Data acquisition platform gets rock solid, nears the speed of sound on the ground
While most data acquisition may not need to withstand a sledgehammer impact or jet-car vibrations, National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) announced on Aug. 7 a rugged product that can, the NI cDAQ-9188XT. This 8-slot NI CompactDAQ Ethernet chassis is designed for distributed or remote measurements in extreme environments. The cDAQ-9188XT can withstand temperatures from -40 C to 70 C, 50 g of shock and 5 g of vibration. It also is approved for hazardous location use with a Class 1 Div 2 rating. Engineers in the automotive, military and aerospace industries have used it to successfully acquire data and avoid costly repeat tests.
Punishing tests, pre-launch
“We’re using the cDAQ-9188XT to track pressure, vibration, velocity and more in our jet-powered vehicle [see photo] as we try to break the world land speed record,” said Steve Wallace, data acquisition scientist for the North American Eagle Project. “So far it’s survived everything we’ve thrown at it and given us great results,” Wallace said.
The modified Lockheed F-104A-10 Starfighter, shown at the NIWeek Worldwide Graphical System Design Conference, offers 13,000 lb of thrust and 771 mph top speed, covering a mile in 4.2 seconds. October is the next run. In 2014, the team will attempt to break the 763 mph record, but first they are measuring carefully to ensure the car remains intact and on the ground.
Breaking into new applications
In a stage demonstration on Aug. 6 at NIWeek, the NI cDAQ-9188XT survived positioned inside a hollow concrete block pulverized with a sledge hammer. Prior to the show, Doug Farrell, product marketing manager, industrial data acquisition for National Instruments, pounded on a solid concrete block more than a dozen times to expose the new rugged chassis (see photo), which he said seemed to serve as rebar inside the block.
“We maxed out the accelerometer at more than 50 g with that demo. We had to make the stage show (see photo) a little easier,” though the forces were similar, Farrell told CFE Media. The new model increases the upper range of protection that the NI DAQ platform offers, increasing vibration from 0.3 g to 5 g, shock from 30 g to 50 g, and temperature range from -20 C to 55 C to -40 C to 70 C, Farrell said.
The chassis is the first in the NI CompactDAQ platform to offer an onboard watchdog with defined safe states to help protect tests and equipment, Farrell added.
The platform includes 10 chassis options, three buses and more than 50 modules with a wide range of connectivity and I/O options. The platform also has native integration with NI LabVIEW system design software, which provides signal processing libraries and user interface controls designed for data visualization.
“From single-signal benchtop measurements made in laboratories to distributed, rugged or stand¬alone measurements made in some of the most extreme conditions on earth, it’s amazing how our customers’ applications have evolved over the past 25 years,” said Chad Chesney, director of data acquisition marketing at National Instruments. “By continuing to invest in NI CompactDAQ, we’ll contribute to even more engineering accomplishments over the next quarter century.”
NI added to NI CompactDAQ platform capabilities with support for the LabVIEW Electrical Power Suite. With this toolkit, NI CompactDAQ users can integrate power analysis functions, such as energy, frequency, voltage unbalance, and event detection, into monitoring systems.
– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, email@example.com.
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