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TMACE (Thermal Monitoring And Control Equipment) has been designed to continuously monitor and log the temperatures of a large number of thermocouples mounted on a satellite payload during ambient temperature and pressure testing in a laboratory clean-room environment. The four fundamental components of the TMACE system are:


Temperature sensing is achieved using Type T (Copper/Constantan) thermocouples, which have a useful range from -200 °C to +400 °C, although typical welded tip thermocouples have a more limited range from -50 °C to +200 °C. All thermocouples are connected to the front panels of EX1048A thermocouple input units using connectors of the same type. Up to 192 thermocouples may be connected using multiple EX1048A units.

I/O Hardware

To meet the requirements of a flexible, expandable, and reliable thermal monitoring system, TMACE uses 48-channel EX1048A units for thermocouple measurements and an AFI unit (Alarm and Fan Interface) for fan relay control and alarm indication. The key features of the solution are:

The application software can be run on any networked PC
Up to 192 thermocouple channels can be fitted using four EX1048A units, which are themselves networked for flexible and convenient placement
Temperature readings are automatically compensated, linearised, and scaled before reaching the PC
7 fan control channels and 1 alarm indication channel are provided by the AFI (connected to the first EX1048A unit)

Thermal Monitoring

The monitoring software is a Windows 32-bit application that provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for the operator to configure and run a thermal monitoring session, plot thermocouple temperatures and fan outputs on screen in real-time, display alarms and other events, and record all data in log files. Thermocouple channels are individually named and allocated into groups. Each group may have upper and/or lower temperature limits to trigger an alarm condition. The software will also activate cooling fans based on additional temperature limits. There are no software limits to the number thermocouple and relay channels that may be used.

Thermal Analysis

A separate stand-alone Windows 32-bit application is provided for off-line viewing and analysis of recorded temperature data and alarm events. Data may be searched for specific conditions or trends and the results displayed. Thermocouple measurements are displayed group-by-group in a graph that has two cursors and control of individual plots. Events for a thermal session may also be viewed and searched.