The Challenges of Data Acquisition in Harsh Remote Places
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 that 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 harsh environmental conditions.
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 temperatures and exposure to fluids. Finally, the paper examines some of the system requirements placed on miniature modular data acquisition chassis.
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