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Lab View(R) Based Instrumentation And Experimental Methods Course

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.419.1 - 5.419.8



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Chi-Wook Lee

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2259

LabVIEW Based Instrumentation and Experimental Methods Course

Chi-Wook Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering University of the Pacific Stockton, CA 95211


Instrumentation and Experimental Methods course is required for mechanical engineering program at the University of the Pacific. One of the goals of this course is to incorporate fundamental experimental techniques with modern computer-based data acquisition using National Instruments hardware and software (LabVIEW). LabVIEW enables data acquisition and control system parameters. With a series of experiments, students learn basic experimental techniques to use sensors for measuring various mechanical system quantities. After the basic experiments, students develop LabVIEW programs working with Signal Conditioning eXtension for Instrumentation (SCXI) chassis as computer-based data acquisition exercises. The students relate the LabVIEW based data acquisition systems with their other course projects including senior design.


Instrumentation and Experimental Methods is a required junior-level course for mechanical engineering students at the University of the Pacific. This course covers experimental techniques in the measurement of mechanical quantities, statistical analysis, errors in measurements, signal conditioning, and signal processing. The measured mechanical properties through lab exercises include temperature, pressure, strain, and frequency of dynamic systems. Since the outputs of the sensors/transducers used for the lab exercises are voltages, a digital multimeter or an oscilloscope is utilized as a readout device. Then, students convert the basic lab exercises to computer-based data acquisition systems using their own LabVIEW programs to measure and calibrate the sensor/transducer outputs. LabVIEW is short for LABoratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench. LabVIEW programs are called virtual instruments (VIs) and a VI has three main parts: (1) the front panel for the interactive user interface, (2) the block diagram as the VI’s source code and actual executable program, and (3) the icon and connector. The icon is a VI’s pictorial representation and the connector defines the inputs and outputs of the VI [1]. LabVIEW includes many library functions for data acquisition, signal processing, and statistical analysis. By a gradual exposure to the necessary hardware and software from National Instruments, students learned the fundamental computer-based data acquisition concepts while focusing on experimental techniques. This report describes some of the LabVIEW based lab exercises.

Lee, C. (2000, June), Lab View(R) Based Instrumentation And Experimental Methods Course Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8531

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