Data Acquisition, Control, and Laboratory Automation
Data Acquisition and Control suited to the application:
- High speed data capture: for some, "fast" may mean gigahertz. For a botanist, it may mean 1 Hz or less. (For a geologist, that's yet another regime.) The IDL has worked with the entire range.
- Precision data: up to ppm precision or very high speed means attention to cabling, board layout, precision amplification and filtering.
- Acquisition of multiple sources, simultaneously requires attention to amplification, speed, and scaling.
Fast ADC for cosmic ray detection using radar (TARA). It uses multi-band acquisition into an FPGA for fast decision-making. This is part of the TARA remote acquisition system.
A 4-channel acquisition system for load cells with a wide range of offsets and gains.
It uses a commercial ADC board with a custom front-end of instrumentation amplifiers and digital-analog converters.
Sometimes commercial DAQ equipment is employed; at other times, a circuit must be designed. For example:
- For an acquisition system for a Force Plate Actometer, a commercial ADC board can be employed with an IDL-designed circuit.
- A board for cosmic ray detection requires a custom circuit. A radar signal is split into four frequency bands, and each is digitized at 2 MHz, then transmitted to embedded FPGA logic.
Lab Automation: Bring the experimental process under automated control.
- The Inebri-Actometer in the photo on the right frees researchers from the tedium of visually monitoring a small number of subjects at a time.
- A system designed for the study of batteries at low temperatures can control and measure over indefinitely long periods.