Today, most forms of information are digital or computerized and data systems are becoming both smaller and more powerful. In fact, thanks to USB DAQ systems, your options and possibilities for data storage and monitoring have increased a great deal. Let’s look closer at USB technology and how it affects DAQ (data acquisition).
What is Data Acquisition?
Data acquisition is sometimes abbreviated DAQ or DAS (data acquisition system). Suppose you operate a business with machinery and it’s very important to keep track of ambient temperature and atmospheric conditions. You may have special gauges to measure temperature and air pressure. However, gauges are designed to measure not transmit and store information.
A data acquisition system has the ability to take information from gauges and turn it into a language which computers use (the language of numbers). Once gauge measurements are turned to numbers (digitized) this information can be used in many different applications.
What is USB?
Universal Serial Bus technology was originally designed for computers. Just a few years ago, transferring data from one computer to another required special ports and cables. Of course you could remove a hard drive and place it into another computer, but this was a lot of work and inconvenience. What if you could have a miniature hard drive, which you could plug into any computer and enjoy all the benefits of an internal hard drive? This is the purpose behind modern USB DAQ components today.
A good example of the convenience of USB is today’s flash drives. After copying a program or file on the flash drive, it can easily be plugged into another computer. The program can then be run from the flash drive or copied to the hard drive of the computer. In fact, you can place an operating system on a flash drive and boot up from the flash drive, once plugged into a computer. There is no need to install an additional OS on the computer.
Benefits of USB DAQ
The simple plug and play features of USB make it far more convenient than using PCI hardware which must be installed inside computers. In addition, you can save a great deal of space, because there is no need to install a lot of different components and systems. At the same time, you may be able to drastically reduce your data acquisition costs with portable units.
No Need to Install
The good thing about USB DAQ is the ease of installation. Because it is universal, most operating systems instantly recognize the interface. In fact, this kind of technology has the capability to communicate from one OS to another. This was almost unheard of just a few years ago.