Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


A general purpose real-time data processing, data acquisition and data manipulation software system has been designed and developed. This software system is referred to as PAM ("Processing, Acquisition and Manipulation" of scientific data). PAM provides a facility which enables the operator to define various data acquisition parameters, such as the interval between each successive sample or the total number of data points to be collected. The operator may also select a variety of methods for examining and reducing the collected data so as to extract significant information. Batch-processing facilities are available for processing and manipulating data files. PAM has been developed under the UCSD p-System operating system, primarily in the programming language Pascal. Consequendy, it is possible to implement PAM on many different micro- or mini-computers capable of running the UCSD p-System. The modular nature of PAM enables the user to interface the host computer to the analytical signal of many different scientific instruments using the most appropriate commercially available analog to digital (A/D) converter with minimal software modification. Using the appropriate application assembly modules as templates, software drivers dedicated to communicating and controlling an A/D converter in real-time can be readily developed. There is no need to alter or modify any of the application programs to install the software drivers within PAM. The interaction between the operator and the computer is the main vehicle for the exchange of information with the equipment. A set of foundation support modules have been developed and are provided in the form of units. These modules are designed to assist the programmer in developing software which provides the operator a completely user-friendly interface, access to the contents of a directory of a disk volume, high-speed data file manipulating facilities, and data file batch-processing facilities. In addition, these support modules promote the development of efficient, flexible and versatile application programs. All application programs can access the foundation support modules. Consequentiy, application programs employing the foundation support modules will not only be consistent in their presentation at the human interface but will also be easier to modify and maintain, thereby ensuring program longevity.