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Test environments are not immune to today’s “want it now” culture, so you need not only a mix of measurements that you can easily and rapidly change but also high-performance processors to synchronize and interpret data online for immediate consumption. As testing needs continue to evolve at this rapid pace, it’s critical that your data-logging solution meets performance requirements and quickly adapts on the spot.
To accommodate these requirements, National Instruments is expanding the NI CompactDAQ platform to offer a high-performing, flexible stand-alone system for embedded measurements and logging. With an Intel dual-core i7 processor, the new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system can run embedded to deliver a high-performance, mixed-measurement data-logging system with the flexibility of modular hardware and the power of NI LabVIEW system design software.
For the first time, NI CompactDAQ includes built-in multicore processing and onboard storage, and runs an embedded OS so you can execute measurement, analysis, and logging software directly on the device. You can use Windows Embedded for the familiarity and support of a general-purpose OS, or choose LabVIEW Real-Time for the reliability needed for weeks, and even months, of continuous operation. The stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system has built-in, nonvolatile storage so you can continuously log data for 360 hours in a typical system. For applications that require more storage space, you can use the four USB ports for external storage devices. Alternatively, you can transfer data to a network location or use cloud storage accessible with the NI Technical Data Cloud.
High-Performance Processing and Measurements
The stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system integrates high-performance embedded processing with industry-leading measurement quality. 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 inline with over 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.
More than 50 NI C Series modules for analog, digital, and controller area network (CAN) inputs and outputs deliver over 5 billion I/O combinations, so you can easily add or replace modules as your measurement needs change (see page 16). Common analog input modules include signal conditioning for measuring thermocouples, strain gages, load cells, accelerometers, and microphones. 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.
The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system is a high-performance, flexible solution for embedded measurements and logging.
For high-channel-count applications, you can turn a stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system into a 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 typically 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.
Flexible Software Tools
With LabVIEW, 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 USBNI CompactDAQ with a stand-alone system without changing the software. This adaptability, along with the capability of NI-DAQmx driver software to help you 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 scientists of all levels innovate faster.
NI CompactDAQ is compatible with more than 50 NI C Series modules to offer over 5 billion I/O combinations.
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 700 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.
NI’s commitment to equipping engineers and scientists with the tools that accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery continues with the release of stand-alone NI CompactDAQ. The system’s integrated processor and hard drive combine with C Series modules to add stand-alone operation to the NI CompactDAQ platform for the first time. It integrates high-performance processing, measurement quality, and data streaming to deliver high speed, high channel counts, intensive analysis, and image acquisition for your high-end embedded measurement and logging applications. Rivaling the highest performance data-logging systems on the market, the new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system not only saves you time and money, it meets your advanced data-logging requirements today and into the future.
—Elizabeth Smith email@example.com
Elizabeth Smith is a product marketing manager for data acquisition at NI focusing on NI CompactDAQ for embedded measurements and logging.
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