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MEASUREMENT AND INSTRUMENTATION

BMCC 4743
LECTURE 7: COMPUTERISED
DATA-ACQUISITION SYSTEMS
Mochamad Safarudin
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, UTeM
2008
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Recap from previous lecture
Measurement process



Analogue signal conditioning - done
DIGITAL SIGNAL CONDITIONING
Sensor/transducer
Signal
conditioning
Recorder/display/
processor
measurand
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ANALOG AND DIGITAL
Most measurands originate in analog form
Analog signal varies smoothly in time, without discontinuty
Example: 220 V ac, 60 Hz power line voltage
Example of analog signal
Digital information is transmitted and processed in form of bits
Each bit defined by one or other of two predefined logic level
The time interval assigned to it called bit interval
Most common two logic states is predetermined voltage levels
(say 0 and 5 V dc)
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Why digital?
1. Digital electronics easier to design and fabricate
ex: IC, low cost, mass product compare to capacitor etc
2. Ease of data recording, storage and display
ex: digital voltmeter provides a direct numerical display
of voltage compared with analog voltage that has to be
visually interpolated if the pointer is between two scales
3. Inherently noise resistant




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COMPUTER AS A
MEASUREMENT SYSTEM
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Contents
Components of computer
systems
Representing numbers in computer
systems
Components of data-acquisition
systems
Configuration of data-acquisition
systems
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Components of computer systems

CPU and RAM

Printer
Display
Mass storage
(disk drives)
Keyboard
Digital
input-output
(ports or expansion bus)
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Typical computer components
Central processing unit (CPU)
Program (software)
Random access memory (RAM) - ROM
Mass storage system magnetic tape
recorder, magnetic disk drive, optical disk
drive
Display/monitor/screen
User input device (keyboard, mouse,
joystick,etc)
Printers and plotters
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Contents
Components of computer systems
Representing numbers in
computer systems
Components of data-acquisition
systems
Configuration of data-acquisition
systems
10
Representing numbers in computer
systems
Computers use bistable flip-flops to
store information, which have only 2
possible states: on (1) or off (0)
E.g. 1001
2



1 byte = 8 bits
MSB LSB
4 bit binary number
MSB:Most Significant Bit
LSB: Least Significant Bit
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Examples (binary/decimal)
1. Convert the 8-bit binary number
01011100 to decimal
2. Find the 8-bit binary number with the
same value as that of the decimal
number 92.
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1. 01011100

N
10
=0(2
7
)+1(2
6
)+0(2
5
)+1(2
4
)+1(2
3
)+2(2
2
)+0(2
1
)+0(2
0
)
=0+64+0+16+8+4+0+0
=92

2. By a series of divisions by 2
remainder
2 92
2 46 0
2 23 0
2 11 1
2 5 1
2 2 1
2 1 0
0 1


LSB
MSB
Answer:
1011100 but we
are asked for 8 bit:
01011100
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Most commonly represented using:
2s complement binary
Procedure:
1. Convert the integer to binary as if it were positive
2. Invert all of the bits change 0s to 1s and 1s to 0
3. Add 1 LSB to the final result
e.g. convert 92 to an 8-bit 2s complement binary number
answer: from previous, 01011100
invert 10100011
+1 LSB 10100011
2
+ 1
2
become 10100100
Note that, positive numbers always have 0 as MSB and negative
numbers have 1 as MSB
In a computer a special code is used : ASCII American Code for
Information Interchange, e.g. k = 01101011
2
= 107
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What about negative number?
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ASCII Characters
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Contents
Components of computer systems
Representing numbers in computer
systems
Components of data-
acquisition systems
Configuration of data-acquisition
systems
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Components of data-acquisition
systems
Multiplexer
Simultaneous sample-and-hold
subsystem
ADCs
DACs

