CR9000 Measurement and Control System PCMCIA-ATA Software Device Interface

Ryan Jon Soulier, Utah State University


Many industries have a need for high speed data collection of a large amount of data. For example, the auto industry extensively tests vehicles for resistance to stress, temperature, and moisture. Campbell Scientific, Inc. (CSI) has built the CR9000 measurement and control system that fills this need by being able to measure up to 252 separate sensors at a sustained rate of up to ten thousand samples per second.

The CR9000 system lacks efficiency because it has only a small, fixed amount of memory and is capable of recording data only for a short period. Older devices designed by CSI had to be supported with additional PC software and were large and bulky, making it inconvenient to transport them from one site to another.

To rectify this, the designers of the CR9000 included two type II PCM CIA' slots for upgrading the memory. The PCMCIA standard has been adopted by a variety of portable computer platforms, which ensures long-time support for the standard. Devices are already available to use in the slot, and it is not necessary to design a new memory module. PCMCIA slots are currently being added to most portable computers, which makes the cards usable for not just upgrading the CR9000 available memory but for transporting data between a host computer and the CR9000.

The PCMCIA interface has been successfully integrated in the CR9000 operating system. This software is currently being used by companies all over the world for data collection in a variety of environments. Testing has shown that the AT A devices are capable of holding large amounts of data, while maintaining a high speed of data collection.

This report details the implementation of this software.