GPS Disciplined Analogue to Digital Converter for Phasor Measurement Applications

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This paper presents a data acquisition unit which synchronously samples multiple channels in a manner such that the time of day at which each sample is taken is known. This allows measurements taken at multiple locations to be compared with confidence. The intended application is wide area electrical power system measurements, in particular Phasor Measurement Units (PMU).

The novelty of the authors’ design is the application of an open hardware development platform to discipline a commodity ADC to a broadcast time signal, usually but not exclusively GPS. The methodology used creates a driver layer for the ADC to achieve real-time sampling in a non-preemptive Linux environment. The use of open hardware and software addresses the need for a transparent instrument for use in research and development of PMU technology.

Through a choice of either a software or hardware phase locked loop (PLL), the ADC is controlled to acquire exactly 256 samples per nominal power system cycle (i.e. 50 Hz / 60 Hz), precisely time synchronized to GPS, at 16-bit resolution and 94.2 dB SNR. The design of a PCB expansion board featuring all necessary components is provided. The performance of the system is evaluated.

Interoperability and data exchange with other systems is achieved by use of open schemas and communication protocols. This allows rapid integration with popular numerical simulation environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Early online date18 May 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 May 2017

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