During this semester's work term I designed, built, packaged and tested nine channels of isolation amplifiers for each of the Triple Axis Servo Motor Controllers to reduce the noise on the analog input and output signals from the motor controller that is under test. This assembly has to be able to be mounted inside each of the two motor controller enclosures so as not to disturb other components in there. This noise gets jumbled together with the signal and distorts the signal by amplifying it or decreasing the signal giving a false reading. Direct connection can also produce zero shifts in the data mechanical loading. This is referenced to as a "ground loop". This noise and ground loops must be reduced or eliminated. This report discusses how to reduce noise and ground produced when the motor controller analog output signals are connected to the data collecting system. The report outlines the parts needed to build the isolation amplifier and its connecting hardware. Another important topic to be discussed will be the actual testing of the isolation amplifier box to ensure correct operation. The operation of the isolation amplifier chip and motor controller will not be discussed in great detail, as that would be another project all by itself.
National Research Council of Canada. Institute for Marine Dynamics