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Data acquisition system

Generally, data acquisition (DAQ) involves interfacing an analog sensor with a recording or display device to measure and record some value of interest over a period of time. A data collection system for providing a controller with data typically comprises a sensor, including a sensing element and an electronic circuit for converting the output of the sensing element into electric signal, and a readout device for analyzing the output of the electronic circuit of the sensor. A typical data collection system comprises a computer system with DAQ hardware, wherein the DAQ hardware is typically plugged into one of the I/O slots of the computer system. DAQ systems typically include transducers for asserting and measuring electrical signals, signal conditioning logic to perform amplification, isolation, and filtering, and other hardware for receiving analog signals and providing them to a processing system, such as a personal computer. Data acquisition typically involves production of data by one or more sources followed by various stages of processing, storage and use of the data. A source may be a specialized item of equipment which transmits a stream of data packets and associated timing signals for initial processing by an equipment handler which forms part of a separate computer system. Various types of data acquisition devices exist which allow a user to collect and transmit data to a host computing device. Data acquisition devices may be terminals, with keypad entry means and a display. In addition, data acquisition devices may be bar code scanners in a stand alone configuration or integrated with a terminal.

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