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Simcenter SCADAS

Simcenter SCADAS is a data acquisition hardware platform commonly used for noise, vibration, and durability measurements (Figure 1).  
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Figure 1: Simcenter SCADAS hardware family.

The Simcenter SCADAS hardware collects data from analog transducers with sampling rates up to 204.8 kHz per channel.  The hardware can provide signal conditioning to ICP transducers (accelerometers and microphones), strain gauges, polarized microphones, string pots, and more.

The data is converted from analog to digital on the SCADAS hardware. It can be displayed in real-time on a connected PC or recorded to internal SCADAS storage for later retrieval.

Note!:The name “SCADAS” should not be confused with “SCADA” (no “S” at the end).  These are two different things!:
  • SCADAS: Signal Conditioning and Data Acquisition System – High speed (200 kHz sampling per channel) data acquisition hardware for noise, vibration, durability applications.  SCADAS hardware is covered in this article.
  • SCADA: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – Software to gather data in real-time to control equipment and conditions.  For example, used in industrial factory settings to monitor equipment. SCADA is not covered in this article.

Article Contents:
1. Simcenter SCADAS Introduction
2. Simcenter SCADAS Lab 
3. Simcenter SCADAS Mobile and Recorder 
4. Simcenter SCADAS Cards  
5. Simcenter SCADAS Connections 
6. Simcenter SCADAS XS 
7. Simcenter SCADAS RS  
8. Simcenter SCADAS RS Conditioning Units

1. Simcenter SCADAS Introduction

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Simcenter SCADAS is a data acquisition hardware platform made by Siemens Digital Industries Software (Figure 2).  
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Figure 2: Simcenter SCADAS hardware family.
It is commonly used to measure the noise, vibration, or durability performance of a product under development.  

Accelerometers, microphones, and strain gauges are often used with the SCADAS hardware to collect performance data during key development tests.
The SCADAS hardware features built-in signal conditioning to power transducers.  The analog signals of the transducers are collected at speeds up to 200 kHz per channel.

The collected data is displayed (in real-time and in post processing) using Simcenter Testlab software.

The Simcenter SCADAS systems come in a variety of form factors as shown in Figure 3:
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Figure 3: There are four base models of SCADAS hardware: SCADAS XS (handheld), SCADAS RS (ruggedized for outdoor use), SCADAS Mobile/Recorder (field or lab), SCADAS Lab (rack mounted lab based).

The base models include:
  • SCADAS Lab: 19 -inch rack mounted hardware system for laboratory testing. Wide variety of signal conditioning including strain, accelerometers, charge, and more.
  • SCADAS Mobile/Recorder: Suitable for lab or mobile testing.  Wide variety of signal conditioning including strain, accelerometers, charge, and more. Has built-in battery backup.
  • SCADAS XS: The SCADAS XS is hand-held portable data acquisition unit with up to 12 voltage/ICP inputs, GPS, CAN bus, Headset, Tachometer inputs.
  • SCADAS RS: Ruggedized acquisition hardware (IP65) with 250 Gb of internal storage.
These different SCADAS hardware models are described further in the next sections.

2. Simcenter SCADAS Lab

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The Simcenter SCADAS Lab comes in a 19-inch rack-mountable frame (Figure 4):
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Figure 4: 19-inch rack-mountable Simcenter SCADAS Lab 

A single Simcenter SCADAS Lab frame can hold from eight (8) to more than 1000 channels:
  • Up to 204.8 kHz sampling per data channel
  • 16 expansion slots to hold various SCADAS input cards (see upcoming section) 
  • 24-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)
  • Up to 19 MegaSamples/second aggregate throughput rate
The Simcenter SCADAS Lab has a fan and has no built-in battery.

Due to its high channel density, the Simcenter SCADAS Lab  is ideal for high bandwidth, high channel applications (Figure 5):
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Figure 5: SCADAS Lab used in high channel count dynamic test.
SCADAS Lab systems are often used in high channel count, high speed applications like jet engine testing: High Channel Count Dynamic Data Acquisition.

3. Simcenter SCADAS Mobile and Recorder

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The Simcenter SCADAS Mobile and Simcenter SCADAS Recorder are fanless units that have built-in battery backup.  The differences between the units:
  • Simcenter SCADAS Mobile: Comes with two source signal generators, two tachometer inputs, digital CAN bus input, and ethernet connection for use with PC.  Depending on the frame size, there can be one (1) to nine (9) slots available for input cards.
  • Simcenter SCADAS Recorder: Same as the SCADAS Mobile, with the addition of a built-in GPS and a Compact Flash for headless measurements.
The different frame options are shown in Figure 6
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Figure 6:  From top to bottom: SCADAS 1-slot frame (SCADAS 01), SCADAS 2-slot frame (SCADAS 02), SCADAS 5-slot frame (SCADAS 05), SCADAS 9-slot frame (SCADAS 09).

A typical Simcenter SCADAS or Simcenter SCADAS Mobile configuration is shown in Figure 7:
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Figure 7: A SCADAS Mobile/Recorder consists of modular parts: power supply, control card, input cards contained within a frame.
Because the SCADAS Mobile and SCADAS Recorder have a built-in battery and normal mains power, they are suitable for both laboratory and field testing as shown in Figure 8:
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Figure 8: SCADAS Mobile and SCADAS Recorder are suitable for laboratory testing (left) and mobile testing (right).
More information: Simcenter SCADAS Mobile and SCADAS Recorder.

