Troubleshooting embedded sensing systems

When developing an embedded sensing system, one of the very first steps is making a method to retrieve raw data from the sensor and store it. Prevention of later problems due to unforeseen data acquisition issue scan be easily obtained by obtaining and retaining the raw data stream an essential specification from day one. This raw data stream is the basis for important registration and unit tests. With experience and a forward model of what to expect, one quickly gains deep insight into what is always at least partially the black box of the embedded system.

Some of the factors thereby determined include

  • Sample rate verification: too fast or slow?
  • interference: bad grounds, environmental
  • signal dropouts: system can’t keep up with data rate, race conditions
  • unexpected signals (good or bad) mixing with desired signal

Based on the above:

  • Is analog and or digital filter needed?
  • Is a PCB or circuit redesign needed
  • Is more advanced signal processing or different embedded CPU or GPU needed?