Portable Data Acquisition SysTem (PDAT)
Armstrong researchers have developed a PDAT that can be easily transported to and set up at remote locations to display and archive data in real time. The PDAT was developed to collect data from strain gauges and fiber optic sensors installed on a revolutionary wing flap while it was being constructed by NASA partner FlexSys Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as part of the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) project. The PDAT enabled the Armstrong team to monitor and analyze data during the construction process and provide vital feedback to designers on site at FlexSys instead of having to wait until construction was completed and shipped to Armstrong's facility.
Work to date: This unique and flexible system has 64 channels for analog data, 32 channels for thermocouples, and 6,000 parameters of fiber optic data. It is currently configured to gather strain gauge and thermocouple inputs, but a variety of other hardware can be installed, including cards for pressure transducers, voltages, currents, motion packs, accelerometers, MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 aircraft data buses, and Ethernet packets.
Looking ahead: The PDAT has been an integral part of the ACTE project and is versatile enough to become a successful component of many current and future Armstrong projects.
Convenient: This innovation enables real-time analysis of data collected at remote locations.
Portable: The hardware is easily removable, attaches to a single heat-sink pallet, and fits into a single small case for quick transport. It can be used in a variety of locations, including laboratory, hangar, and flight line.
Flexible: The technology can be quickly reprogrammed to support various tests, and it can display and archive data from virtual streams.
Avionics and Instrumentation Technologies
Armstrong innovators design and integrate data acquisition systems for research, support, and one-of-a-kind platforms. In many cases, these systems leverage commercial off-the-shelf parts to keep costs low and ease integration with legacy systems. At the same time, these cutting-edge data systems are finding innovative ways not only to collect data efficiently but also to flexibly configure collection parameters.
Designed for aerospace applications, many of these innovations can benefit numerous industries in a variety of situations where data optimization is critical, such as manufacturing operations, business processes, and energy management, to name a few.