A fast, S-Link based Data Acquisition System

This page describes a fast, economical multichannel Data Aquisition (DAQ) system built with CERN's S-Link interface standard, which greatly facilitates fast interfacing from "simple" digital data sources to standard computer systems. The system is

The system described here is used for diagnostics of a hot fusion plasma, investigated at Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP, Garching, Germany) in the ASDEX Upgrade experiment.

System Overview

Design Considerations, Overview, Components, Block diagram, and Project History


In addition to commercially available computer and S-Link hardware, two custom boards have been developed for the data acquisition system:

FEMCTRL - Front End Motherboard and Controller (timing, data buffer and system control)

FEMADC - 8 channel ADC board (12-bit, 3.3 Ms/s max.), on-board amplifiers/filters (available soon)


The software is based on the Linux operating system (but should be portable to the various UNIX-systems)

DAQserver - Data acquisition control program and library, runs stand-alone, as a TCP/IP server, or linked to any user application program


Customizing / Development tools

A separarate page describes tools and tricks used for programmable logic development.
For performance testing of special time-critical algorithms there is a specially written Data acquisition benchmark suite.


I'd like to acknowledge the help of several people:
Erik Van der Bij (CERN), for his continuous and extremely valuable support of the S-link,
Steffen Luitz (CERN) for making the Autobahn driver available.

Wolfgang Suttrop, last modification: 8-Jan-2002