Effectively Manage Complex Data Acquisition5 capabilities every data acquisition system should have
Data acquisition (DAC) channel counts have increased dramatically over the last few years in aerospace testing, due to several emerging trends.
First, sophisticated on-board data systems call for test data offering equivalent depth and breadth. Rising fuel costs also create new demand for lightweight structures that hold more passengers. This objective requires more advanced testing to accomplish, especially with the introduction of new materials that have a limited history of real-world use.
And none of this would be possible without today’s unprecedented processing speeds, network capacities and disk storage space.
Naturally, the high number of DAC channels has increased test program complexity. In response to this complexity, new software capabilities have emerged, for speeding and simplifying DAC system management. Here are five must-have capabilities for anyone testing full-scale aerospace structures.
1. Integrated control and data acquisition. From a single software interface, you can now integrate real-time data from your control system with data obtained from sensors. This integration eliminates the need to toggle between interfaces and manually synthesize the data after testing is complete. It also offers more insight into tests in progress, making it easier to meet certification standards and verify aircraft designs.
2. Automatic test configuration. Test engineers must often physically route dozens—or hundreds—of lead wires and strain gages throughout a test specimen. Managing such daunting numbers requires an efficient method of confirming a correct connection between sensors and their DAC system inputs. Transducer identification technology does so automatically, digitally identifying each sensor and applying the correct setup parameters for all hardware inputs.
3. Advanced error elimination tools. In addition to user error, strain gages by design can deliver inaccurate outputs due to wire resistance, temperature variations, and non-linear and multidimensional deformations. Consequently, it is critical to account for these effects with every sensor. Next-generation software automatically compensates for such inconsistencies. It also helps eliminate error by making often-used values, equations and custom templates readily available in a central repository.
4. Real-time data analysis. Historically, test engineers have been unable to make real-time decisions, because data streaming into the DAC system from the specimen was not viewable on their system interface. All analysis waited until post-test—and only then would engineers know if a specimen required retesting due to incomplete information. Today’s most advanced software interfaces continuously display all test data in real-time, enabling critical decision-making “on the fly” for utmost lab efficiency.
5. Automated, integrated data storage and analysis. Easily accessible archived data simplifies both regulatory compliance and post-test analysis, and it gives engineers the freedom to perform impromptu analytical procedures after testing is in progress. Next-generation software allows archived data to be retrieved on demand and displayed alongside derived values, helping engineers build absolute confidence in their test results.
Next-generation software for complex structural testing
MTS AeroPro™ Data Acquisition Software can help you remain efficient and productive with such essential features as integrated control and DAC, automatic test configuration, advanced error elimination and real-time data analysis. The software is also compatible with the leading DAC hardware technologies, including VXI and HBM.
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