideal platform for many mainstream computer applications, but it also offers many advantages for data acquisition systems. The advantages include aspects including:
USB allows much faster speeds than RS232. The power for the "sensor" or data acquisition module can be obtained from the computer, simplifying many systems, and especially any portable USB data acquisition systems. USB data acquisition modules can be connected and disconnected without the need to power down the computer. USB ports are standard on most PCs these days making it an almost universally available method of connection.

It is possible to use USB as well as other data acquisition communication standards together. It is possible to expand the connectivity using a USB hub so that several USB data acquisition devices can be connected.

USB data acquisition products:There is a considerable number of different USB data acquisition products that are available. Although dedicated measurement modules may be available, other items may be capable of taking in a variety of analogue and digital inputs. These items are particularly useful in applications where a number of points and sensors need to be monitored. Also, having a multiple input USB data acquisition module means that only one module may be required. These modules may also come with their own data acquisition software. A further advantage of this form of data acquisition module is that only one module may be required. If several modules are needed, then ultimately the power supply on the computer may become overloaded. Cable for USB data acquisition:While many USB devices may plug directly in to the host computer it is possible to use an extender cable. The maximum allowable length for an individual cable is 5 metres (3 metres for slow devices) and this allows the USB data acquisition module to be located remotely from the computer. A USB cable has two forms of connector. These are designated the "A" and "B" connectors. The connections to the connectors are given below:
USB cable pin assignments:-

Pin 1 2 3 4 Shell

Function Voltage bus 4.75 - 5.25 V Data Data + Ground Screen

Summary:-

USB data acquisition cards provide a very attractive solution to many data acquisition applications. Often compact modules are available and these can be connected to virtually any PC very easily. Not only is the connection simple, but a USB data acquisition system can be extended relatively easily by using a USB hub to enable further units to be connected.