Data Acquisition System

What Does Data Acquisition System Mean?

A data acquisition system (DAQ) is an information system that collects, stores and distributes information. It is used in industrial and commercial electronics, and environmental and scientific equipment to capture electrical signals or environmental conditions on a computer device.


A data acquisition system is also known as a data logger.

Techopedia Explains Data Acquisition System

DAQ is a broad term that includes a suite of different tools and technologies that are designed to accumulate data. DAQ systems generally consist of DAQ software and hardware along with sensors and actuators, and they generally require underlying network support for data communication between the data acquisition hardware and software.

The hardware typically consists of components in the form of external expansion cards. They can be connected to the computer through a communication interface such as a PCI or USB, or can be directly installed onto the motherboard.

The hardware is connected with an input device such as a 3-D scanner or analog-to-digital converter. The signal from the input device is sent to the hardware device/card, which processes and sends it to DAQ software, where it is recorded for further review and analysis.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…