Microstar Laboratories produces a line of Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards, each with an onboard processor, memory, and a dedicated, multitasking, real-time operating system: DAPL. With this onboard intelligence, a DAP board can handle time-critical aspects of an application without any delays or resource demands imposed by Windows or by other software running on the PC.
Applications require onboard intelligence to run in real time under Windows. However, onboard intelligence also makes it much easier to implement applications requiring a high channel count, anti-aliasing, or synchronized integration over a network.
As well as providing DAPL software to run on DAP boards, we develop and ship PC software to support DAP boards in many user environments. All our design follows a channel architecture that makes it easy to connect our hardware to a large array of sensors and actuators.
Data Acquisition Processor boards
Data Acquisition Processor boards each have an onboard processor, making every DAP an intelligent solution for data acquisition and control applications.
All Data Acquisition Processor boards
- Have onboard processors.
- Run DAPL, a multitasking, real-time operating system.
- Have onboard memory.
- Support external expansion boards to increase the number of data channels.
All current Data Acquisition Processor boards except the xDAP series, DAP 5400a, and DAP 5380a have onboard analog and digital inputs and outputs. The xDAP series has high-speed analog inputs and digital inputs and outputs. DAP 5400a and DAP 5380a have high-speed analog inputs.
Onboard processors distribute intelligence to the Data Acquisition Processor. This frees data acquisition from the control of operating systems, such as Windows, which may not be available to the acquisition application when critically needed. By placing a processor onboard, data acquisition and control is implemented by its own operating system, DAPL, which is optimized for data acquisition.
In any application the onboard intelligence has a set of tasks to do. To facilitate configuration and control of the DAP, software running on the PC communicates with the onboard intelligence, instructing it on how to behave in an application.
USB Data Acquisition Systems
The xDAP line of Data Acquisition Processor systems combines high performance analog interface with a speed-optimized USB host connection. Each xDAP has onboard storage for a minute of buffered data at maximum rates and autonomous sampling is controlled by a 2 GHz Intel processor. xDAP 7420 doubles the maximum per-channel sampling speed to 2M samples per second.
xDAP 7410 is an EU-qualified model that features an aggregate 8M samples per second with high-speed simultaneous sampling and new input options.
Each xDAP 7400 includes a 16-bit analog-to-digital converter running at 1 million samples per second on each of 8 channels simultaneously, for a throughput of 8 million samples per second.
PCI Data Acquisition Boards
The DAP 5400a model, a board optimized for simultaneous sampling at extreme speeds, has eight A/D converters that sample simultaneously with 14-bit resolution at 1.25M samples per second each, for a total throughput of 10 million samples per second. Or for higher speeds per channel, each board can sample each of 4 channels at 2M samples per second. The 128 MB onboard memory more than keeps up with the high sampling rate.
The DAP 5380a model – suitable for transient recorder applications – has eight A/D converters capable of high-speed simultaneous sampling at an overall throughput of 5 million samples per second. The DAP 5380a is capable of high speed data transfers to the host PC.
The DAP 5216a model adds 16-bit resolution to the capabilities of the DAP 5200a line.
The DAP 5016a model adds 16-bit resolution to the capabilities of the DAP 5000a line.
The DAP 5200a model brings many real-time data acquisition and control applications within the scope of Windows systems. Its onboard 400 MHz processor provides real-time processing power for functions including smoothing, filtering, FFT, PID control, and responding to alarm conditions. The DAP 5200a also can scan high-speed data for trigger events in real time to capture pre-trigger as well as post-trigger data.
The iDSC 1816 board combines 16-bit resolution on eight simultaneous channels of data acquisition with brick-wall anti-alias filters on each channel. The board applies 8 onboard first-stage analog filters to its 8 simultaneous inputs, followed by digital filtering on two DSP chips, and this provides 96dB (sixteenth bit) stopband rejection within one quarter-octave. Performance like this really matters in sonar and in other spectral analysis applications: monitoring vibrating and rotating assemblies in the automotive, aerospace, and power generation industries, for example.
Use the DAP 4000a in applications that require moderate real-time processing.
The DAP 840 has all of the features needed for an entry-level data acquisition or control application with light real-time processing, and provides all of the benefits of onboard intelligence.
When your application needs Pentium-powered real-time processing under Windows, choose the DAP 5000a. Even at maximum sampling rates, the combination of a fast processor with low latency allows computation in real time between samples – and on-time response for control applications. The DAP 5000a can acquire 14-bit data at up to 800k samples per second, and can convert 833k values per second on each of the two onboard analog outputs.
Software for Data Acquisition Processor systems runs on both the Data Acquisition Processor itself and on the host PC.
DAPL, the onboard operating system, provides all the commands you need to run data acquisition and control applications.
Software, including DAPstudio, third-party, or custom software, that runs on the host PC – under a choice of operating systems – acts as the user interface for the Data Acquisition Processor, and provides disk logging and graphing capabilities.
Select one of the three DAPtools software distribution package levels – Basic, Standard, or Professional – to obtain the combination of software required to implement your application.