Measurement and Controls Data Acquisition System (MCDAS) is an application program that integrates the functions of two stand-alone programs: one for acquisition of data, the other for controls.

MCDAS facilitates and improves testing of complex engineering systems by helping to perform calibration and setup of test systems and acquisition, dissemination, and processing of data. Features of MCDAS include an intuitive, user-friendly graphical user interface, a capability for acquiring data at rates greater than previously possible, cooperation between the data-acquisition software subsystem and alarm-checking and analytical components of the control software subsystem, and a capability for dissemination of data through fiber optics and virtual and widearea networks, including networks that contain hand-held display units. The integration of the data acquisition and control software offers a safety advantage by making alarm information available to the control software in a more timely manner. By enabling the use of hand-held devices, MCDAS reduces the time spent by technicians asking for screen updates to determine effects of setup actions. Previously recorded data can be processed without interruption to current acquisition of data. Analysts can continue to view test parameters while test-data files are being generated.

This program was written by Rick Hall of Marshall Space Flight Center, Alice Daniel formerly of UNITes (NTSI), and Frank E. Batts, Sr. of Langley Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category. MFS-32014-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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