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  • Monday, May 19, 2014
  • ACEP at Work: BlackBox Project Logbook – Project Update

Project Description:

The BlackBox Project consists of the design, construction and testing of a remote data acquisition system. The goal of the project is to develop a fully self-contained system that can be left in the field unmonitored for extended periods of time.

Progress Update:

The BlackBox is now online and fully operational from remote access.  A virtual private network (VPN) was created with the router support software, eCatcher. The connection to the BlackBox was then established through a secure shell (SSH) protocol.

An experimental setup was built in order to test the I/O interface. The software packages had to be compiled and installed so that the hardware signals could be read. As a result, another important milestone, the proof of concept with I/O interface was achieved. Data acquisition routines are now currently being worked on.  (As of now a prototype routine for continuous data acquisition was successfully established.)

A network file system (NFS) drive was created on the Buffalo Terastation. Preliminary results were obtained using ‘iozone’ and gave an insight of how the data should be transferred between the I/O interface and the Terastation. The I/O interface still needs to automatically mount the remote drive in order to access it, which is a work in progress.         

Minor issues were encountered and resolved:

The root filesystem was corrupted.  To solve this, a new distribution of fedora 20 with a lighter desktop environment was installed.

The CMOS battery of the BlackBox computer had to be replaced in order for the system to retain correct date and time settings.

Photo: The BlackBox sits ready to have its components installed into it at a workstation within ACEP’s Energy Technology Laboratory.  Courtesy MFrey, ACEP/UAF.