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Novel Distance Laboratory Labview Control Panel

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Web-Based Laboratory Experiments

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.965.1 - 10.965.8



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Paper Authors

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Tom Eppes

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Peter Schuyler

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The paper discusses the use of National Instrument’s LabVIEW for distance laboratory experiments. LabVIEW is being used in conjunction with a proprietary distance laboratory system called ALTE (Automated Laboratory Test Environment). ALTE is used by students in the Electronic & Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) Department at the University of Hartford to perform experiments over the Internet on a 24/7 basis. The system architecture consists of a management server that provides access control and archived experimental procedures. The management server interfaces to a number of lab stations that each host specific distance experiments. Each lab station consists of a dedicated PC running National Instrument’s LabVIEW virtual instrument panels (VIPs). VIPs send commands and retrieve data from measurement equipment that is connected to devices under test (DUT) and provide a browserbased user interface for students. VIPs play two primary roles: (1) they provide connectivity between the measurement instruments and the PC lab station and (2) they are embedded in web pages that are used by students to perform distance labs. During the development of ALTE, we discovered that the performance of a lab station PC could be improved if there was one VIP, hereafter referred to as the Master VIP, that programmatically opened and closed the experiment specific VIP’s. Master VIP acted as a switch to open on demand any experiment VIP and monitored the student’s connection to ensure that it was active, if not active or the window was closed, it closed the experiment VIP once the lab session ended. Master VIP ran in the background and did not have a web interface that was visible to students. We successfully developed and implemented Master VIP and found that it kept memory use in check, cleaned the system tray of experiment VIPs no longer in session, and improved overall system performance. In addition, it prevented students from bypassing the ALTE management server and navigating directly to an experiment VIP providing an added level of security for the system. This paper discusses the structure and results in using Master VIP as part of the ALTE system.

Eppes, T., & Schuyler, P. (2005, June), Novel Distance Laboratory Labview Control Panel Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15200

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