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Portable Data Acquisition SysTem (PDAT):
Making Ideas Reality
Armstrong's PDAT technology offers a versatile solution for displaying and archiving data in real time at remote locations. Developed to collect data from strain gauges and fiber optic sensors as part of the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) project, the technology easily supports
other experiments by means of interchangeable hardware cards that collect data from pressure transducers, pressure scanners, and accelerometers. It has already been used in Armstrong's Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL)
and in industry laboratories in Michigan and California to support ACTE research. PDAT can be quickly reprogrammed to support various tests and can display and archive data from virtual streams. This portable and flexible technology supports remote data collection for field experiments where there is not a lot of room to work and where live transmission is limited.
Work to date: In addition to its use in Armstrong's FLL and in industry laboratories, the PDAT provided designers with valuable feedback data during the construction and design phase of the ACTE project. The system safely gathered data from the aircraft system during wing loads testing without the need to turn on aircraft power. PDAT data were verified against the loads system data to assure system accuracy.
Looking ahead: This unique system has 64 channels for analog data, 32 channels for thermocouples, and eight signal conditioning cards. It is currently configured to gather strain gauge and thermocouple inputs, but a host of other hardware can be installed, making the system versatile enough to become a successful component of current and future projects.
Armstrong's Research and Engineering Directorate is responsible for the overall engineering content of flight research projects. Our engineers provide technical expertise in aerodynamics; guidance, navigation, and control; propulsion; static and dynamic structures; flight hardware and software; flight and ground test instrumentation and data systems; and system engineering and integration. They apply their expertise across the spectrum of Armstrong's many activities and also support the development and continual evolution of engineering tools and test techniques. Here are highlights from a few recent and particularly notable engineering success stories.
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