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Using Lab View In Instrumentation And Control Course

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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

3.616.1 - 3.616.7

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Paper Authors

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Chong Chen

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

Session 1559

Using LabVIEW in Instrumentation and Control Course

Chong Chen Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 37132


Computer data acquisition and processing have been widely used in researches and industrial controls, because of high sampling speed and being able to interface with other instruments. To keep students abreast with the new technology, software and hardware for data acquisition and processing are used in our instrumentation and control course.

The software and hardware used are LabVIEW and PCI-1200 board from National Instruments. LabVIEW is a graphical programming language that has been widely adopted throughout industry, academia, and government labs as the standard for data acquisition and instrument control software. PCI-1200 board is a low-cost, multifunction I/O Data acquisition card that communicates with a PC through a parallel port. In our laboratory, they are used for measuring temperatures, stress and other variables. With LabVIEW, PCI-1200 board, and signal conditional circuits, students may collect, display, and process the values of those quickly changing variables. They may also see the variations of these variables in detail, which usually is impossible without a digital storage oscilloscope.


Data collection is a very common practice in scientific and industrial measurements and controls. Today, many computer data acquisition application packages are available. They offer many benefits over hand-held meters and other traditional measuring instruments. These benefits include measurement automation, data storage and display, and fast sample speed. It is also an advantage to have the measurement results stored in computer memory, so that subsequent analysis of the data can be performed. With data acquisition software and signal converting/conditioning circuits, a computer may measure different physical quantities. Compared to traditional measuring equipment, this may reduce the overall equipment cost.

One of the popular computer data acquisition application packages is Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW) developed by National Instruments. LabVlEW is a graphical software system for developing high performance scientific and engineering applications. LabVIEW can acquire data and control devices via a data acquisition board, such as the PCI-1200 data acquisition board. LabVIEW, much like the Visual Basic and C + + programming packages, includes programming capability and a user friendly interface. LabVIEW has been used by many industries and scientific researchers. One application was developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light completed by Dr. William Phillips [1], who is a physicist and fellow with National Institute of Standards and Technology. This research won Dr.

Chen, C. (1998, June), Using Lab View In Instrumentation And Control Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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