4. Simcenter SCADAS Cards

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There are several different types of input cards that can be placed in available slots of a Simcenter SCADAS Lab/Mobile/Recorder (Figure 9).  
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Figure 9: Simcenter SCADAS input cards have a large variety of signal conditioning options.
Sampling rates can be up to 204.8 kHz on most 8 channel cards.  The 24 channel (V24) voltage/ICP card samples up to 51.2 kHz.  Sampling rates can be set lower, and it is possible to set the sampling rate on each channel independently of the others.

The cards can be placed in the frames, and the Simcenter Testlab software will recognize the card on startup.  The channel input options in the software are automatically updated for reflect the available options in the hardware.

The input card conditioning options for Simcenter SCADAS Lab, Simcenter SCADAS Mobile, and Simcenter SCADAS Recorder include:
  • Voltage/ICP
  • Voltage/ICP/Bridge
  • Voltage/ICP/Polarized Microphone
  • Voltage/ICP/Charge
  • Dynamic strain
  • Thermocouple
  • CAN Bus
  • Source Output
  • Encoder card (Four tachometers OR two incremental encoders)
  • And more…
The signal conditioning type is selectable per channel. For example, on a single card the first input could be a voltage transducer, the second a ICP microphone, and third a strain gauge, etc.

A complete list of SCADAS cards: Simcenter SCADAS Mobile and SCADAS Recorder

5. Simcenter SCADAS Connections 

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It is possible to daisychain SCADAS Mobile and SCADAS Recorders together. This gives users the flexibility to combine two separate SCADAS units into a single larger unit with higher channel count.

This is done with a main-secondary connection (fiber optic cable) that makes the two separate units operate as one as shown in Figure 10.
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Figure 10: Simcenter SCADAS Mobile/Recorder Main-Secondary cables and card.
Data from multiple units are perfectly synced, produces one file with the data combined from multiple. They are controlled by a single PC as shown in Figure 11:
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Figure 11: A single PC controls two daisy chained Simcenter SCADAS  units.  All data is contained in a single file at the end of the acquisition.
The fiber optic cable can also be 100 meters long to spread units over multiple locations to have shorter cable runs to the transducers when testing large structures.

More information on Simcenter SCADAS cables: 

6. Simcenter SCADAS XS 

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The Simcenter SCADAS XS is a 12 or 6 voltage/ICP channel handheld data acquisition unit.  It has a built-in micro-SD card and is USB powered.  

The USB and micro-SD option allows the SCADAS XS to be used in three different modes:
  • Simcenter Testlab with PC: Through the USB, the SCADAS XS can be used with Simcenter Testlab to do impact measurements, data recording, etc.
  • Scope App Remote Control via Tablet: Set up, recording, and analysis via a wireless tablet.
  • Standalone: Press the record and/or replay button on the SCADAS XS.
When using the SCADAS XS with the wireless tablet (Figure 12) or in standalone mode, the data is recorded on the internal micro-SD card. Scope App software is used on tablet.
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Figure 12: Simcenter SCADAS XS data acquisition via wireless table control.
More information setup, recording, viewing, and analysis with the Scope App at: My Simcenter Testlab Scope App Favorites!

It also comes with GPS, CAN bus, an additional headset input, two tachometer inputs as shown in Figure 13:
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Figure 13: SCADAS XS inputs include voltage/ICP channels, dual tachometer inputs, headset, CAN bus, and GPS/GNSS.
The small size of the Simcenter SCADAS XS makes it ideal for testing products with limited space as shown in Figure 14:
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Figure 14: Simcenter SCADAS XS goes for a ride on the back of a motorcycle.

More information on the Simcenter SCADAS XS in the knowledge article: Simcenter SCADAS XS: Everything you need to know!

7. Simcenter SCADAS RS  

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The Simcenter SCADAS RS is a ruggedized data acquisition unit (Figure 15). 
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Figure 15: Simcenter SCADAS RS is designed for extended use in outdoor settings.
The Simcenter SCADAS RS has ingress protection (for water and dust) ratings of IP66 and IP67 (depending on exact unit), and a temperature range from -40 degrees Celsius to 65 degree Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit to 150 degrees Fahrenheit).

It has a modular construction where different units can be combined as needed (Figure 16).
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Figure 16: Simcenter SCADAS RS modular construction allows different units to be combined.

Unit types include a power unit, a recorder (i.e., “brains” unit), and conditioning modules. 

The recorder unit contains a GPS (or GNSS) input, four Controller Area Network (CAN) bus inputs, and four digital inputs. It has 240 Gb of storage.

The recorder unit also has built-in software called the Simcenter RS Recorder App (Figure 17) that can be accessed via a browser on any device using the onboard Wi-Fi connection.  
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Figure 17: The Simcenter RS Recorder App runs on the REC hardware.  It can be accessed from a web browser on any device without installing software.

The Simcenter RS Recorder App can be used to setup the test, record data, and view afterwards,  Because the software runs on the SCADAS RS itself, no software needs to be installed on the viewing device: Simcenter SCADAS RS Recorder App.

More information here on SCADAS RS: Simcenter SCADAS RS for Testing in Harsh Environments.

Available conditioning units for the SCADAS RS are described in the next section.

8. Simcenter SCADAS RS Conditioning Units

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Simcenter SCADAS RS signal conditioning units (Figure 18) can be daisychained to the base recorders/power units.
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Figure 18: Simcenter SCADAS RS Conditioning Units

The conditioning units include:
  • S24: Twenty four (24) channel input unit for voltage/ICP transducers.
  • B24: Twenty four (24) channel input unit for bridge transducers, includes completion resistors.
  • U12: Twelve (12) channel input unit for voltage/icp/bridge transducers.
  • T20: Twenty (20) channel thermocouple unit.

More information on conditioning units here: Simcenter SCADAS RS for Testing in Harsh Environments.

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