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  • Monday, May 26, 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 completely self-contained system that can be left in the field unmonitored for extended periods of time.

Progress Update:

Routines for automated sampling and writing to netCDF files have been successfully tested.  Preliminary tests show that the current hardware setup is able to sample at a frequency up to 3 kHz.  The next step is to implement real-time libraries (i.e. RTAI) and adapt the automated sampling routines to be triggered in a coordinated and precise way.          

Issues with the network infrastructure provided by the router vendor (eWON) were encountered.  It was common for the connection to be lost due to timeout while using the proprietary software (eCatcher) provided by the vendor.  (This could be due to a slow connection to their server.)  This is an important issue because once the project is deployed in the field the internet connection is bound to be very limited when compared to the connection speed of the UAF campus.

We are currently working with the UAF OIT department to configure the network in order to use the local internet infrastructure to log in remotely to the BlackBox.  Although we are able to set it up and running, it still needs to be done manually. In the future this process will run automatically after the boot up of the system, right before the start of automatic data-logging.

Additionally the conventions to be used in the netCDF files were established.  This will provide consistency between all the netCDF files and the database queries.

Photo: The BlackBox test stand along with all of its other components sits in its new location after it had to be moved to make room for further alterations to the ETF for the upcoming Hatch flywheel test.  Courtesy of M. Frey, ACEP/UAF.