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Teaching Instrumentation For Met And Eet Using Labview™ Software With Vernier® And National Instruments® Hardware

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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

Curriculum Development in Electr-Mech ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1211.1 - 10.1211.8



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Paper Authors

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Michael Powers

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Mary Fran Desrochers

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Teaching Instrumentation for MET and EET using LabVIEW™ software with Vernier® and National Instruments® hardware

Desrochers, M., Powers, M.

Michigan Technological University


Measurement, data collection and interfacing are a critical part of the everyday manufacturing and engineering world. It is important that today’s technology students are exposed to measurement and data acquisition. This paper summarizes two courses, one from the Mechanical Engineering Technology curriculum and one from the Electrical Engineering Technology curriculum, where LabVIEW™ is taught as the programming language and interfaced with two different systems, sensors and controls. One system uses Vernier® instrumentation and data acquisition and the other uses National Instruments® PCI interface boards and a variety of discrete sensors and controls. These systems will be compared and contrasted to expose the reader to two approaches to teaching data acquisition systems. An outline of suggested laboratory experiments and related objectives is included.


While the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) curriculums are very different, we have found a common ground in our treatment of data acquisition and control. We both use LabVIEW™ to teach sensors, data acquisition and control primarily because it allows us to focus on sensors and controls, not on the mechanics of programming. It is also well accepted in industry and has led to job offers for our students.

LabVIEW™’s integrated data acquisition and control environment includes excellent information presentation capabilities. This allows students to easily see what’s actually happening with an acquired signal and how applying various signal analysis tools affect it. This permits very rapid hands-on testing of signal processing routines to, for example, best reduce the effects of electrical noise on a desired signal.

Why teach LabVIEW™ ?1,2,3 • It is fun for both the students and the faculty • It is an industry accepted standard that can translate into job offers • The graphical nature of the program allows students to focus on the what is being taught and not the particulars of other command line languages allowing for accelerated application development

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Powers, M., & Desrochers, M. F. (2005, June), Teaching Instrumentation For Met And Eet Using Labview™ Software With Vernier® And National Instruments® Hardware Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15221

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