RADIO DATA ACQUISITION
Unlike with radio data acquisition, the expenses in wired installations are increasing, and so is the demand for distributed remote sensing, industrial data acquisition and control systems. All this has made wireless radio data acquisition technology very crucial in today's operations. Nowadays, industries are moving towards wireless communications to improve their products and processes and are implementing wireless networks that are cost effective, flexible, and smaller in size.
Data collection or data acquisition techniques, which employ radio telemetry, are called radio data acquisition systems. These systems reduce the hassles of complex cabling, high maintenance and offer cost-effective installations.
The RF (radio frequency) transceiver is the central component of a typical radio data acquisition system. A base station has a radio modem, which receives data from a remote station modem using the RS-232 or similar standard port connected to a computer.
Once set up, radio data acquisition can be remotely handled by the machines without human inspection or interference. These systems can be installed in both low-cost applications as well as high-end critical monitoring applications.
Radio data acquisition systems can be classified into two categories depending on their usage:
- Wide range data acquisition systems, which use technologies like GSM, GPRS, etc. and
- Narrow range systems based on wireless LAN technology.
Advantages radio data acquisition systems provide:
- These systems are easy to install and incur less installation cost.
- They can be connected to mobile sensors.
- These systems require less maintenance and servicing.
- They operate efficiently in RF dense environments.
- They can tolerate temperatures of -40oC to 80oC.
Some of the applications of radio data acquisition systems:
- Radio data acquisition systems are effective in locations known to have high levels of electro-magnetic interference (EMI). Power stations use these systems to monitor generating equipment and switching systems in high-EMI areas within plants.
- Applications that use high voltage use radio data acquisition systems heavily. A radio modem connected to data loggers and a PC is used to transmit real-time information from high-voltage platforms to a central controlling unit to monitor equipment status.
- Industrial radio data acquisition systems are used on assembly lines to examine the performance of the manufacturing process. These systems send information to production and quality control units that keep track of units that are not produced as desired.
- Radio data acquisition systems are used in automotive industries to test manufactured vehicles. A data acquisition system is connected to various points on the vehicle. A GPS (global positioning system) is also connected to the DA system. Using this set, a vehicle is tested under actual running condition.
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