Data Acquisition (DAQ)
Data Acquisition (DAQ) is the process measuring environmental conditions. DAQ process involves the sampling of signals that represent the environmental conditions, converting the resulting samples into numeric values, and data-processing of that numeric values by a computer. DAQ is basically analog to digital conversion (ADC) and data analysis. Electrical signals are converted to digital values (voltage, current, resistance, temperature, humidity, airflow etc.).
Following figure depict the components of a data acquisition system:
Components of a data acquisition system include:
1. Data Acquisition Device (DAQ Hardware / Sensor Network / Hub)
- Sensors - Convert physical parameters to electrical signals.
- Signal Conditioning - Convert electrical signals into a form that can be converted to digital values.
- Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) - Convert conditioned signals to digital values.
2. Data Acquisition Software (DAQ Software)
- Driver Software - Provides an interface between application software and DAQ device hardware / firmware.
- Application Software - Provides the interaction between computer and user, to analyze and visualize acquired data. Read more on Data Acquisition Software
3. Data Acquisition Connections (Channels & Protocols)
- Communication Channel (s) - The connection mechanisms through which data can be transferred between DAQ device and computer.
- Communication Protocol - The data format specification of the acquired data.
4. Data Acquisition Interactions (Monitoring & Control)
- Data Monitoring - Periodically inspect the changes that is happening in environmental conditions.
- Device Control - Direct the device to change some other environmental conditions, in order to influence the acquired environmental conditions.