USB Based Light Measurement System

Working with one of our customers, Dotstar Design was able to develop a custom measurement system. The customer had developed a specialised optical fibre probe which required hardware to control light output and measure the response using this probe. Dotstar Design was able to use our expertise to develop a full hardware and software solution to make use of the sensitive probe easy, intuitive and reliable.

The system was required to measure the response of the probe and the temperature every second over several hours continiously, storing the results on a Computer. The customer also required the system to be extensible to different numbers of channels in the future.

Dotstar Design chose to split the hardware design into two PCBs, one providing the sensors and circuit required to drive the probe (Sensor PCB), the second was a more generic PCB which provided the USB connectivity and power to multiple sensor PCBs (USB Interface PCB).

USB Interface PCB

In order to communicate between the USB interface PCB and Sensor PCBs a custom interface was developed, by controlling the hardware and software we were able to develop a high speed reliable interface which could ensure no data loss as well as allow the connection of many Sensor PCBs.

The sensor PCB was developed to drive a single probe and allow the connection of two K-type thermocouples, this provides the inputs for a single channel device. Many Sensor PCBs can be connected to the USB Interface PCB to allow the creation of flexible multi-channel systems.

Sensor PCB

To work with the hardware, a custom windows USB driver and application was developed. This software was developed to require minimal configuration and setup to ensure ease of use by the users. The software connects to the hardware and allows the user to setup and control tests. During the tests data is shown on configurable graphs in the application and exported to a file in real time.

If you have a similar project we could help with please contact us now to discuss your needs.

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