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Multiplexer (MUX)
Works as an electronic switch
computer will ask MUX to select a
particular channel to be read and
processed, sequentially.
Can have crosstalk errors and transfer
accuracy.
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Simultaneous sample-and-hold
subsystem
Need to be used to record data from
different channel of MUX, precisely at
the same time.
e.g. Measuring tire forces using 6
component force transducers
simultaneously
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Analogue-to-Digital Converters
Converts continuous analogue
waveform into discrete digital signals
Examples: audio amplifiers, TV, output
voltage from transducers, etc
Output of ADCs has 2
N
possible values
If N , no. of possible output states ,
hence results more accurate
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Types of ADCs
Unipolar single-slope integrating converter
(ramp type quite slow, not very accurate)
Successive-approximations converter (quite
fast typical 12-bit completes a conversion in
10 25 s)
Parallel or flash or half-flash converter (the
fastest can be 10 ns, using lots of
comparators)
Dual-slope integrating converter (used in
digital voltmeter)
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Unipolar single-slope integrating converter
1. A fixed reference voltage is used to charge an integrator at a constant rate
2. The integrator output voltage then increase linearly with time
3. A digital clock (counter) is started at the same time that the charging is begun
4. The integrator output voltage is compared continuously with the analog input
voltage using a comparator
5. When the integrator voltage exceeds the analog input voltage, digital clock is
stopped
6. The count of the digital clock is the digital output of the A/D converter
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Example
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Formula to estimate A/D converter digital output
The output of a 2s-complement, given the analogue input
voltage, is


where max. positive output is (2
N
/2 1) and max. negative
output is (-2
N
/2)
The output of an offset binary or simple binary converter is given
by


where output will range from 0 to (2
N
-1) max.
2
2
2 int
N
N
rl ru
rl i
o
V V
V V
D
)
`

=
)
`

=
N
rl ru
rl i
o
V V
V V
D 2 int
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From example before, estimate the digital output for
6.115 V analog input to A/D converter
Example:
Answer:
Since this is a simple binary devices the second equation
Is applicable:


10 ) 78 . 9 int( 2
0 10
0 115 . 6
int
4
= =
|
.
|

\
|

= x D
o
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Quantisation error
Resolution uncertainty (or treated as
random error, analogous to the reading
error of a digital display) due to output of
ADC with discrete steps, given by

Input resolution error =

The quantisation error is thus 0.5 LSB
volts
V V
N
rl ru
2
5 . 0

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Successive-approximations converter (most common type)
1. A series of known analog voltages are created and compared to the analog input
voltage
2. In the first trial, a voltage interval of one-half the input span is compared with
the input voltage
3. If the input voltage is in the upper half of the range, the MSB is set to1; otherwise
it is set to zero
4. This process is repeated with an interval half the width of the interval used in the
first trail to determine the second MSB and so forth until LSB is determined





Successive aproximation
method for 4 bit A/D
converter
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Example:
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Example:
A 12-bit A/D converter has an input range of -10 to +10 V.
Find the resolution error of the converter for the analog input.


Answer:
Using above equation


00244 . 0
2
) 10 ( 10
5 . 0
12
=
(


= error resolution input
The resolution uncertainty of 0.00244 is the best that
can be achieved
Comment: if input voltage=0.1 V (low end of input range),
The quantization error would represent 2.5% of the reading,
which is probably not acceptable. The input signal should be
amplified probably before the signal enters the converter
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Digital-to-Analogue Converters
Converts discrete digital signals into
continuous analogue waveform
Examples: To operate heaters or valves
under computer control
Similar specs as ADCs, i.e. depends on
no. of input bits, analogue output range
and conversion speed.
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1. R
n
=2
n
R
f
2. When the switched is closed, i
n
flows to the summing
bus






Rf
v
R
v
i
n
R
n
R
n
2
= =
3. The op-amp converts the currents to voltages

=
=
k
n
n f o
i R v
1
4 bit D/A converter
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Example:
A digital code 1011 (equivalent to 11) for the circuit above
with R
f
= 5 kq and v
s
=-10 V. then

i
1
=-1 mA
i
2
=0
i
3
=-1/4 mA
i
4
=-1/8 mA
Summing these currents and multiplying by R
f
gives
V
o
=6.875 V which is 11/16 of the full scale (ref) voltage
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Contents
Components of computer systems
Representing numbers in computer
systems
Components of data-acquisition
systems
Configuration of data-
acquisition systems
33
Configuration of data-acquisition
systems
General overview of DAS configuration is
given by
Plugging one or more DAQ circuit boards
(includes a MUX and an ADC with an amplifier)
into the bus of a PC
PC turns into digital oscilloscope
GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus) or IEEE488
system
Process control high performance computers
Distributed DAS latest development for process
control where it use modular components close to
the sensors.