Systems Delivered & Installed by Pacific Instruments
The following paragraphs discuss some recent installations of Pacific Instrumentís Series 6000
data acquisition systems and other mixed-product systems. Pacific will be happy to supply
additional details and technical contacts for any of these applications.
Real Time Multi-Directional Facility at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Requirement to provide specimen instrumentation for the new Real Time Multi-Directional (RTMD) facility located in the ATLSS Research Center at Lehigh University. The RTMD provides multi-directional real-time seismic testing, combined with real-time analytical simulations, to investigate the seismic behavior of large-scale structural components located at different geographic locations connected by the National Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) network.
Engineers at the University selected Pacificís Series 6000 integrated signal conditioning data acquisition system and PI660 software for acquisition, display and recording of specimen test data. The system consists of three enclosures with three types of signal conditioning data acquisition modules: (1) Model 6013 for LVDTs, voltage and thermocouples; (2) Model 6014 for accelerometers; and (3) Model 6033 for strain gages and bridge transducers. There are a total of 72 channels of Model 6013, 24 channels of Model 6014, and 160 channels of Model 6033.
The 6000 was selected in part for its ability to condition and digitize a wide variety of transducer types, which assures that it will be able to accommodate future unforeseen measurement requirements.
A description of the installed Pacific Instruments 6000 Data Acquisition System is available at NEES@Lehigh RTMD Users Guide Wiki.
Read more about this Structural Testing Product Application.
Aerojet General Corporation, Sacramento, California
Over a three-year period, Pacific supplied Series 6000 signal conditioning and data acquisition systems for seven rocket engine test stands. Each test stand had individual and unique requirements requiring custom hardware configurations. However, PI660 software was used universally for all stands to keep the operator interface consistent. This required some modifications to PI660 to accommodate all of the calibration and operating modes used at Aerojet, which was accomplished by Pacific in close cooperation with the facility engineers.
The signal conditioning consisted of several Series 6000 input module types accommodating thermocouples, LVDTs, RTDs, strain gages and high-bandwidth pressure and load measurements. Data for low-speed channels is recorded to hard drive directly from the 6000 input modules at up to 10 kS/s. For the high-bandwidth channels, the outputs of the 6000 signal conditioners are digitized by Integrated Circuits & Systemsí 32-channel, PCI-based digitizer cards at 109 KS/s and recorded to hard drive at throughput rates up to 25 MS/s. Low and high speed data files are synchronized and combined after the test into a single data file.
Read more about this Rocket Engine Test Stand Product Application.
Raytheon Aircraft Corporation, Wichita, Kansas
Pacific designed, manufactured and installed a networked data acquisition, display and analysis
system for aircraft structural and fatigue testing at Raytheon in Wichita, Kansas. First used
in 1998 to test and certify the Premier 1, a business jet, the system consists of two Windows NT
based data acquisition servers (operator workstations) running PI660 data acquisition and display
software with a total of 1,600 signal conditioning channels and four networked display workstations.
The Series 6000 signal conditioning-digitizing systems are mounted in cabinets with wheels that can
be located near the test aircraft on the shop floor. They are connected by fiber optic interfaces
to the operator workstations (servers) located 300 feet away in an environmentally conditioned area.
Data is displayed and recorded on the operator workstation and distributed by Ethernet to display
workstations for viewing. Since the initial installation, three operator workstations and 400 channels
have been added.
Signal conditioning is installed for strain gages, bridge transducers, thermocouples, voltages,
DC-LVDTs and digital I/O. Individual channels have four programmable hardware alarm limits that are
checked on each conversion cycle to warn of impending test article failure. The system also warns
the operator of open or shorted transducer excitation. The systems include UPS status monitoring
and perform and orderly shutdown with no data loss in the event of extended power outage.
The Pentium II based operator and display workstations receive and display real-time data from the
aircraft and calculate derived parameters. Data are displayed in engineering on tabular, strip chart,
bar graph, X-Y, oscilloscope, spectrum and annotated bitmap (picture) displays and exported by Ethernet
to data processing and archiving facilities at other locations.
The Raytheon systems were designed, manufactured and installed by Pacific Instruments. Operator
and system maintenance training were done at Wichita following installation. System engineer training
was done at Pacificís facility in Concord prior to shipment. Pacific supplied all of the operating
and display software. It is contractually committed to providing three years of on-site and telephone
support that includes 24-hour card exchange privileges.
Microcraft, San Diego and Los Angeles, California
In 1998 a Pacific Series 6000 data acquisition system and PI660 software were installed in the subsonic and supersonic wind tunnels operated by Microcraft in Los Angeles and San Diego. Using the PI660 and the Component Module DLL, Pacific and Microcraft engineers designed a container application for the system that controls PSI 8400 pressure scanners and records their data with that from transducers conditioned and digitized by the 6000 hardware.
