A new style of test and measurement software available from StrainSense – ‘NItrogen’ and ‘Dewetron Connector’ for bespoke Data Acquisition Systems

STAND D4 StrainSense / Dewetron

When it comes to test and measurement solutions a question which is often asked is what system architecture should I use? Can I use an off-the-shelf instrument with standard software or would it be better to go for a customised measurement solution, with tailor-made data acquisition software?

Offtheshelf solutions are usually well proven, available quickly, economically priced, and come with generic software with a number of options. But can they really fulfil your test and measurement requirements, especially if you have requirements which are unique. Maybe not, especially if the system needs to interact with an existing testing environment with predefined control and data interfaces, automatic data processing and approved evaluation procedures and report formats. What if these requirements change in future?

At this point many engineers start to consider customised measurement instruments with tailor made software. They will be able to cater for specific needs and are a good way to overcome such limitations. However, the development will take time, and this will reflect in higher costs. So is there a better alternative?

The Austrian test and measurement specialist Dewetron offers the most reliable data acquisition instruments with their new intuitive instrument software ‘Oxygen’. In addition, Dewetron now also offers the new product range of ‘open systems’. Based on the proven modular Dewetron hardware platform, the ‘Nitrogen’ software fills the gap between commercial off-the-shelf software and a custom programmed data acquisition application.

Like any other software, NItrogen is used to configure the measurement hardware, it acquires the raw data and performs real time calculation. Further data processing such as the visualization in strip charts and storing to data files is done by mini programs, the so-called NItrogen clients. Just like Apps on a smartphone they can be started and stopped independently and multiple instances can be run in parallel. This for example allows the recording of several data files simultaneously.

But here comes the revolutionary part: The source code of these mini programs is included, this allows engineers to modify and extend the range of these functions. Also entirely new functions such as data exports in custom file formats or even direct entering of results into report templates can be easily added. Empty app templates are provided for this purpose. Source code that maybe already exists can be reused in this way.

NItrogen is written in LabVIEW™ and can be maintained by anybody with a LabVIEW™ development license and programming ability. The customisation and further development can be done by the end-user, it can be offered by Dewetron or it could be done by local 3rd party service providers. This enables maximum independency, engineers no longer depend on a single source, and it allows the implementation of confidential data processing without the need to share sensitive knowhow. Since the apps already receive scaled, linearized and timestamped measurement values in engineering units, it’s no longer required to struggle with the specific hardware settings and measurement channel configurations, channel synchronisation, memory allocation etc.

A comprehensive set of Nitrogen clients is already available, including but not limited to common visualization elements such as strip charts, bar graphs, digital meters, gauges, FFT analysis, storing to different file formats, or forwarding data across the (W)LAN. Rather than reinventing the wheel and starting the programming procedure from scratch, the software development only needs to be completed. This minimizes the development time, effort, risk – and costs.

This is not all: for those who still prefer to write their own software from scratch – or for those who want to rewrite an existing test and measurement application for Dewetron hardware: the new “Dewetron Connector” also helps to skip the majority of the development work. It is much more than the usual instrument driver, but it is not yet an executable program. It is a set of functions that includes a ready to use GUI for the instrument setup as well as the complete acquisition and mathematics engine, providing the same scaled and timestamped data stream for easy integration into new or existing source code. The Dewetron Connector can be used with National instrument LabVIEW™, but also with other programming languages such as C, C++, Visual Basic, Python, Java etc.

Dewetron enables the programming of customised software – while helping to skip as much coding as possible.

Visit our Stand D4 for a demonstration and to view our complete sensor ranges including Vibration, Pressure, Position, Force and Strain.



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