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External Sensor Input Product Line

Stephen HanlyStephen Hanly Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 60 admin
edited September 2018 in Product Feedback

Objective

Enable users to input external sensors that take advantage of improved data quality and size yet still benefiting from our ease-of-use and portability.

Description

We have targeted a higher-end market of test engineers that tend to have a better understanding of sensing applications compared to other data logger products. Our embedded sensors are very good relative to those products but they still fail to compete with other applications which require even better resolution, sensitivity, lower noise, smaller mechanical form factor etc. With our lack of time synchronization there is also little chance of users to do modal testing but if we enabled 2 to 4 inputs that are sampled at the same time we would be able to address that market.

There are also some applications that require a very small sensor to provide minimal impact to the environment; but they still need portability and ease of use. The most attractive feature of this development would be that we would be able to target other sensing types without doing custom developments each time. The external inputs would allow users to customize for their needs.

A prototype was developed for the Navy, shown below, and installed in a ship for a 7 month sea trial. These systems will take 4 thermocouple measurements once every 15 minutes for over 2 years.

Requirements

  • Keep as many embedded sensors as possible
  • Larger battery to power and acquire data from additional sensors for longer periods
  • Customizable sensor types (different conditioning boards/modules) to meet greater array of sensors
  • Module for thermocouples
  • Module for 2-wire sensors (traditional piezoelectric sensors and generic analog)
  • Module for 4-wire strain gauge based sensors
  • Base recording system have 2 modules, each module with 2-4 channels
  • If possible, interface with TEDS sensors to self-describe the sensor attached further making the use easy

Deliverables/Phases

  • Start with base system and thermocouple input
  • Second module enables the input of 2-wire sensors
  • Third module enables the input of 4-wire strain gauge based sensors
  • Develop products with integrated conditioning/modules to the base electronics for potentially lower cost and smaller size

Cost to the Customer

The recording system that accepts these external inputs will be a little more complex than the line of fully embbeded sensors. The system will likely cost on the order of $1,500 and then $500 per module. Additional cost for specific sensors but those sensors can be purchased by other vendors too and will range in cost of $300 to $1,500.

User Stories

  1. Long term shipboard test: A characterization of an engine room is needed on a Navy ship. Several different temperature locations are needed and the test will run for several months.
  2. Car vibration test: A mechanical engineer is developing a new support structure in a Humvee and they need to first understand how the current structure performs in real-world settings, then characterize the new prototypes. They have 8 locations throughout the Humvee they want to monitor and make sure the data is all synchronized. They don't mind running some wires, they are more concerned with ease of use, survivability, and portability.

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