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9 Posts tagged with the compactdaq tag

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port handles more than 65 percent of overall container traffic in India. Without a bridge to connect the port to the Panvel highway in Mumbai, trailers and other container vehicles would have to travel an extra 22 km. Sardar Patel College of Engineering and 21st SHM consultants have developed a structural health monitoring solution to collect data on the existing bridge so it can be  rehabilitated and strengthened.



Bridge rehabilitation.jpg



The team used CompactDAQ and LabVIEW to develop the testing and data acquisition system. They used CompactDAQ to record, analyze, and store data from various tests conducted on the bridge. LabVIEW made it easy to carry out frequency and acceleration measurements with built-in functions like power spectrum and distortion. The NI Report Generation Toolkit  was used to produce data reports for all measurements. Since its integration, the structural testing system has shown an increase in fundamental frequency, which is a sign of better overall stiffness of the bridge.


In the future, they plan to develop a separate monitoring system using CompactRIO to monitor the bridge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


>> Read full case study.


A new era of space travel is upon us! The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) is a new type of rocket engine that incorporates elements of a jet engine. It will allow the Skylon space plane to take off and land from a runway, meaning that a space mission can be conducted as easily as a commercial flight.



skylon plane.jpg



To prove the viability of the technology needed for SABRE, Reaction Engines Ltd instrumented an entire data acquisition system and testbed using LabVIEW and CompactDAQ.


Engineers used CompactDAQ to quickly and easily customize the project’s data acquisition system, which had to handle temperatures up to 1,000 ⁰C. The team used flexible LabVIEW UI development tools to create a UI spanning four monitors displaying over 150 signals on 28 live charts.


The Skylon plane will change the way we access space. The new technology Reaction Engines has been working on will make it possible for an aircraft to take off from a runway, reach orbit, then come back and do it all over again.



>> Read the full case study.


If you’ve ever attended NIWeek, you know how much fun it is to wander through the expo floor, looking at all the amazing demos. It was tough to narrow it down, but here are five of our favorite demos from this year’s conference.


The myRIO Giant Tetris Wall

Playing Tetris on your desktop is pretty fun. Playing Tetris on a giant light-up screen is way better! This giant Tetris wall was powered by a myRIO device. It was a huge hit with NIWeek attendees.




The Remote-Controlled Omni-Rover

Don’t underestimate the power of LEGO! This remote-controlled omni-rover was constructed using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 parts and is controlled by an EV3 remote control.



The myRIO-Controlled Guitar

Who needs guitar lessons when you’ve got NI tools? This myRIO device controls a custom hardware setup to automatically play a guitar. NIWeek attendees could choose songs for the guitar to play, making this demo the life of the expo floor party.

myRIO guitar.jpg



The USRP-Controlled Helium Blimp

In this demo, an NI USRP device controls a 900 MHz helium blimp. The USRP records and plays back signals off the air, allowing NIWeek attendees to steer the blimp up, down, and all around.


helium balloon.jpg 



Haptic Tug-of-War   

This sweet app brought tug-of-war into the digital age using a 4-slot NI CompactDAQ device and LabVIEW 2014. NIWeek attendees challenged a variety of animals, from a ladybug to Godzilla, to intense games of tug-of-war.






Didn’t see your favorite demo on this list? Comment on this post and let us know which one you liked best.



>> Watch these demos in action on YouTube.


As the price of gas increases, more and more people are choosing to buy electric cars. However, there was a serious lack of information about what happens to the large electric batteries in the case of a fire. As a result, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) decided to investigate the hazards faced by firefighters who put out electric vehicle fires. How are those fires different than standard gasoline vehicle fires? Can the firefighters get shocked by the big batteries? What happens when those batteries burn? How much heat energy do they put out?




Tom Bress, senior engineer at Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, conducted full-scale burn tests of electric vehicle batteries in a vehicle simulator and fire fighters put the fires out. He used LabVIEW and a NI CompactDAQ chassis to acquire data. He monitored thermocouples, heat flux sensors, and voltage and current on the simulator and on the fire hose nozzle. He also controlled the burners using a digital relay module and communicated with the propane mass flow meter using VISA and a serial cable. Most interestingly, he communicated with the batteries while they were burning using a CAN bus module in the NI CompactDAQ system. Basically, he pretended to be the onboard car computer and used the XNET protocol VIs to send and receive data from the battery. As a result, he could monitor the internal voltages and temperatures of the batteries while they were on fire. Awesome!


Bonus fact: Tom is also the author of Effective LabVIEW Programming, scheduled for publication by NTS Press in August of this year. Clearly, he knows his way around a block diagram.


>> Check out another high-temperature LabVIEW application: an automated meat smoker.


Think your NI CompactDAQ or NI CompactRIO setup is the most rugged? Prove it! We’re excited to announce the C Series Photo/Video Contest. We’re looking for the coolest, most extreme C Series systems, and our favorites will win prizes such as iPads, iPods, NI hardware, and brand-new LEGO MINDSTORMS® EV3 systems. Plus, there’s no limit to the number of photos and videos you can submit.