Pacific has extensive experience interfacing Pressure Systems scanners. In addition to the 8400, Pacific has designed a software interface for the PSI 9016 Ethernet pressure scanners. Like the Microcraft system this was done with a custom container application using the PI660 Component Module DLL. Multiple Ethernet scanners are programmed, calibrated and controlled by the 6000ís operator workstation with their data recorded, converted to EU and distributed to display workstations with other transducer data. The result is a seamless interface in which the PSI measured pressures are handled like any other 6000 measurement.
Bombardier, Canadair Division, Montreal, Canada
The Canadair Division of Bombardier purchased a 250 channel Series 6000 system for structural testing of major airframe components for the stretched CRJ700 regional jet. Signal conditioning included strain gages, bridge transducers, DC-LVDTs, potentiometers, frequency, thermocouples and voltages. The system includes one operator workstation (server) and one display workstation (client) running Windows NT with PI660 and a custom container application interface.
Two significant features of the Bombardier system are analog output DACs and control and recording of external data streams from third-party hardware. The DACs are commercially available 16-output PCI cards installed in the operator workstation. Fed measurement data by PI660, they drive legacy oscillographs to display and hardcopy real-time measurement data. The external data streams come from an IRIG B time decoder and 1553 serial decoders that are also installed in the operator workstation. The external data is blended with other measurement data, recorded and inserted in the current value table that drives workstation displays.
Pacific designed, manufactured and tested the Bombardier system, but the customer did the installation. Pacific did system engineer, operator and maintenance training at the customerís facility in Montreal.
National Center Research for Earthquake Engineering (NCREE), Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
NCREE is a national research laboratory in Taiwan that does building and foundation design and testing. It is affiliated with the National University. Pacific designed, manufactured and installed a 248 channel acquisition and control system on NCREEís 5-meter by 5-meter, 6-degree of freedom shaker. A Taiwanese subcontractor under the supervision of Pacificís engineers did the on-site installation work.
This system is integrated with MTS load control equipment that produces specified acceleration waveforms on the test model. The Pacific made data acquisition measures, records and displays the forces using strain gages, bridge transducers and voltage mode accelerometers. The system also has RTDs for temperature measurement and potentiometers and LVDTs for position measurement. It monitors safety interlocks and can issue commands to shut down operation in the event of safety or load limit violations.
Twenty control channels are delivered to the MTS system by Ethernet to do force calculations using proprietary algorithms. The MTS system returns values to the pacific system that are fed to DACs that control forces applied to the table. Extensive design coordination was required between Pacific and MTS in the design and testing of the integrated control function of this system.
Pacific was responsible for the design, manufacture, testing and with its contractor in Taiwan installation and on-site testing and verification. MTS was responsible for the table and control system. Pacific did operator and system engineer training on-site in Taipei and using its contractor performs annual calibration and system re-certification. NCREE has purchased a Pacific ATS1000 that is consigned to the contractor for maintenance and annual calibration.
Thiokol Corporation, Elkton, Maryland
Thiokol does production rocket motor testing for Lockheed and the Navy. In 1999 they upgraded their test facility with a Pacific 6000 data acquisition system and custom operating software employing the PI660 Component Module DLL. Pacific did the design, manufacture, custom operating software and on-site training. The customer did system installation. After installation, Pacific engineers did a complete performance verification to the customerís specification.
In the spring of 1999, floods invaded the Thiokol test facility damaging the system. The signal conditioning was salvaged and Pacific replaced the data acquisition system and performed a new on-site performance verification. The system was back up and ready for use in 45 days.
This system is unique in that it uses Pacificís 9355 high-performance signal conditioning to achieve Ī300 Volt operating common mode, necessitated by electrical phenomena on the test stand. PI660 software was upgraded to control and operate the 9355s as though they were an integral component of the 6000 data acquisition system. The upgrade included supporting the shunt and voltage calibration modes as well as excitation, balance, gains and filters.
Thiokol required a step-by-step operator interface screen to assure that the correct test sequence was followed and digital I/O interlocks to implement control and safety functions. These were designed and implemented by Pacific at Thiokolís facility where engineers could have immediate access to knowledge of the test facility and user preferences. Support of seven legacy data output formats was an additional software requirement implemented by Pacific.
NASA - Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California
NASA Ames is major user of Pacific Instruments modular signal conditioning and systems. This facility has acquired over 2,500 channels from Pacific that are used in wind tunnels and other test facilities. In 1980, Pacific first sold NASA signal conditioning for the 40 foot by 80 foot wind tunnel that is still in use. Over the years, Pacific has supplied on-call maintenance and calibration services to NASA Ames and its contractors. In 1988 NASA Ames purchased an Automated Test System from Pacific for testing their inventory of amplifiers and signal conditioning. Pacific provided operator training and start-up assistance.