• ‘NEW TECHNOLOGY’ DATA RECORDERS A TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

      Mason, Terry; Thames, Fred Jr; Howard, John; Avalon Electronics Ltd (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2001-10)
      There are clear signs that data recorders using solid-state and disk-based technologies now represent a serious alternative to conventional linear and rotary tape recorders for a broad spectrum of data capture applications. As the number of RFQs specifying these so-called ‘new technology’ solutions increases, virtually every major manufacturer has responded with announcements of new off-the-shelf products. A NATO technical support team has even been tasked with drafting standards for certain aspects of solid-state and disk recorders. But what has caused this sudden explosion of interest? Strange to say, in almost every case it has been the perceived shortcomings of the new technologies which have forced the issue. For all their advantages, solid-state and disk recorders are essentially only temporary storage devices. To overcome this problem manufacturers have found it necessary to address the total data capture/storage/distribution/archiving scenario – with some interesting results. It is in the ‘data handling’ area therefore that some of the most significant advances are to be found. This Paper offers an overview of some of the new technology solutions now available - RAID (Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks), JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) and FLASH memory recorders. New paradigms for airborne, mobile and laboratory data collection, handling, analysis and archiving are discussed, demonstrating that (for once) the migration path has been carefully thought through, with industry-standard data interfaces, true computer connectivity (Windows and UNIX) and familiar control techniques. It concludes that many users with a keen interest in replacing legacy products for whatever reason can now do so with confidence and minimal disruption to their day-to-day operation while nevertheless gaining access to the important benefits which ‘new technology’ solutions can offer.