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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)
Stegawski, M.A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Portland State Univ., OR, USA ; Schaumann, R.

An undergraduate laboratory based on a functionally complete set of virtual tools for experimenting is described in this paper. An outstanding feature of the experimenting environment is an easy-to-use, graphical user interface to a laboratory experiment. It 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, GPIB, 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 allows remote experimenting-world-wide in principle. It currently requires a remote LabVIEW or XWindow session. Work is in progress on giving full access to our virtual tools using Java-capable web browsers such as Netscape, Hot Java, or Microsoft Internet Explorer and thus to provide students with a student-affordable remote experimenting platform

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 6 )