Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.591.1 - 4.591.14
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
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.
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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