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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(1):162-79. doi: 10.3390/s110100162. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Position-controlled data acquisition embedded system for magnetic NDE of bridge stay cables.

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  • 1Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Structural Engineering Research Laboratory, Ueberlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland.


This work presents a custom-tailored sensing and data acquisition embedded system, designed to be integrated in a new magnetic NDE inspection device under development at Empa, a device intended for routine testing of large diameter bridge stay cables. The data acquisition (DAQ) system fulfills the speed and resolution requirements of the application and is able to continuously capture and store up to 2 GB of data at a sampling rate of 27 kS/s, with 12-bit resolution. This paper describes the DAQ system in detail, including both hardware and software implementation, as well as the key design challenges and the techniques employed to meet the specifications. Experimental results showing the performance of the system are also presented.


bridge stay cables; data acquisition; embedded system; magnetic NDE

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