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The Challenges of Data Acquisition in Harsh Remote Places

May 15, 2016 | BY: David Buckley

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In modern flight test installations there is a continuing trend to move the data acquisition closer to the sensors. As a consequence the data acquisition chassis needs to be mounted in locations that are small, inaccessible and subject to harsh environmental conditions. On top of this there are an increasing number of measurements required for each new flight test campaign. This paper discusses the challenges of designing a small lightweight data acquisition chassis which can provide hundreds of channels of measurement capability while operating in tight spaces which are exposed to fluids, high vibration and extremes of temperature. The paper suggests ways of designing and installing the data acquisition chassis in order to optimize the available installation space while mitigating the effects of the harsh environmental conditions.

Background

In a drive to reduce the wiring of flight test installations there is a continuing trend of moving the data acquisition chassis closer to the sensors. As a consequence the data acquisition chassis needs to be mounted in locations that are small, inaccessible and subject to harsh environmental conditions. This paper discusses the implications of these requirements on the design of the data acquisition chassis. The paper begins with a recap of some of the more important data acquisition design concepts such as reliability and modularity which are so important for flight test equipment. The paper then investigates how small the data acquisition chassis can get while maintaining modularity and flexibility. The paper also presents some solutions to the difficult environmental conditions that are found in remote locations, such as high temperature and exposure to fluids. Finally the paper examines some of the system requirements placed on miniature modular data acquisition chassis.

Download our The Challenges of Data Acquisition in Harsh Remote Places conference paper here

 

Author’s Biography

David Buckley

Chief Architect, Engineering

Dave Buckley is Chief Architect at Curtiss-Wright. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College Cork in 1996. Mr Buckley has extensive experience in ASIC, FPGA, hardware and system level design and architecture for a variety of different industries and applications. Since joining Curtiss-Wright in 2009 he has held several positions including Senior Hardware Designer and Principal Hardware Architect. In his current role he is responsible for managing the product roadmap and guiding the technical direction of flight test instrumentation product lines.

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