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Analog Signal Conditioning for Accurate Measurements

By Jon Titus Q: Should I put some sort of circuit between my sensor and an analog-to-digital converter? A:Yes. You probably need some signal conditioning. The explanation below goes on for a bit, but stay with it and you'll understand what you need and why you need it. Before you make any connections, get the electrical specifications for the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and for the sensor or sensors in your system. Let's assume the data-acquisition module uses a Maxim Integrated Products MAX197 12-bit ADC. This device can accept eight differential (2-wire) inputs or 16 single-ended (1-wire) inputs. Maxim's specifications show an input impedance of 21 kohms for single-ended inputs and 16 kohms for differential inputs.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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High Precision Multi-channel PXIe Systems Realize More Efficient Wind Tunnel Testing

Wind tunnel testing is widely used in large-scale aerodynamic design projects. Even so, the requirement for large numbers of sensors over large areas of the devices to be tested presents major challenges in data acquisition and retrieval. The article discusses use of multi-channel PXIe systems to achieve fully synchronous, high-efficiency, highly precise measurement solutions. Attributes include: PXIe technology providing effective single-system integration with multiple combinations of a wide variety of sensors PXIe platforms’ PC-based structure delivering easily deployed superior computing power along with networking capability, minimizing development time and simplifying setup

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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How to Maximize Temperature Measurement Accuracy

Thermocouples are the most versatile and widely used devices for temperature measurements. Most test engineers are aware of the measurement errors caused by thermocouples but not always about the errors caused by the measurement system itself. This technical note will focus on the lesser known and important aspect called "Self-Calibration" and how it can be used to overcome errors in temperature measurement.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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Building a Test System for High-Speed Data Streaming Applications

High-speed data streaming applications typically require maximum accuracy and long sampling times, including such applications as spectral monitoring, signal intelligence, LIDAR testing, optical fiber testing, radar and satellite signal acquisition, and software defined radio systems. These present unique engineering challenges requiring high throughput, and identifying design flaws and problems can contribute to reduced development costs and time to market, avoiding field recalls and costly system redesigns. The white paper discusses techniques for optimizing configuration of systems supporting high-bandwidth applications, by: Enabling high-speed real-time data streaming Designing applications optimizing system streaming performance Furnishing benchmarks that can be achieved in stream-to-disk and stream-to-memory applications

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Improving Fidelity of Noise Repetitive Signals with Signal Averaging Technology

For many high-speed data acquisition applications requiring extraction of small repetitive signals from noisy environments, such as LIDAR or optical fiber testing, minimizing the effects of noise is a challenge for system design. Signal averaging provides dependable and efficient results. The article illustrates how FPGA-based signal averaging technology processes signals and reduces noise effects, improving signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) without occupying valuable CPU bandwidth.

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Fundamentals of Vector Network Analysis Primer

One of the most common measuring tasks in RF engineering involves analysis of circuits (networks). A network analyzer is an instrument that is designed to handle this job with great precision and efficiency. Circuits that can be analyzed using network analyzers range from simple devices such as filters and amplifiers to complex modules used in communications satellites

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Oscilloscope Fundamentals Primer

The oscilloscope is arguably one of the most useful tools ever created for use by electronic engineers. In the more than five decades since the modern analog oscilloscope was created, hundreds of useful documents and thousands of articles have been written about what it is, how it works, how to use it, and application-specific examples of the “oscilloscope” in action. It is the purpose of this primer to instead describe digital oscilloscopes, which have for practical purposes replaced their analog predecessors in the vast majority of applications. Covered here is a short description of the oscilloscope’s origins, its transition from analog to digital, types of digital oscilloscopes and their major subsystems, key benchmark specifications, and measurements.

Posted in: Test & Measurement, White Papers

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