Feasibility: Data collection and synchronisation

Hi all,

I am currently trying to derive a test methodology for my PhD project and I was hoping someone would be able to tell me if it is possible to:

  1. Trigger a test start by button press,
  2. Collect and synchronise test data from multiple inputs:
    a) Axial force from load cell,
    b) Torsional force from torque load cell,
    c) Time from stopwatch or GPS Disciplined Oscillator,
    d) Temperature stream 01 from K Type thermocouple,
    e) Temperature stream 02 from K Type thermocouple.
  3. Trigger test end by mechanical switch activation.

Is this possible? Just now I am collecting these from different sources but all to different data logging devices. Is there a way to unify this using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi?

I am a mechanical engineer and I have no experience in Arduino, Raspberry Pi or coding so any and all help on my project is really appreciated.

Here’s my University details if you would prefer to contact me via there:

Ryan Murphy
School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Glasgow Caledonian University
ryan.murphy@gcu.ac.uk

As long as the devices listed have interfaces supported by the Arduino (Serial, SPI, I2C etc) then it sounds possible. Can you give details of the interfaces for the various devices ?

As already told, it's doable. I raise a flag for the small but existing delay collecting data from several sensors. Every processor needs some time to step from reading one sensor to Reading the next. Some sensors have data ready, fast to read. Other sensors might need a trigger to start measuring, causing some delay.
What are Your needs of "data at the same time"?

I am a mechanical engineer and I have no experience in Arduino, Raspberry Pi or coding so any and all help on my project is really appreciated.

As others have noted, perfectly possible. As you have no experience then I suggest you get an Arduino and follow the various tutorials on this site, in the IDE and elsewhere and start to get experience. Please note that the folk on here are more than willing to help you when you are obviously making an effort but are struggling with something, not so willing if you are obviously asking for us to do it for you.

The first tutorial you are likely to find shows you how to blink an LED using delay(). While this is great for giving a beginner confidence that they can do something successfully it also teaches a bad habit. Please also study blink without delay, which is in the examples in the IDE under digital. Delay might be work OK for you in simple code, but the more complex your code gets the more delay will cause you problems. In answer to the question "my code is not very responsive and I don't know why", which you will be asking in a month or 3 if you use delay() a lot; "It's because of all the delays".
You will also need to learn the lessons in the tutorial 'demonstration code for several things at the same time', which you can find on this site under project guidance. There several important lessons in that tutorial.
Good luck with your PhD.