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NetAcquire Family Overview

The NetAcquire product family supports telemetry applications as well as a wide range of other mission-critical aerospace applications areas. Regardless of the application, each member of the NetAcquire product family combines three key technologies: flexible data acquisition, real-time signal processing, and high-speed networking.

Together NetAcquire’s products offer low-cost network-enabled COTS solutions for many high performance distributed test and measurement applications that could previously be supported only by expensive one-off custom equipment.

The NetAcquire product family consists of over 60 off-the-shelf configurations designed to support a wide variety of applications such as:

This page describes the general hardware and software capabilities of the NetAcquire product line. For more detailed information, please contact us or select a topic from the menu on the left. Click here to download this overview in Adobe Acrobat format (get Acrobat here).

NetAcquire Hardware

NetAcquire systems are powerful real-time input/output controllers with integrated processing and networking. They provide interfaces between the "real world" of analog, digital, and PCM serial signals and the "network world" of interconnected data analysis and display systems. Onboard processor options offer billions of cycles of processing in ruggedized form-factors as small as hand-held.

All hardware input/output interfaces are modular to allow convenient mix-and-match system configuration to support almost any application requirement. Expansion is available up to 512 input/output channels and all I/O interfaces are software-configurable without programming. Hardware configurability allows creation of a wide range of different instruments, from telemetry gateways to spectrum analyzers and communications bridges.

A NetAcquire system is designed for autonomous "always on" operation. No keyboard or monitor connection is required. Modular network interface hardware allows remote communication with a NetAcquire system over almost any type of network.Pushing The Limits?

NetAcquire Software

Full-featured and well-integrated software is essential component of modern-day instrumentation in order to ensure mission-critical reliability, reduced development costs and risk, and ease-of-use in the field. NetAcquire systems include all the software needed to work "out-of-the-box":

Software Benefit
Real-time operating system Rapid, guaranteed response time with no dropped data
Building-block configuration architecture No programming required to configure systems
Hundreds of predefined data processing components Rapid application development of real-time functionality
Data archiving and storage management Automatic backup of critical data with replay capability
Remote Web-based administration, configuration and status Offers a graphical user interface that works from any operating system without installing software or runtime licenses
Open architecture and a programmer's Extension Toolkit Flexibility to conveniently expand the system to support unique requirements
Interactive data visualization tools View incoming data easily in graphical format
Advanced network data distribution and data sharing Maximum interoperability, unlimited number of user interface machines, and no distance limitation
High-reliability extensions (watchdog support and optional hot failover) Very high uptime (99.999%) for mission-critical applications
Extensive software qualification and test suites High-assurance and controlled operating environment for mission-critical applications

Distributed Architecture

NetAcquire systems use the proven client/server architecture for optimized real-time data acquisition and control. An operational system is composed of two parts: the NetAcquire server and the client. Core real-time activities such as data capture, processing and closed loop control are executed on the NetAcquire server close to the point of sensor connection. The less time-critical activities, such as data display, are located on one or more client computers running Windows, Linux, or Java.

The NetAcquire software environment is an open-architecture and allows customized extensions to tailor both client and server capabilities.

Server-side Core real-time activities such as data capture, buffering, processing and closed loop control are executed on the NetAcquire server close each hardware interface -- maximizes data quality and ensures timely data processing.
Client-side Data display and operator interfaces are located on one or more desktop computers running Windows or Linux -- allows familiar desktop graphic user interfaces with no distance limitation or scalability constraints.

Even in applications where a NetAcquire system is physically close to the desktop operator interface, there are important benefits to the automatic NetAcquire partitioning of an application onto two processors each running its own purpose-built software environment.

Server-side Intelligence and Real-Time Processing

NetAcquire Architecture

Click to enlarge

NetAcquire servers are equipped with multi-core processors. The advantages of local processing include the ability to do real-time data manipulation and simultaneous high-speed communication. The real-time operating system avoids the timing limitations inherent in desktop operating systems such as Windows. Additionally, high-speed local disk recording can preserve critical data for future retrieval.

NetAcquire servers come with a wide range of predefined functions already installed, including data processing, routing, analysis, alarming, and display.

Versatile Networking

NetAcquire networking supports standard unshielded twisted pair Ethernet, fiber optic, and even wireless connections.

NetAcquire servers support unlimited simultaneous client connections, sharing data anywhere on the network. Both server and client software use industry-standard protocols and incorporate advanced network routing, error checking, and recovery – if a packet is lost or corrupted, it can be  automatically re-sent.

NetAcquire servers can simultaneously communicate in real-time using multiple protocols including TCP, UDP, publish/subscribe and CORBA distributed objects.

Client-Side Options

NetAcquire "clients" are all other machines on a network that might want to exchange data with a NetAcquire system. Client machines often are Windows or Linux desktop machines, but also include other types of computers like file servers.

NetAcquire client machines often are responsible for operator interface and data display. Every NetAcquire system allows convenient graphic configuration and monitoring from anywhere on the network using a regular Web browser. Even real-time data display and graphing are available from within a browser using built-in Java applets.

In addition to the universal Web interface, many other options are available for creating user interfaces either with or without programming:


Visual Basic and Visual C/C++ Highly flexible customized interfaces
NI LabVIEW Drag-and-drop icon-based graphical user interface without programming
NetAcquire Windows Client Toolkit Read and display data directly in Microsoft Excel and other Windows programs
NetAcquire Java Client Toolkit Create custom user interfaces that are viewable from any Web browser
Satellite Tool Kit and IADS 3-D visualization and data analysis
TCP/UDP sockets Interface to your existing display software from using standard socket calls

More Information

NetAcquire offers a large number of product options which are available for many applications. We'd like to help -- please contact us by phone or e-mail. We'll quickly put you in touch with one of our application engineers that understands your unique requirements.

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Last modified 12/2/2016
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