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A new virtual-instrumentation-based experimenting environment for undergraduate laboratories with application in research and manufacturing

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2 Author(s)
M. A. Stegawski ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Portland State Univ., OR, USA ; R. Schaumann

An undergraduate laboratory based on a functionally complete set of virtual tools for laboratory experimenting is described in the paper. An outstanding feature of the experimenting environment is an easy-to-use, graphical user interface to a laboratory experiment. If significantly shortens the time needed to implement experimenter-defined laboratory procedures and eliminates the need for high-level-language programming on the experimenter side. Taking advantage of industry-wide standards such as VISA, GP-IB, and VXI, our virtual instruments can perform their function using either physical or simulated, local, or remote and network-distributed instruments coming from a variety of different manufacturers. A paperless laboratory with on-screen graded measurement reports was fully implemented. The environment as-is allows remote experimenting-world-wide in principle. It currently requires a remote LabVIEWTM or XWindowTM session. Work is in progress on giving full access to our virtual tools using JavaTM -capable web browsers such as NetscapeTM, Hot JavaTM, or MS ExplorerTM and thus to provide students with a student-affordable remote experimenting platform

Published in:

Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, 1997. IMTC/97. Proceedings. Sensing, Processing, Networking., IEEE  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

19-21 May 1997