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Running Laboratory Experiments Via The World Wide Web

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.486.1 - 3.486.17

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Paper Authors

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Jim Henry

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Running Laboratory Experiments via the World Wide Web Jim Henry The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


The chemical engineering laboratories at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga have been made available for students to use via the World Wide Web. Students can conduct lab experiments from remote sites. This paper describes the hardware and software that is used for this facility and discusses strengths and "opportunities for improvement" that have been observed in this development.

The web address for the lab is

Hardware and Software

The chemical engineering laboratories have been using desktop computers for data acquisition and control of engineering equipment since 1990. The students conduct experiments to observe steady-state and transient operating performance, accomplish system identification and, in some cases, design feedback controllers for the systems. The data acquisition and control software is written with LabVIEW software (from National Instruments, ). Controller design, if done, involves tuning two feedback controllers: a proportional controller and a proportional-integral controller.

The computers are all networked with ethernet and have internet (IP) addresses. A web-server program was developed which allows students to conduct experiments using widely available web browsers. The students conduct the experiments either from computer labs on campus or from remote computers via the world wide web.

Hardware Stations

The controls labs and some unit operations experiments are web-accessible. Seven different stations for controls systems experiments and an additional seven stations for unit operations experiments are available. They are listed in Table 1.

Henry, J. (1998, June), Running Laboratory Experiments Via The World Wide Web Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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