Advantages of Stand-Alone NI CompactDAQ for Embedded Measurements

Publish Date: Aug 14, 2012 | 2 Ratings | 4.50 out of 5 |  PDF

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Stand-Alone Operation for a Portable or Distributed System
  3. High-Performance Processing to Enable Online Processing
  4. Flexible Hardware and Software to Keep Up With Changing Requirements
  5. Summary
  6. Related Links

1. Introduction

NI CompactDAQ has gone stand-alone to offer the world’s highest performance and most flexible data-logging platform for portable data acquisition, long-term monitoring, and high-channel-count measurement systems. The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system is an advanced measurement and logging system that combines the modular approach of NI CompactDAQ with Intel’s multicore processors to provide a portable, rugged mixed-measurement system complete with NI LabVIEW system design software. The new NI CompactDAQ system offers stand-alone operation, high performance, and flexibility with over 50 NI C Series I/O modules, numerous software options, and an ecosystem of software and hardware tools.

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2. Stand-Alone Operation for a Portable or Distributed System

To run completely independent, stand-alone NI CompactDAQ includes embedded processing and onboard storage that removes the need for an external PC. Stand-alone NI CompactDAQ includes multicore processing and the option to run Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES7) or LabVIEW Real-Time OS. This allows you to run your measurement, analysis, and logging software directly on the device, as well as any additional software supported by your choice of OS. For long-term monitoring and logging applications, the LabVIEW Real-Time option offers the increased reliability needed for weeks and months of continuous uptime. With 32 GB of built-in nonvolatile storage, you can continuously log data for 360 hours in a typical system. For applications that require more storage space, the four USB ports can connect to external USB storage devices. Other options include transferring data to a network location or using cloud storage accessible with the NI Technical Data Cloud. The new high-performance NI CompactDAQ platform combined with LabVIEW system design software can be configured for various stand-alone architectures to meet your data-logging requirements.

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Figure 1. The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system is a high-performance, flexible solution for embedded measurements and logging.

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3. High-Performance Processing to Enable Online Processing

Stand-alone NI CompactDAQ integrates high-performance embedded processing with industry-leading measurement quality and platform integration. Unlike many alternative data-logging solutions that require a separate PC for analysis, the advanced 1.33 GHz Intel dual-core i7 processor can run your measurement and logging software plus online analysis from more than 850 LabVIEW analysis functions. Advanced applications particularly benefit from the high processing power. For instance, machine condition monitoring requires processing-intensive algorithms to perform statistical analysis for machine prognostics or failure predictions. These algorithms exceed the capabilities of traditional solutions.

For high-channel-count applications, you can turn stand-alone NI CompactDAQ into a centralized hub with more than 1,500 synchronized channels by integrating up to six additional NI CompactDAQ chassis directly through the four Hi-Speed USB and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The Gigabit Ethernet ports can also connect to a range of GigE vision cameras for high-resolution image acquisition and processing tasks, such as image enhancement, pattern matching, and object measurements. If you’re using an alternative solution and you need to add more channels or vision capabilities, you’re typically going to have to augment or completely replace the system. This costs money and time, not to mention the synchronization and disparate data organization challenges it introduces.

The array of C Series modules is fundamental to the performance of any stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system. C Series modules contain all the circuitry needed for particular electrical or sensor measurements in a single, rugged package. The integrated signal conditioning includes amplification, filtering, excitation, and isolation, which are essential for acquiring accurate sensor measurements. Modules are available with simultaneous sampling, 24-bit resolution, and up to 1 MS/s/ch sample rates so you can meet the most demanding measurement requirements. The processing power and measurement quality provided by the stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system offer a high-performance system for basic to advanced data-logging applications.

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4. Flexible Hardware and Software to Keep Up With Changing Requirements

Stand-alone NI CompactDAQ offers flexible har dware and software to exceed diverse application requirements and user needs. Solutions with fixed or limited I/O types are difficult to adapt and often require completely new hardware for different applications. The more than 50 C Series modules for analog, digital, and controller area network (CAN) inputs and outputs deliver more than one billion I/O combinations, so you can easily add or replace modules as your measurement needs change. Common analog input modules include signal conditioning for measuring thermocouple, strain gages, load cells, accelerometers, microphones, and more. The stand-alone NI CompactDAQ chassis also has four built-in 32-bit counter/timers for event counting, quadrature encoder measurement, PWM, pulse train generation, or frequency measurements. In addition to I/O flexibility and USB and Ethernet expansion options, stand-alone NI CompactDAQ offers RS232/RS485 serial, MXI-Express, and VGA output ports. You can use these standard ports to integrate a variety of devices ranging from a mouse to a touch panel monitor to a GPS device. With flexible I/O and standard interfaces, NI CompactDAQ provides a platform that you can standardize on to reduce equipment costs and training time.

Figure 2. NI CompactDAQ is compatible with more than 50 C Series modules to offer more than one billion I/O combinations.


With LabVIEW system design software, you can develop custom measurement systems faster. Within a single software environment, LabVIEW provides unparalleled integration with NI data acquisition hardware, extensive signal processing libraries, and UI controls built for measurement data visualization. Additionally, LabVIEW abstracts low-level programming calls so that your system can adapt to changing requirements and technologies over time. For example, you can reuse LabVIEW VIs written for USB NI CompactDAQ with a stand-alone system without making changes to the software. This adaptability, along with the capability of NI-DAQmx driver software to synchronize measurement data and easily add new measurement types, provides an extremely flexible software solution. In LabVIEW 2012, NI offers new examples, templates, and sample projects focused on user proficiency to help engineers and scientist of all levels to innovate faster. These options provide different starting points for novice programmers interested in seeing measurements fast and experienced programmers seeking scalable software architectures designed by LabVIEW developers. NI continues to provide new tools to increase the proficiency and thus the productivity of LabVIEW programmers worldwide. Nonprogrammers interested in configuration-based data-logging software can choose ready-to-run applications that are powered by LabVIEW and available through the LabVIEW Tools Network.

Alternatively, to define your own turnkey solution, you can choose from more than 600 companies worldwide in the NI Alliance Partner Network. These partners specialize in integration and customization services with LabVIEW and NI data acquisition products. No matter the application size, complexity, or need for customization, there is a software solution to meet your needs.

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5. Summary

The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system offers the performance and flexibility to meet your advanced data-logging requirements today and into the future. The integrated processor and hard drive combine with the C Series modules to bring stand-alone operation to the NI CompactDAQ platform for the first time to address high-end embedded measurement and logging applications. The high-performance processing, measurement quality, and data streaming offer a platform that can solve high-speed, high-channel-count, intensive analysis, image acquisition requirements, and more with the stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system. These solutions provide the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements and technologies through the modular I/O, standard peripheral integration, and software tools based on LabVIEW. The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system rivals the highest performance data-logging systems in the market with flexibility that saves you time and money.

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6. Related Links

Download technical resources about stand-alone NI CompactDAQ
See pricing and specifications
Start building an NI CompactDAQ system

 

 

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