The cDAQ Hardware Platform
CompactDAQ or cDAQ as it is commonly known, is a rugged IO platform designed for data acquisition and control. It is a portable and modular system comprising of standardised plugin modules and sensors which reside in a reconfigurable chassis.
The simplest cDAQ devices are low cost single module units which allow a single acquisition module to be connected to a PC. The PC handles data-acquisition and processing. At the other end of the spectrum the cDAQ range extends to an 8-slot units with contain a reprogrammable FPGA for complex integrated multi core controller & FPGA. This allows a real-time operating systems and deterministic data acquisition, filtering and control to be performed either in the RTOS (Real Time Operating System), on the reprogrammable FPGA or both. The system is flexible and multiple devices can be connected together to allow a distributed acquisition system.
With the cDAQ platform there's a choice of over 60 different modules, these include generic IO modules for analogue or Digital IO through to dedicated sensor modules which have some built in signal conditioning (e.g. filtering, amplification, channel isolation etc.). cDAQ sensor modules include:
- Accelerometers (for acceleration and vibration measurements)
- Analogue Voltage Signals (for DC and AC voltage measurements)
- Analogue Output Signals (for generating DC and AC voltages)
- Current Signals (for current measurements and 4-20 mA current loops)
- Digital Input Signals (for TTL and industrial digital logic levels)
- Digital Output Signals (for TTL and industrial digital logic levels)
- Quadrature Encoders (for position measurements)
- Strain Gages (for stress, strain, and other bridge-based measurements)
- Thermocouples (for temperature measurements)
cDAQ Chassis / Controller
The chassis houses the measurement modules. These come in standard sizes of 1, 4, 8 or 14 slots and have USB, WiFi or Ethernet connectivity.
The chassis can come with or without an integrated controller. If no controller is present then the chassis is used to connect the measurement modules to a PC which handles the data processing, storage and analysis. In the chassis with integrated controller an mutli-core processor, RAM and storage allow an embedded controller to run offering a standalone system. If you need even more processing power then consider using a cRIO unit - these combine realtime controller with an FPGA and the same cDAQ modules to give amazing performance in a small form factor system.