General remarks

Together with our transient recorder we ship driver software and a selection of ready to use LabView programs which allow you to take measurements and visualize your data. These modules can save you a lot software work. We also offer C-routines and Visual Basic routines to control the transient recorders for integration into your own software environment.

Options

As a user of our transient recorders you have the following options:
a) Recommended:
Buy the actual LabView Base Package from National Instruments, use our free LabView modules and adapt them to your local needs if necessary. The LabView source code for all modules is included.

The LabView software contains the following module:

  1. Track.vi: To take one measurement, display and store it
  2. LiveDisplay.vi: To observe signals every xx shots and display it, similar to an oscilloscope. You can use it also for alignment with cursor selectable regions where the trend during the alignment is shown.
  3. Acquis.vi: Tto run and store series of measurements
A more detailed description of the software is given in the help file .
b) Optional:
for those users who already spent a lot of manpower into C-programs and don't want to switch to LabView: Use the C- driver routines and integrate them into your source code. The C-drivers are free.
c) Optional:
We also have developed Visual Basic drivers for the transient recorders. The functionality is similar to the C-drivers. Basic functions like start, stop, set range, set discriminator level and readout of transient recoders and a simple sample application. It does not include the equivalents to the track.vi, acquis.vi, live_display.vi modules like the LabView software. Please contact Licel for a quotation.

d) File option:
We adapt the file format of the HS-Acquis module to your desired file format. All we need for this
  1. a format specification
  2. 2 or 3 sample files
This would give you a jump start with our transient reocrder system, because you can use your existing data retrieval software.
e) DEVELOP package:
An additional item for those users with a PCI-DIO-32HS, who intend to develop a bigger software package (data acquisition + instrument control of laser, stepping motors, etc.). If you are using a Ethernet controller, this is not required. The Ethernet Executables have the Virtual Controller, which does already provide this functionality.

It contains a LabView software package containing programs which simulate the transient recorder system and a lidar without any necessary hardware being present. The idea behind is: Many customers want to develop software which controls their hardware (automatic alignment routines, special measurement series to observe clouds etc.). Usually this software uses a sequence of steps like:

  1. change the beamsteering of the laser a filter wheel, wavelength etc.
  2. start an acquisition
  3. save the data to disk
  4. retrieve a specific information from these data
  5. next step...
To test these routines you would need to run your lidar system to debug and control your own routines. This means sitting in the noisy lab and having the system running without really taking measurements. The idea of the develop package is, that you can develop and debug your software on your own computer in a place where you can concentrate and don't need the lidar hardware. The transient recorder behaviour and lidar signals are simulated. So it makes sense if you intend to develop significant amounts of own software which involves the transient recorders and other components.

Linux

Licel does support and encourages programming the devices under Linux. There are two interface architectures currently available.

Ethernet Support

This is the most easy and convinient solution. Its based on the network access of the Linux PC. So no extra interface card installation is necessary. It works with all Ethernet-Modules. The modules can be controlled via LabView, C (free, see the software description for more details).

PCI-DIO-32HS

The transient recorder can be also controlled via a modified COMEDI based driver. National Instruments does not offer upto now a suitable NI-DAQ driver that supports the PCI-DIO32HS card. The COMEDI driver requires that you are able to compile a kernel and loadable modules. Licel supplies the source code of a modified version of the COMEDI driver and LabView routines that call the driver and C-sources to control the transient recorder.

Due to wide variety of Linux distributions compiling the driver might require modifications to adapt to changing positions/names of header files. You can order a PC with the preinstalled driver from Licel to avoid the technical details of the compilation.

The PCI-DIO-32HS gives a higher data throughput than the Ethernet interface (up to 7 times). This option should be used with Racks with long traces and a large number of datasets. These conditions are often met by stratospheric lidars using a Rack-6.


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