DECEMBER 9--Endevco (San Juan Capistrano, CA) has announced a collaborative initiative with National Instruments (NI; Austin, TX) to promote widespread adoption of IEEE P1451.4. The Plug & Play Sensors Program aims to create an open sensors standard, giving systems integrators and end users the ability to automatically configure measurement and automation systems for sensors. Systems integrators and end users will be able to simplify sensor setup, use, and maintenance; automatically obtain calibration data; and eliminate manual data entry and error.
IEEE P1451.4 proposes that sensors include an embedded, low-cost memory chip containing standardized transducer electronic data sheets (TEDS). TEDS store important sensor information and parameters for self-identification and self-description, eliminating the need to manually input this data when configuring a system. NI has made a TEDS library for LabVIEW available free and downloadable from its Web site at ni.com.
Through participation in the IEEE 1451.4 working group, Endevco is working with NI to establish a standard TEDS format that industry suppliers can use to develop sensors, instruments, and software. Endevco will be providing technical papers and seminars to support its work with NI. These learning strategies will encourage measurement professionals to experiment with this new technology and see how minimal the trade-offs of this new technology can be.
As part of the program, the companies are also exploring how to expand plug-and-play capability to legacy sensors. Through a proposed online database of sensor vendors' model data on ni.com/sensors, users will be able to download TEDS binary files, or Virtual TEDS, to their systems, instantly enabling legacy sensors with plug and play capabilities. Virtual TEDS provides a smooth transition to the next generation of measurement and automation systems by allowing engineers to leverage new sensor technology with their existing measurement hardware. As the manufacturer of the smallest TEDS single axis and triaxial accelerometers, Endevco will provide engineers with practical advice on their use.