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Best practices for large-scale signal conditioning systems

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1 Author(s)
Padhye, S. ; Product Marketing, Nat. Instrum. Corp., Austin, TX, USA

Sensor and high-voltage measurements are a vital part of many test systems. What makes these measurements different from typical voltage or current measurements is that a special type of conditioning is required to bring these signals into a measurable range. Some of the common examples of signal conditioning include filtering to eliminate 50 or 60 Hz noise, bridge completion to amplify small signals, isolation of hazardous voltages or attenuating high-voltage signals. It is not uncommon to have systems with tens or hundreds of channels of the above measurements, putting them in the area of medium-to high-channel-count systems. High-channel-count signal conditioning systems present peculiar design as well as implementation challenges, the first and foremost being synchronizing multiple types of measurements while providing different types of conditioning to each sensor or signal. This dives into some of the most common hardware and software considerations and best practices for implementing large-scale systems. It covers hardware topics including synchronizing multiple devices and systems using open, industry-standard hardware such as PXI, data acquisition rates and resolution, cabling and connectivity, and expansion and spares. Topics such as best software practices, large data management, and documentation will also be discussed.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 11 )