Development of a synchronous galvanically isolated measuring system
Van der Merwe, Christoffel Jacobus
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Perhaps the most useful area of electronic engineering involves the gathering and manipulation of data from an industrial process or a scientific experiment. The industrial process can be electrical, mechanical, thermo dynamical, or combinations thereof. Once data are collected from the process, modelling, parameter estimation, condition monitoring and fault detection can be done on the system. Data acquisition devices are used to capture the needed data. These devices are usually purchased off-the-shelf but custom-made systems are designed when commercially available systems fall short. The purpose of this project is to develop a custom-made measuring system. This system must generate and acquire wave-forms at multiple points synchronously. Intended applications include input-output mapping and determining the transfer function of a process. This system should be a less costly alternative to commercially available systems, flexible and user-friendly. In addition, the system should be able to take high speed high resolution measurements and should have superior galvanic isolation. A complete measuring system capable of signal injection and data acquisition was developed. Hardware, firmware and software were developed by following a simple systems engineering approach. The system was tested to close the engineering design loop. Although a 16-bit data acquisition system requires high precision instruments for testing, simpler tests were designed to test certain aspects of the system. These tests proved to be sufficient to illustrate the concept of a synchronous, multi-node, galvanic isolated measurement system, This project was done, based on a requirement in the industry. The requirement was to have a low-cost high accuracy, high speed, galvanic isolated, synchronous measurement system to inject signals into a system and to measure signals in a system. Many off-the-shelf systems exist, but are either too complex for the intended purpose or costly. The solution to this problem was to develop a low cost measuring system that could accomplish tasks such as input-output mapping at multiple points.
- Engineering