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Utilizing Labview For Data Acquisition And Analysis For A 13 Week Undergraduate Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Laboratory Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1396.1 - 9.1396.15

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Alex See

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Session number 2220

Utilizing LabVIEWTM for data acquisition and analysis for a 13 weeks undergraduate course

Alex See, PhD

Monash University Malaysia, School of Engineering and Science, No. 2 Jalan Kolej, Bandar Sunway, 46150, PJ, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia email:


Second year Mechatronics undergraduates, in the year 2003 at Monash University Malaysia (MUM) were taking a subject module known as Project and Practise GSE2800. The concept of computer based data acquisition instrumentation was introduced to them. They had been presented with an engineering problem to utilize a data acquisition system to acquire real time, electrical signals with varying voltage as a function of time. Students were required to design and build a simple signal generator, capable of generating a periodically square waveform with frequency less than 1 kHz. At the same time, they were exposed to National Instrument’s LabVIEWTM software and hardware for the first time. Each year, students who enroll for GSE2800 module, are required to complete a given project in only 13 weeks. In the year 2003, a team of 3 students was put together to design, develop and test a software program that they had coded in LabVIEWTM, which is a graphical programming language. The main aim of this project design was to allow students to write codes in LabVIEWTM software for data acquisition, signal measurements and perform some fundamental Digital Signal Processing (DSP), namely the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform). This paper reports that LabVIEWTM software may be employed as a useful tool for practical teaching and learning some DSP fundamentals to engineering undergraduates. A National Instruments PCI (Personal Computer Interface) 6036 E series DAQ (Data AcQuisition) device and a Connector terminal Block, CB 68LP were provided to the students for this work.

This paper illustrates the gain of knowledge by the students who had worked on this project. Students had appreciated the DAQ functions to perform data acquisition, measurements and basic signal processing using LabVIEW version 6.1 in only 13 weeks.

1. Introduction

Signal processing is often perceived as a complex subject for many undergraduate students. As postulated by Garner and Downing 1 , a subject such as Digital Signal Processing (DSP) cannot be learned through the medium of the blackboard or textbook. There are two different approaches for teaching DSP. The theoretical way or a practical approach may be

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

See, A. (2004, June), Utilizing Labview For Data Acquisition And Analysis For A 13 Week Undergraduate Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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