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Editor’s Pick: High-Shock Data Recorder Takes Mega-Samples

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

While the goal of virtual prototyping is to reduce the number of physical prototypes you bust up, you simply have to put the product to rigorous testing in a real-world environment. And sometimes you need a lot of feedback from the briefest of events — such as with biomechanics, blast, impact, and sports safety testing. The catch is that you can’t always lug a rack of data acquisition systems with you or accommodate delicate instruments in a work area that, say, involves smashing a car and dummy into a wall. You need something small, nimble, and high-shock resistant. Such a device caught my attention recently.

Diversified Technical Systems — DTS — recently introduced its SLICE PRO. The short story is that SLICE PRO is a small, modular, and shock-hardened data recorder system with mega-sample capabilities. SLICE PRO is available in 9- and 18-channel daisy-chainable configurations. It’s designed for test applications measuring parameters such as acceleration, displacement, force, strain, and temperature.

SLICE PRO is small, as in miniature. It weighs 26 oz. (726 g) and measures some 2.1 x 3.5 x 3.15 in. (52 x 90 x 80 mm) in its 18-channel module. To really get the idea of small, check out the picture of this baby in a 72-channel configuration that accompanies today’s Pick of the Week new product write-up. A good old number two pencil lies in front of it. Point is, you’ll be able to stuff a rack of the SLICE PRO into or near to most spots you need. And, as an aside, DTS also has a couple of smaller data acquisition systems — the SLICE NANO and SLICE MICRO — that might fit the bill.

Miniature, however, does not seem to be an appropriate descriptor for the SLICE PRO’s capabilities. First, that enclosure and its components are shock rated to 100 g. It can operate in a 32 to 140°F (0 to 60°C) temperature range, and the company implies in its literature that it can extend that range if you need it.

Now, in that enclosure the SLICE PRO has a controller, filters, transducer excitation, gain amplifiers, and a 16-bit ADC on each channel. The performance it offers includes sampling rates from 250 samples per second up to 1 million samples per second per channel. Your bandwidth options range up to 200 kHz. And the SLICE PRO’s sensor input channels are fully programmable and signal-conditioned to handle various sensors like IEPE accelerometers, load, MEMS, strain, and voltage devices.

SLICE PRO also comes with Ethernet and USB communications features as well as set-up and control software for Windows systems. You can read more details on that from the link over there. All of the specs, including the gritty details on signal conditioning, anti-aliasing, triggering, and what have you, can be found in the data sheet, a complimentary PDF download linked off the end of the main new product write-up.

The SLICE PRO sounds like a really versatile, high-performance data acquisition system. If your job involves crashing and bashing things around, SLICE PRO sounds like something you should look into.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.