DATA ACQUISITION for Instrumentation and control


Data acquisition is the process by which physical phenomena from the real world are transformed into electrical signals that are measured and converted into a digital format for processing, analysis, and storage by a computer. data acquisition (DAQ) system is designed not only to acquire data, but to act on it as well.

DAQ and Control
Control is the process by which digital control signals from the system hardware are convened to a signal format for use by control devices such as actuators and relays. These devices then control a system or process. Where a system is referred to as a data acquisition system or DAQ system, it is possible that it includes control functions as well.

Elements of a data acquisition system 
Sensors and transducers  Field wiring  Signal conditioning  Data acquisition hardware  PC (operating system)  Data acquisition software

Basic elements Sensors and transducers Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .


Data Acquisition and Processing Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

Dr.Sensors and Transducers ‡ Transducers and sensors provide the actual interface between the real world and the data acquisition system by converting physical phenomena into electrical signals that the ‡ signal conditioning and/or data acquisition hardware can accept. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

Give the names of Transducers ‡ ? Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

then the field wiring provides the physical link between these hardware elements and the host computer. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . When the signal conditioning and/or data acquisition hardware is remotely located from the PC. Dr.wiring and communications cabling Field wiring represents the physical connection from the transducers and sensors to the signal conditioning hardware and/or data acquisition hardware.

Signal conditioning ‡ Filtering ‡ Amplification ‡ Linearization ‡ Isolation ‡ Excitation Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

Dr.‡ Filtering ‡ In noisy environments. it is very difficult for very small signals received from sensors ‡ such as thermocouples and strain gauges (in the order of mV). ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . to survive without the ‡ sensor data being compromised.

it must be amplified to increase the resolution.‡ Amplification ‡ Having filtered the required input signal. ‡ The maximum resolution is obtained by amplifying the input signal so that the maximum ‡ voltage swing of the input signal equals the input range of the analog-to-digital converter ‡ (ADC). Dr. contained within the data acquisition hardware. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

display a non-linear relationship to the ‡ physical quantity they are required to measure. such as thermocouples.‡ Linearization ‡ Many transducers. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Dr. The method of linearizing these input ‡ signals varies between signal conditioning products.

either due to electrostatic discharge or electrical ‡ failure. Isolation protects expensive computer equipment Dr.‡ Isolation ‡ Signal conditioning equipment can also be used to provide isolation of transducer signals ‡ from the computer where there is a possibility that high voltage transients may occur ‡ within the system being monitored. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

For example: ‡ strain gauges. require external voltage or current excitation signals. Dr.‡ Excitation ‡ Signal conditioning products also provide excitation for some transducers. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . thermistors and RTDs.

using ADCs.The input. conversion to analog format. processing and conversion to digital format. 4. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .The input of digital signals.output of digital control signals Dr. 3. using DACs. storage and analysis 2.The processing. of analog signal data measured from a system or process ± the data is then transferred to a computer for display.Functions of Acquisition hardware 1.

Hardware /Links with Computer ‡ Ports for data acquisition RS232 IEEE-488 (GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) Printer port Sound Card ports Specially designed BUS Cards DAQ cards Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

a data logger. a dedicated input/output control program. a communications handler.Software application software can be a full screen interactive panel. Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . or a combination of all of these.

Options for software ‡ Program the registers of the data acquisition hardware directly ‡ Utilize low-level driver software. to develop a software application for the specific tasks required ‡ Utilize off-the-shelf application software (third party packages such as LabVIEW and Labtech Notebook provide a graphical interface for programming) Dr. usually provided with the hardware. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

hard disk access ‡ time.PC ‡ Depending on the particular application. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Dr. disk capacity and the types of data transfer available. the microprocessor speed. can all have an impact on the ‡ speed at which the computer is able to continuously acquire data.

has relationship with the temperature Voltage or current output signal from transducers has some direct relationship with the physical phenomena they are designed to measure. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . value of e.m.f obtained from a thermocouple.Classification of Signals The Output signal has a relationship with the physical phenomenon.For Example. Dr.

such as relays. signal can have only two possible specified levels or states. Exaples:.the output voltage signal of a transistor-totransistor logic (TTL). . ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI as LEDs. Control devices. and indicators such Dr.Digital signals/ binary signals A digital. and an µoff¶ state. in which the signal is at its highest level. in which the signal is at its lowest level. an µon¶ state. or binary.

