The growing sophistication of complex electromechanical systems, such as vehicles, aircraft, and industrial equipment, means that validation test must become more rigorous to keep pace with innovation. To ensure the safety, reliability, and quality of these systems, acquiring accurate data during testing is fundamental.
To meet these needs, test engineers are moving away from centralized measurement systems that can be susceptible to noise, and toward distributed measurement nodes, in which the digitization and signal conditioning occurs as close to the sensors as possible. Yet, more distributed measurement topologies create new challenges. DAQ devices must not only withstand harsh test environments but also acquire synchronized data over an entire system and scale and integrate seamlessly.
NI’s new FieldDAQ devices are the most rugged NI DAQ devices ever created. See how engineers can use FieldDAQ to acquire accurate, reliable measurements in the most severe test cell and outdoor environments—in rain, sleet, snow, or mud.
Deploying distributed measurements as close to the sensor as possible exposes DAQ hardware to harsh and demanding conditions where standard desktop equipment can give inaccurate data or fail entirely. Ingress protection, shock and vibration certifications, and operating temperature range are important specifications to ensure your DAQ hardware can survive your test environment, but are not enough to guarantee the quality of your data under those conditions.
FieldDAQ takes quality measurements to harsh environments. FieldDAQ devices have an ingress protection rating up to IP67 (dust- and water-resistant), can operate in -40 °C to 85 °C environments, and can sustain 100 g shock and 10 grms vibration. In addition to field readiness, these devices were designed to be thermally stable, delivering minimal accuracy drift over a wide temperature range. For example, the FieldDAQ thermocouple device maintains 1.19 °C absolute accuracy throughout the full -40 °C to 85 °C operating temperature range.
Figure 1. Spend less time preparing instrumentation for the rigors of field testing with ingress protection up to IP67, -40 to 85 °C temperature range, and 100g shock and 10grms vibration resistance.
FieldDAQ devices also include premium signal conditioning and diagnostic features to reduce the effect of external interference and increase measurement accuracy. Built-in anti-alias filters prevent high-frequency noise from being aliased into your signal and channel-to-channel isolation eliminates noise from ground loops in your system.
Even with rugged DAQ hardware, exposing your system to harsh, real-world conditions increases the risk of costly downtime. This risk is amplified for tests that must run 24/7 for days, weeks, months, or even years. Reinforcing the reliability of your system is crucial to minimize problems from unforeseen events such as untimely software updates or network failure.
FieldDAQ helps keep your test running with data link redundancy and real-time OS support. In case of a broken or damaged network connection, ring topologies mitigate the risk of data loss by automatically redirecting data through an alternative route. You can easily achieve a ring topology with FieldDAQ, using the built-in integrated switch to daisy chain multiple units together.
Figure 2. Use FieldDAQ in a ring configuration to mitigate the risk of data loss from a damaged connection.
FieldDAQ lowers the risk of software interruptions due to multitasking with NI Linux Real-Time OS support. General-purpose operating systems must attempt to provide resources and execution time to many different applications, which increases the opportunity and frequency of crashes and other problems. The NI Linux Real-Time OS minimizes the components required to be used, which reduces the probability of system failures. You can connect FieldDAQ to a variety of Linux real-time hosts including Industrial Controllers, CompactDAQ, and CompactRIO.
Precise timing and synchronization is critical in distributed measurement systems to ensure that you can correlate and analyze data from different nodes throughout the entire structure or device under test. Typically achieved by physically sharing clocks and trigger signals, it is important to maintain equal cable lengths between subsystems to minimize varying propagation delays that can result in intensive post-processing to align data timestamps.
FieldDAQ accurately synchronizes measurement data over long distances using Time Sensitive Networking (TSN). TSN is the next evolution of the IEEE 802.1 Ethernet standard, providing sub-microsecond synchronization over a distributed network of DAQ nodes. Precise timestamps and packet-based communication are used to share a common notion of time on all nodes in the network, eliminating signal propagation delays. You can achieve TSN synchronization with simple programming because the NI-DAQmx driver automatically synchronizes multiple FieldDAQ devices.
Figure 3. Use the NI-DAQmx driver to synchronize multiple FieldDAQ devices with a single task.
When developing a test system that must withstand harsh environments, you can build an enclosure in-house or purchase a system that has been already tested and certified to survive the conditions. In developing and integrating your own rugged solutions, design, material, testing, and compliance costs can quickly add up, in addition to the time required to ensure the hardware performs to its specifications.
With an ingress protection rating up to IP67, FieldDAQ saves the material costs and validation test time required to design an enclosure. Also, FieldDAQ has an integrated network switch and built-in power circuitry to daisy chain multiple units together, so you don’t need external switches or multiple power supplies in your system. Since FieldDAQ incorporates synchronized timing over the network with TSN, it reduces cabling by combining triggering and synchronization with high-speed data over a single Ethernet cable. By integrating sensor, power, and networking connectivity into a single rugged package, FieldDAQ reduces the points of failure and potential sources of error in your system.
Innovations in engineering design are producing more complex electromechanical systems and components that are driving the increase of different use cases to test. As designs evolve, test engineers can anticipate the continual need to integrate and synchronize new sensors and industrial protocols to effectively validate the performance of these systems.
FieldDAQ is built on NI’s open, software-centric platform, so you can add new capabilities and I/O without adding complexity or unnecessary cost. You can customize the setup of your system by effortlessly connecting and synchronizing FieldDAQ with other TSN products, such as Industrial Controllers, CompactDAQ, and CompactRIO to acquire, visualize, and analyze real-world signals to make data-driven decisions. With open and expandable FieldDAQ solutions, you can maximize hardware and software reuse while still adapting to changing requirements.
Figure 4. Expand your FieldDAQ solution with other TSN products.
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