When you use a device to record and track observations, events, or measurements at regular intervals, the process is called data logging. A data logger is a tool used to carry out these measurements and is the most reliable means of gathering this type of information. In this article, we will learn what a data logger is and a handful of interesting facts about these interesting and amazing little devices.
Data Logger – What Is It?
A data logger is a portable electronic device used to continuously record data over time. The measurements taken vary by the specific design of the device, but typically contain either probes or sensors to track environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pressure. The data logger stores this information on a built-in microprocessor that can be accessed remotely or downloaded directly to a computer. Some data loggers provide real-time measurements. Data logger software on computers assists with analyzing the information which can be viewed or printed in the form of charts and graphs. The purpose of a data logger is to ensure environmental conditions remain constant. Should they experience changes that can threaten the integrity of the sensitive assets being stored, an alert is sent to permit human intervention. Data loggers are used extensively in the food and beverage, medical supply, and aerospace industries where environmental conditions are vital to keeping the assets from damage. These devices are portable and durable; they can be used in conditions that would be harsh for human data collection.
Facts About Data Loggers
Here are a few points to know about data loggers.
1 – Data Logger Recording Time Varies
Several variables are related to how much data you can gather with a data logger. Two main parameters dictate this. One is the amount of power the data logger has to operate and the other is how much memory is available. Battery-operated data loggers will record for extended periods provided the batteries are fully charged at the outset. The number of readings required will determine how much space is needed to back up the data. If multiple channels are used to record measurements, this will wear down the battery faster and will use up more memory with each reading.
2 – Data Loggers Have Varied Alert Systems
Depending on the application and type of environmental conditions being monitored, a data logger can send an alert in many different formats. Some models will send an emergency alert as an SMS message to a Smartphone or an email. Others are equipped with built-in LEDs, buzzers, or alarms to inform people on site that an environmental condition has exceeded a set limit. This Dickson article explains more about different types of data loggers and their functions.
3 – More Than One Data Logger Might Be Needed
The number of measurement points or the number of sensors you intend to connect will determine how many data loggers you need for any particular monitoring situation. Data loggers are available in many different configurations; you are sure to find one that best suits your needs. For example, some models only track the temperature and use either a built-in sensor or external probe for this. Others monitor humidity or other environmental conditions.
4 – Data Collected Is Easy To Retrieve
Different data loggers have different capabilities. With the data stored internally on a microprocessor, the information is accessed in one of two ways. It can be automatically transmitted to a PC via WiFi or, if that is not possible, the data can be directly downloaded to a laptop or PC via a wired connection between the two. Either way, the information stored on the data logger is easy to access and utilize.
5 – The Accuracy is Extraordinary
Using digital technology, data loggers can measure various environmental conditions with amazing precision. Compared to analog measuring devices, such as a thermometer or barometer, a data logger records information in exact measurements and can identify changes in conditions far faster than manual readings taken by a human using an analog measuring device. This makes data loggers a vital tool when exact, detailed measurements are required.
6 – Data Loggers Have Many Applications
One word describes data loggers: versatile. They can be used to monitor varied conditions to meet several different requirements. In addition to the food and beverage, medical supply, and aerospace industries, data loggers can be used for road traffic counting, tank level monitoring, measuring variations in light intensity, monitoring relay status in railway signaling, and unattended weather station recording.
7 – They Work in Places Humans Can’t Go
Probably one of the most valuable aspects about data loggers is that they are made to withstand harsh conditions. Extreme weather events or other temperature, humidity, or pressure extremes could prove dangerous for manual, human data measurement. However, data loggers are the perfect alternative because they are small enough to be placed anywhere they are needed and will record data without the need for human assistance regardless of the conditions.
Data loggers are amazing little electronic devices. They are capable of measuring and recording various environmental conditions to ensure the integrity of sensitive assets or they can be used to track anything that requires continuous monitoring. These devices have built-in sensors or probes and a memory for storing data that can be retrieved wirelessly or directly downloaded for analysis. In addition to being extremely accurate, data loggers are the most reliable means of collecting data. They are very versatile because data loggers can be used in numerous ways to track numbers, limits, and any other form of measurement required for a specific application. The only limit to the ability of a data logger to track information is the amount of memory required for the information to be stored and how much power remains in the batteries. However, data loggers can hold a large quantity of information that can be used for various decision-making plans or to serve as another pair of eyes or ears in a specific setting.