My lab is looking for some good data acquisition for an experiment, and
I'm finding the array of options bewildering. I never was much for
If you don't mind, I'll just lay out what I'm looking for
and maybe someone can help.
My lab is building an x-ray detector. We're trying to test it,
that is, hook it up to an x-ray sample and measure it with a
SQUID or equally complicated device. We need to
continuously monitor the output and send the data to the computer when
we get a pulse.
My boss envisions some sort of data acquisiton device plugging
along, monitoring the sample continuously at intervals on the order of
microseconds. When there's a pulse from the detector, he
plans to have a third device (the detector itself, maybe?) send a
digital signal to the DAQ to be used for triggering. The system's
fairly complex, but it might be sufficient to have the DAQ trigger
itself on a rising voltage, so I think we need that. In any case, when
a rising voltage is detected, the DAQ actually has to take some data.
We need a baseline, so it'll have to have a buffer that is included in
the data it sends off to the computer. We expect pulses at random
intervals, but at approximately 3-4 times a second. The DAQ will
have to pretty much all the work itself, because the computer won't be
able to work at those speeds. Basically, I need to be able to assume no
intervention from the computer until the data acquisition is complete.
So, I need a DAQ that can acquire at intervals of 1-100 microseconds
and has at least a 14-bit resolution. It needs to play well with
triggering and have a decent buffer. Finally, it has to be very
programmable and almost-independent of the computer. I think this
is a fairly common set of requirements, but, like I said, I'm bad at
On a slightly related note- I'm currently running LabWindows 6, which
has no built-in support for DAQmx. Will I need to upgrade that too? Is
it possible to get DAQmx to play with earlier versions of LabWindows?