By Paul Campbell

The fast paced advancement of digital technology is providing a variety of new options for datalogger communications, and for networking dataloggers to computers and intelligent peripherals. The benefits to those involved with data acquisition include larger data storage capacity, faster, more robust data transfer, and expanded capability through interfacing to intelligent devices.

Advances in memory density, especially non-volatile FLASH memory, has dramatically increased on-site data storage capacity. The CR10X memory options now offer more than 30 times the data storage formerly available. CR9000 memory cards are available with over 1 Gbyte of data storage. The SM16M, referenced in this Update, stores up to 8 million low resolution data values .

Campbell Scientific is working to bring the benefits of telecommunication advances to customers. Our dataloggers support data collection by GOES, Argos, INMARSAT-C, and QUALCOMM satellites. Our RF efforts include RF95-based UHF and VHF networks, spread spectrum data radios, and Meteor Communication Corp.’s (MCC) meteor burst and extended line-of-sight radios. In 1980 we built our first dc powered, 300 baud phone modem. Today cellular phones provide an additional option, and voice synthesis is available with our COM300 modem. Data can now be retrieved over an Internet link using our new NL100 Network Link Interface, a technology offering great future potential.

There is an increasing priority to adopt standard communication protocols for interfacing directly to digital devices from different manufacturers. For example, the Internet is built upon the "packet switched" Internet Protocol (IP). Packet switched protocols organize data in autonomous blocks, each with its own network routing address. Common computer networks such as the Internet are based upon such protocols. Additionally, such protocols provide more robust communications across private networks such as MCC’s meteor burst and extended line-of-sight radios, and QUALCOMM’s satellite system.

One of the challenges faced by instrument manufacturers is supporting past products, especially ones embraced by many customers, while implementing new technology. In the case of communication peripherals, this challenge is addressed by supporting established standards. The NL100 is an example, allowing Campbell Scientific dataloggers to connect directly into an existing coaxial multidrop network or an ethernet network using IP.

Campbell Scientific is committed to providing products that respect your past investment in our dataloggers while incorporating the technological advances that are occurring more frequently now and into the future.

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