‡ DAQ systems capture, measure, and analyze physical phenomena from the real world. ‡ Light, temperature and pressure are examples of the different types of signals that a DAQ system can measure. ‡ Data acquisition is the process of collecting and measuring electrical signals and sending them to a computer for processing. ‡ Electrical signals comes from Transducers.


temperature. 3. . measure. pressure. 5. Signal: The output of the transducer. 2. Signal conditioning: Hardware that you can connect to the DAQ device to make the signal suitable for measurement or to improve accuracy or reduce noise. or sound into a measurable electrical signal such as voltage or current. and analyze data. Software: NI application software is designed to help you easily design and program your measurement and control application (LABVIEW). Transducer: A device that converts a physical phenomenon such as light. DAQ hardware: Hardware you use to acquire. 4.The building blocks of a DAQ system includes: 1.

.‡ Transducers change physical phenomena into electrical signals. RTDs. thermistors. and pressure to electrical signals. and pressure transducers. the electrical signals produced are proportional to the physical parameters they are monitoring. rate of flow. ‡ Other examples include strain gauges. ‡ In each case. and IC sensors convert temperature into a voltage or resistance. thermocouples. ‡ For example. flow transducers. which convert force.


‡ Amplification ± The most common type of conditioning is amplification. The system being monitored may contain high-voltage transients that could damage the computer. ‡ In addition. and then isolate and filter them for more accurate measurements. ‡ Isolation ± Another common application for signal conditioning is to isolate the transducer signals from the computer for safety purposes. ‡ Signal conditioning accessories can amplify low-level signals.‡ The electrical signals generated by the transducers must be optimized for the input range of the DAQ board. some transducers require voltage or current excitation to generate a voltage output. .

have a nonlinear response to changes in the phenomenon being measured. and RTDs. for example. A noise filter is used on DC-class signals such as temperature to attenuate higher frequency signals that can reduce the accuracy of your measurement. thermistors. . Strain gauges. Many transducers. ‡ Excitation ± Signal conditioning also generates excitation for some transducers. require external voltage or current excitation ‡ Linearization ± Another common signal conditioning function is linearization.‡ Filtering ± Filtering removes unwanted signals from the signal that you are trying to measure. such as thermocouples.


Analog Digital Continuous voltage Representation Binary Number or current Infinite range of Limited by the Precision values number s length Resistance to Tolerant to signal Weak Degradation degradation Processing Limited Powerful Storage Impossible Possible Property .

sound. . ‡ Need to convert to digital signals to facilitate processing by the microcontroller.‡ Most physical signals are analog. ‡ Analog signals are captured by sensors or transducers. pressure. Examples: temperature. ‡ The device that does this is analog-to-digital converter (ADC).


‡ Code width is the smallest change in a signal that a DAQ system can detect ‡ Calculated using the formula Code width Where D is DAQ device input range and n is the resolution ‡ Larger resolution implies smaller code width and more accurate representation of the signal .

Sampling an analog signal occurs at discrete time intervals.The data is acquired by an ADC using a process called sampling. The rate at which the signal is sampled is known as the sampling frequency. .

. If the sampling frequency is equal or less than twice the frequency of the input signal. The minimum sampling frequency required to represent the signal should be at least twice the maximum frequency of the analog signal under test (this is called the Nyquist rate). a signal of lower frequency is generated from such a process (this is called aliasing). A Higher sampling frequency achieves better conversion of the analog signals.The sampling frequency determines the quality of the analog signal conversion process.

‡ Aliasing is when the acquired signal gets distorted by a sampling rate that is too small. the original signal is sampled so slowly that the sampled signal looks like a completely different frequency than the original signal. In this example.Aliasing ‡ Acquired signal gets distorted if sampling rate is too small. .


‡ A common technique for measuring several signals with a single ADC is multiplexing. . ‡ A multiplexer selects and routes one channel to the ADC for digitizing. then switches to another channel and repeats. the effective rate of each individual channel is reduced in proportion to the number of channels sampled. ‡ As the same ADC is sampling many channels.

Amplify and offset circuits ‡ The input voltage should traverse as much of its input range as possible ‡ Voltage level shifting may also be required 3. Multiplexer: select one of multiple inputs 5.1. Sampler: the conversion rate must be at least twice the highest signal frequency (Nyquist sampling criterion) 6. ADC . Filter: get rid of unwanted signal components 4. Transducers: physical to electrical 2.



and display system. ‡ Transforms the PC and DAQ hardware into a complete DAQ. ‡ Data acquisition software packages. ‡ Different alternatives: ‡ Programmable software.‡ It can be the most critical factor in obtaining reliable. high performance operation. analysis. .

such as: ‡ C++.‡ Involves the use of a programming language. Visual Basic + Add-on tools (such as VisuaLab with VTX) ‡ Fortran ‡ C# ‡ Advantage: flexibility ‡ Disadvantages: complexity and steep learning curve . Visual C++ ‡ BASIC.

SnapMaster.‡ Does not require programming. . DADISP. ‡ Enables developers to design the custom instrument best suited to their application. DASYLAB. LabView. etc. ‡ Examples: TestPoint.

‡ These systems consist of one or more wireless transmitters sending data back to a wireless receiver connected to a remote computer. Serial Communication Data Acquisition Systems ‡ Serial communication data acquisition systems are a good choice when the measurement needs to be made at a location which is distant from the computer. ‡ RS232 is the most common but only supports transmission distances up to 50 feet . 2. Wireless Data Acquisition Systems ‡ Wireless data acquisition systems can eliminate costly and time consuming field wiring of process sensors.Types of Data Acquisition Systems 1.

which most likely has at least one USB port. Data Acquisition Plug-in Boards Computer data acquisition boards plug directly into the computer bus. only one cable is required to link the data acquisition device to the PC. Advantages of using boards are speed (because they are connected directly to the bus) and cost (because the overhead of packaging and power is provided by the computer) .Types of Data Acquisition Systems 3. 4. including higher bandwidth and the ability to provide power to the peripheral device ‡ Since USB connections supply power. USB Data Acquisition Systems ‡ USB offers several advantages over conventional serial and parallel connections.