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Virtual Instruments Revitalize An Undergraduate Measurements And Instrumentation Course

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Conference

1999 Annual Conference

Location

Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

4.591.1 - 4.591.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8045

Download Count

70

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Paper Authors

author page

Roy R., Jr. Craig

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Edward McConnell

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

Session 1668

Virtual Instruments Revitalize an Undergraduate Measurements and Instrumentation Course

Roy R. Craig, Jr. and Edward L. McConnell

Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 / National Instruments, 6504 Bridge Point Parkway, Austin, TX 78730

Abstract

Measurements and Instrumentation (M&I) is a 3-hour, required, junior-level course in the Aerospace Engineering curriculum at The University of Texas at Austin. In Fall 1994 a major restructuring of the course occurred that was centered around the shift to digital data acquisition through the use of virtual instruments (VI’s) based on the LabVIEW™ software.1 This paper discusses the development of the VI’s used in the course, the laboratory exercises that comprise the course, and the improvements in student morale and report-writing skills that have resulted from the restructuring of the course.

1. Introduction

Measurements and Instrumentation (M&I) is a 3-hour, required, junior-level course in the Aerospace Engineering curriculum at The University of Texas at Austin. A confluence of circumstances occurred in the early 1990’s that led to a major restructuring of the course: the early medical retirement of the principal course instructor; the need to incorporate use of the the computer in the measurements course both for data acquisiton and for report preparation; the need to incorporate digital signal processing concepts in the course; and the desire to form a close working relationship with National Instruments, a local Austin company that was (and is) in the forefront of virtual instrumentation technology. The revised course was first offered in Fall 1994, but revision is still in process.

Five major objectives were set for the reorganized M&I course: (1) to introduce the students to the fundamentals of digital signal processing, (2) to provide the students with several VI’s with which to acquire and save data for later inclusion in their formal reports, (3) to introduce the students to modern methods of modal testing of structures, (4) to have students design a measurement system, incorporating product information acquired via the internet, and,

1 LabVIEW is a trademark of National Instruments, Austin, TX.

Craig, R. R. J., & McConnell, E. (1999, June), Virtual Instruments Revitalize An Undergraduate Measurements And Instrumentation Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/8045

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