Mining Publication: A Miniature Data Acquisition System with LED Warning Lights
Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have developed a miniature data acquisition system (MIDAS) that can measure resistance changes and temperature, store data for later retrieval, and illuminate LED lights. This instrument can be used with strain-gaged bolts, cable bolts, CSIRO stress-measuring gages, string pots, and any other instrument that uses single-ended, resistance-type gages. MIDAS has the capability to measure up to 16 gages at preset time intervals and store more than 2000 scans, yet is small enough to fit in a 35-mm hole. Because the MIDAS consumes little power, a 9-V alkaline battery will operate the system for 6 months. Data from the MIDAS can be sent to a PC via an RS232/RS485/IRdA port. A software program was written to set operation parameters, graph data, and store all information directly to a spreadsheet. Three LED lights change from green to yellow then red based on reading levels and/or rates of change. This feature can be used with different types of gages to warn miners of possible rock instabilities. The MIDAS has received MSHA experimental permissibility approval and is currently being tested at several mines.