Data Acquisition

Data acquisition assignment help. 

Data acquisition is the process of getting data from real-world physical phenomena and converting them to a digital form that can easily be analyzed by a computer. An example is a process of measuring room temperature as a digital value using sensors such as a thermocouple.

A data acquisition system consists of three components, namely sensors, data acquisition boards & devices, and computer and software.


The primary goal of sensors is to convert physical phenomena like temperature, or current signals into a corresponding electrical signal. A data acquisition system used to measure different phenomena is largely dependent on the sensor. There are different kinds of sensors or transducers to measure the various kinds of phenomena. For example, we can use thermocouples to measure temperatures, strain gauge to measure force, and accelerometers for movements. It is essential to always consider the accuracy of the sensor and the signal conditioning of the sensor when selecting an appropriate sensor for a specific phenomenon.

Data acquisition boards and devices.

Data acquisition hardware is a device that connects the computer and real-world physical signals. We could say that the data acquisition devices convert the analog signals to digital signals, which can easily be interpreted by a computer. It’s made up of three components the signal conditioning circuitry, digital to analog converters, and computer bus.

Signal conditioning

Many a times, the real-world data is noisy and messier. Before any form of data analysis is carried on the real-world data, it has to be converted into a form that is easier to manipulate. Therefore, we can say the signal conditioning circuitry’s main function is to digitize the data. In other words, we can say that it transforms the data into a form suitable for analog-to-digital converter. Some of the manipulation done by the signal conditioner includes filtering, attenuation, amplification, calibration, and linearization. In most cases, the signal conditioning circuitry is located on the data acquisition device, but in some instances, it can be found on the sensors.

Analog-to-digital converter (ADC)

At the core of any data acquisition system is the analog-to-digital converter whose primary goal is to convert the analog signals to a digital form, which can be analyzed by a computer. An ADC digitizes analog signals at any instant time.

Computer bus.

All the data acquisition devices need to be connected to a computer. This is what a computer bus serves. It is the communication line between the data acquisition device with the computer. The common computer buses are USB, Ethernet, PCI, and PCI express. Recently, data acquisition devices can utilize WIFI for wireless communications. ALL computer buses have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Data acquisition in Matlab. 

Data acquisition applications are normally controlled by a computer software program using various programming languages such as C, C++ Java, FORTRAN, Visual basic, orMatlab. Speaking of Matlab, it has a data acquisition toolbox that has functions and apps which are utilized to configure the data acquisition system hardware, read data inMatlab or Simulink, and then write  the digital and analog data.  It supports a variety of hardware, which includes USB, PCI, and PCI express. In addition, Matlab enables you to generate an equivalent code for future sessions. With Matlab, you have a tool that enables you to analyze data as you acquire it or save for future processing. Matlab is generally easier to use. For this reason, most of your data acquisition homework will require you to use Matlab as the application software.

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