Data Acquisition

What is Data acquisition?

Data acquisition is the process of sampling signals that measure real world conditions such as voltage, current, temperature, pressure or sound, and converting the results into digital numeric values that can be manipulated by a computer. Data acquisition systems known as DAS or DAQ, convert analogue waveforms into digital values for processing.

Data acquisition begins with the physical property (this includes temperature, light intensity, gas pressure, fluid flow and force) to be measured. This then must be transformed into a unified form that can be sampled by a data acquisition system. This task is performed by sensors.

Components of data acquisition systems include

• Sensors to convert physical parameters to electrical signals
• Signal conditioning circuity to convert sensor signals into a form that can be converted to digital values
• Analogue to digital converters to convert conditioned sensor signals to digital values

A data acquisition system is a collection of software and hardware that lets you measure or control physical characteristics of something in the real world. A complete data acquisition system consists of DAQ hardware, sensors and actuators, signal conditioning hardware, and a computer running DAQ software.

Applications include
• Research and Analysis
• Design Validation and Verification
• Manufacturing and Quality Test
• Diagnostic and Repair
• Asset Condition Monitoring
• PC-Based Control and Automation

Compared to traditional measurement systems, PC-based DAQ systems exploit the processing power, productivity, display, and connectivity capabilities of industry-standard computers providing a more powerful, flexible, and cost-effective measurement solution.

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