Control of speed and position of a stepper motor Dr.Digital pulse trains ‡ a sequence of digital pulses ‡ a digital pulse can have only two defined levels or states. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Output of level indicator. ‡ For Example:.

 information contained in the signal is dependent on whether the magnitude of the analog signal is varying slowly or quickly with respect to time. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . control hardware like a valve actuator. Dr.Analog signals  Analog signals contain information within the variation in the magnitude of the signal with respect to time.  For Example:-Temperature and Pressure measurement.


Analog Signals Conversion ‡ DAQ hardware would only be required to convert the signal level to a digital form for processing by the computer using an analog-todigital converter (ADC). Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Low speed A/D boards would be capable of measuring this class of signal.


For example. transducers sense physical phenomena and provide electrical signals that the system can accept. . ABDULLAH KHAN flow. ‡ In data acquisition systems. resistive temperature detectors (RTDs). thermistors. while flow transducers produce digital pulse trains whose frequency depends on the speed ofDURRANI Dr.Sensors and transducers ‡ A transducer is a device that converts one form of energy or physical quantity into another. in accordance with some defined relationship. and IC sensors convert temperature into an analog voltage signal. thermocouples.

according to changes in the physical quantity being measured. such as resistance. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Strain gauges (resistive change to stress) and LVDTs (inductance change to displacement) are two examples of this. ‡ Passive transducers change an electrical network value. Dr. Thermocouples are an example of an active transducer. inductance or capacitance.Categories of Transducers ‡ Active transducers convert non-electrical energy into an electrical output signal. They do not require external excitation to operate.

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Transducer characteristics ‡ Accuracy (how close a measurement is to the actual value) ‡ Sensitivity (change in the output signal from a transducer to a specified change in the input variable) ‡ Repeatability (close the repeated measurements) ‡ Range (and maximum measurable values of a process variable) Dr.


Dr. This characteristic distinguishes an ideal filter from a practical (non-ideal) filter. ‡ Roll-off >This is the slope of the amplitude versus the frequency graph at the region of the cut-off frequency. It may be the high-pass cut-off or the low-pass cut-off frequency and is usually defined as the frequency at which the normalized gain drops 3 dB below unity. The roll-off is usually measured on a logarithmic scale in units of decibels (dB).Signal Conditioning ‡ Filtering of signals ‡ Cut-off frequency >This is the transition frequency at which the filter takes effect. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

Low pass filters ‡ Low pass filters pass low frequency components of the signal and filter out high frequency components above a specific high frequency. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Dr.

Signals Data after Filtering Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Signal circuit isolation Dr.

How Computer Takes INPUT signals ‡ Interrupts are the mechanism by which the CPU of a computer can attend to important events such as keystrokes or characters arriving at the COM port only when they occur. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . This allows the CPU to execute a program and only service such I/O devices as needed Dr.

‡ Processor exceptions Exceptions are generated when an illegal operation is performed in software (for example divide by zero). ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Dr.Interrupts ‡ Hardware interrupts These are generated electrically by I/O devices that require attention from the CPU. ‡ Software interrupts There are 256 possible interrupt types that can be generated by software.

Programmable interrupt controller(s) Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . it is often necessary to transfer data to or from an interface at data rates higher than those possible using simple programmed I/O loops.Direct Memory Access (DMA) ‡ Microprocessor controls data transfers within the PC (using the IN(port) and OUT(port) instructions. Dr. ‡ In many I/O interfacing applications and certainly in data acquisition systems.

‡ Transferring screen information to the µvideo card adapter¶ on board memory ‡ Transferring data from a remote I/O device (data acquisition board) to the PC¶s memory ‡ Direct memory access (DMA) facilitates the maximum data transfer rate and microprocessor concurrence. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI . Dr.DMA contd.

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Computer Operations ‡ Memory-read: data transfer from a memory device to the CPU ‡ Memory-write: data transfer from the CPU to a memory device ‡ I/O-read: data transfer from an I/O device to the CPU ‡ I/O-write: data transfer from the CPU to an I/O device ‡ DMA Write I/O: data transfer from a memory device to an I/O device ‡ DMA Read I/O: data transfer from an I/O device to a memory device Dr.

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Communication I/O devices ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Serial Port Parallel Port PCI Bus EISA Bus Dr.

Computer Interfacing Dr. ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .

ABDULLAH KHAN DURRANI .Plug in Data Acquisition board Dr.

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