NETWORKED DATA ACQUISITION DEVICES AS APPLIED TO AUTOMOTIVE TESTING
AffiliationAberdeen Proving Ground
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AbstractThe US Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) is acquiring, transferring, and databasing data during all phases of automotive testing using networked data acquisition devices. The devices are small ruggedized computer-based systems programmed with specific data acquisition tasks and then networked together with other devices in order to share information within a test item or vehicle. One of the devices is also networked to a ground-station for monitor, control and data transfer of any of the devices on the net. Application of these devices has varied from single vehicle tests in a single geographical location up to a 100-vehicle nationwide test. Each device has a primary task such as acquiring data from vehicular data busses (MIL-STD-1553, SAE J1708 bus, SAE J1939 bus, RS-422 serial bus, etc.), GPS (time and position), analog sensors and video with audio. Each device has programmable options, maintained in a configuration file, that define the specific recording methods, real-time algorithms to be performed, data rates, and triggering parameters. The programmability of the system and bi-directional communications allow the configuration file to be modified remotely after the system is fielded. The primary data storage media of each device is onboard solid-state flash disk; therefore, a continuous communication link is not critical to data gathering. Data are gathered, quality checked and loaded into a database for analysis. The configuration file, as an integral part of the database, ensures configuration identity and management. A web based graphical user interface provides preprogrammed query options for viewing, summarizing, graphing, and consolidating data. The database can also be queried for more detailed analyses. The architecture for this network approach to field data acquisition was under the Aberdeen Test Center program Versatile Information System Integrated On-Line (VISION). This paper will describe how the merging of data acquisition systems to network communications and information management tools provides a powerful resource for system engineers, analysts, evaluators and acquisition personnel.
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