Data acquisition

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Data acquisition is the process of sampling signals that measure real world physical conditions and converting the resulting samples into digital numeric values that can be manipulated by a computer. Data acquisition systems, abbreviated by the acronyms DAS or DAQ, typically convert analog waveforms into digital values for processing. The components of data acquisition systems include:

  • Sensors, to convert physical parameters to electrical signals.
  • Signal conditioning circuitry, to convert sensor signals into a form that can be converted to digital values.
  • Analog-to-digital converters, to convert conditioned sensor signals to digital values.

 
Data acquisition applications are usually controlled by software programs developed using various general purpose programming languages
So, as a summary, Data acquisition is in itself a vast group of protocols, technologies, sensors, hardware and software…

(from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_acquisition)