Data acquisition - the need for speed

Data acquisition - the need for speed

A supplier to the aerospace industry required a high-speed data acquisition system to help them evaluate the novel sensing technology we developed for them. The sensor system was a safety-critical aircraft component.

42T developed the electronics and firmware to capture signals with a sample rate exceeding 500Msamples/s. The capture system was implemented on an FPGA.

The FPGA firmware comprised an ADC sequencer, memory controller, acquisition sequencer, boot memory controller and interface to a host micro-controller. The captured data could be downloaded for offline feature recognition during development.

Data acquisition - the need for speed

Once the detection algorithms had been developed, the acquisition firmware provided hooks for the client to include these for on-board analysis of the acquired signals. Along with tests at our client’s site, our work on this resulted in validating the sensor technology we developed as being at TRL6 (Technology Readiness Level 6).

Project achievements

  • High-speed data acquisition system capable of >500Msamples/s
  • Option for off-line or on-line analysis of the captured data


The delivered system was utilised in extended laboratory testing by the client who was very happy with the project outcome.

42T’s Head of Electronics & Software, Paul Bearpark, said, “The novel sensing technology we had developed required a method of validation and a way for our client to be able to interface to it. We quickly developed a high-speed acquisition system that enabled it to be integrated with their systems and tested at their site.”

If you would like to find out more, please contact Paul Bearpark: | +44 (0)1480 302700


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