Data Logging

What is Data Logging?

Data logging is a method of recording measurements of all types at set intervals over a period of time.  Using electronic instruments, known as data loggers, a wide variety of energy and environmental measurements including temperature, relative humidity, AC/DC current and voltage, differential pressure, time-of-use (lights and motors), light intensity, water level, soil moisture, rainfall, wind speed and direction, pulse signals, and more can be recorded.  Typically, data loggers are compact, battery-powered devices equipped with an internal microprocessor, data storage, and one or more sensors.

How does a data logger work?

First, the data logger is connected to a PC or MAC computer via a USB interface. Accompanying data logger software is used to select logging parameters (sampling intervals, start time, etc.) and activate the logger. The logger is then disconnected and deployed in the desired location, where it records each measurement and stores it in memory along with the time and date.  After the desired monitoring period, the data logger is then reconnected to the computer and the software is used again to read out the data and display the measurements in graphs that show profiles over time. Tabular data can be viewed as well, or exported to a spreadsheet for further manipulation. In the case of web-based data logging systems, data are pushed to the Internet for access, and with wireless data nodes, data are transmitted to a central receiver.