Skip to main content

Using Low-Cost “Garage Band” Recording Technology for Acquiring High Resolution High-Speed Data...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Sensors and Instrumentation, Aircraft/Aerospace, Energy Harvesting & Dynamic Environments Testing, Volume 7: Proceedings of the 38th IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2020
Publication Date
Page Numbers
175 to 183
Conference Name
Conference Location
Houston, Texas, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Society for Experimental Mechanics
Conference Date

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed and tested a novel system architecture for acquiring high fidelity high-speed data. The approach uses a consumer grade audio recording device that is normally associated with “garage band” recording of music. ORNL has coupled this low-cost data acquisition hardware with computing technology running open-source software. The main advantage of this approach is per-channel cost; an instrument grade data acquisition system typically costs between $800 to $2000 per channel compared to less than $50 per channel for these consumer grade components. Three systems, each featuring four channels, have been deployed for acquiring data from geophones and the electrical supply system that supports the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) at ORNL. Each channel samples at 96 kHz at 24-bit resolution. The deployed systems operate continuously 24/7 and produce about 4 terabytes of data per month per system. This paper provides a technical overview of this approach, its implementation, and some preliminary results from qualification testing. This work was conducted in support of the Multi-Informatics for Nuclear Operations Scenarios (MINOS).

Keywords: Data acquisition Measurement Informatics