June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Computers in Education
11.1354.1 - 11.1354.17
Two-Tank Liquid Level Control Using a Basic Stamp Microcontroller and a Matlab-Based Data Acquisition and Control Toolbox
A variety of PC-based data acquisition and control (DAC) boards are currently available in the market. These DAC boards can be broadly classified in two categories: i) high-end DAC boards, which provide a wide range of advanced hardware capabilities along with a sophisticated software environment, and ii) low-end DAC boards, which are primarily used for data acquisition of a few selective signals while using proprietary software.
With the emergence of Matlab as a widely used scientific computing tool in industry and 1
academia, many users seek a DAC platform that can interface with and exploit advanced computing capabilities of Matlab to perform hardware in the loop experiments. Moreover, within the last decade, new developments in automated code generation programs have allowed users to utilize interactive icon-based control system simulation tools such as Simulink for real-time 2
control. In particular, using the Simulink block library and Real-Time-Workshop (RTW) along with Simulink block libraries for vendor-specific DAC boards, one can generate C code from Simulink-based feedback control diagrams for real-time controller implementation on PC-based DAC boards. The ability to rapidly and efficiently design and implement complex control algorithms using an icon-based programming environment enables control designers to enhance productivity.
Unfortunately, the use of Matlab as a software environment for DAC tasks frequently requires the use of expensive DAC boards (over $1,000) which include advanced hardware features (e.g., high sampling rates and high resolution analog to digital converters) that a typical user may not utilize to the fullest potential. Thus, the use of existing PC-based DAC hardware and software solutions may be uneconomical for certain users (especially educators) interested in designing and building experiments that require a sophisticated software interface with minimal hardware costs.
In contrast to the PC-based DAC boards, microcontrollers are inexpensive devices (costing only a few tens of dollars) which are widely used for embedded computing in hobby, academic, and industrial projects. However, a majority of microcontrollers require programming using one or other embedded programming variants of high-level programming languages (e.g., Basic, C, Java, etc.). In addition, many low-cost microcontrollers do not allow floating-point numerical computations that may be needed to implement advanced feedback control algorithms.
In recent research, we have developed a low-cost DAC platform which allows microcontrollers 3
to be programmed by Matlab and Simulink thus providing an inexpensive tool for data acquisition and control tasks. This platform is well suited for tasks that require graphical user interface and/or advanced computational capabilities, but do not require stringent hardware
Panda, A., & Wong, H., & Kapila, V., & Lee, S. (2006, June), Two Tank Liquid Level Control Using A Basic Stamp Microcontroller And A Matlab Based Data Acquisition And Control Toolbox Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/883
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