Control and acquisition software for the U of C Seismic Physical Modelling Facility

Joe Wong, Kevin W. Hall, and Rolf Maier


The University of Calgary Seismic Physical Modelling System has undergone significant upgrading. In particular, the positioning system now uses high-precision, high repeatability linear electric motors. Motor control and digital data acquisition are now done by two commercial circuit boards installed in a desktop computer running under the Windows XP Professional operating system. We present an overview of the configuration process needed to enable the eight linear motors that constitute the new positioning system.

The use of two separate computer boards (one for motion control and one for data acquisition), coupled with multichannel transmitter and receiver capability, require complex software that synchronizes motion with acquisition. The successful amalgamation of C and C++ code from the separate SDKs (software development kits) provided with the two boards to obtain a single master control program constitutes a simple application of robotics. We have formulated design criteria for control and acquisition software to make scale-model seismic surveying an automatic and efficient procedure. Prototype code based on these criteria, and combining functions from the two separate SDKs, has been developed and is being tested in the Visual Studio integrated development environment.

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