  • Best wiring or installation in a rugged environment (photo or video)
  • Most rugged or harsh environment (photo or video)
  • Most remote or uniquely deployed location (photo or video)
  • Most damage sustained to a still-functioning system (photo or video)
  • Most “likes” per votes by NI Community users (photos only)
  • Top rated application (videos only)


>> Submit your picture or video today at


The future is here! Last month, Hyundai released the first commercial cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells in Denmark, and Toyota and BMW are partnering to research hydrogen fuel cell technology. Benefits including high torque, zero emissions, and quick refueling make hydrogen-powered cars an attractive option for the commercial car industry, but other groups have taken an interest as well.

The Forze Hydrogen Racing Team Delft, a team of 70 students from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, has developed six hydrogen-powered vehicles since its inception in 2008. The team started by first creating and racing hydrogen-powered go-karts, and in 2012 the team developed their own hydrogen fuel cell which allowed them to build the Forze V, the first-ever official competing Formula style race car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. This year, the team is building the Forze VI, the first hydrogen powered car designed for real racing circuits.


The Forze VI is controlled by the NI CompactRIO platform and powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that generates electrical power for two electrical motors. Inside the fuel cell, which the team tests with NI CompactDAQ devices, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce electricity and water. Between the fuel cell and the motors, the car has an energy buffer that is used to store excess energy from the fuel cell and store recovered energy from breaking.





“The Forze VI will have around 100 kW of continuous power while the Forze V has around 15 kW,” said Tiemen Joustra, chief of embedded systems on the Forze team. “The peak power of the new car will be around 190 kW against 58 kW in the Forze V.”



Overall, the team’s goal is to promote the use of hydrogen through race cars. “We want to promote sustainability in a way that appeals to the general public, but we think hydrogen-powered road cars are reserved for the automobile industry,” said Joustra. “We would rather work towards a car for the Super Car Challenge, Le Mans, or Formula 3.”

The Forze VI is expected to hit the track for the first time in June and the team hopes it will be ready for a race near the end of summer.

Watch the Forze V in action below:




>> Learn more about the Forze Hydrogen Racing Team Delft.

>> Are you a big fan of racing? Find out how CompactRIO sped the development of an electric and hybrid race car.


Tornados are a mystery of twists and turns to many people, but the meteorological scientists at TWISTEX, are studying them every day to uncover the secrets (and data) behind this weather phenomenon.  When it came time for the team to develop a new way of collecting and recording data, they turned to NI for the hardware and software to get the job done.


TWISTEX is a team of scientists that measure the sound, temperature, air pressure, wind speed and direction of tornados.  Recently, they developed a sturdy, stand-alone instrument that can capture, analyze, store, and report data that is inexpensive, lightweight, and simple to use. 




By using NI CompactDAQ hardware, LabVIEW, NI DIAdem, and an NI 3110 industrial controller, TWISTEX scientists created an instrument that can do everything they need and then some.  (Read about the company’s research and the instrument here.)  By using NI products, TWISTEX’s new instrument is also the first meteorological instrument that can measure audio from inside a tornado.  The data collected by the TWISTEX team is used in research to better understand and predict atmospheric conditions and severe weather patterns.


>> Watch Tim Samaras of TWISTEX talk about his passion for chasing and studying storm systems at NIWeek 2011.


>> Check out the case study here.


Last week NI hosted the 17th annual graphical system design conference in Austin, Texas. More than 3,000 engineers and scientists made it down to NIWeek and had the opportunity to network, attend technical presentations, and see NI tools in action.




In case you weren’t able to make it to NIWeek this year, here are some of our favorite apps from the show floor.


Angry Eagles

This cool app consists of an Angry Birds game recreated in LabVIEW and an actual slingshot that uses NI CompactDAQ with digital and analog I/O. Users can launch the slingshot, as they would in a regular game of Angry Birds, thereby launching a bird in the game running in LabVIEW.




Going to the Stars With NI LabVIEW

If you never thought you’d get to travel into space, think again. Commercial space flight is on the horizon. Star Systems Inc. made an appearance on the NIWeek expo floor with its prototype spacecraft for private space flight. The system includes a PXI controller and LabVIEW to integrate all the subsystems and test engine setup.




Soccer-Playing Robot

One of the objectives of RoboCup is for an entire soccer team of humanoid robots to play a team of World Cup champions and win by the year 2050. Dr. Dennis Hong and his team are getting closer and closer to meeting that goal. This year, their CHARLI-L2 humanoid robot won first place in the 2011 Adult Size RoboCup Competition. Hong brought two robots, powered by LabVIEW, to NIWeek. Not only are they adorable – they are pretty good at soccer too.




>> Check out more cool demos and sweet apps from NIWeek.


My background is in writing, not so much in engineering. Ok, not at all engineering. The closest I came to engineering before working at NI was when a friend of mine made a cheesecake from Cooking for Engineers. The cheesecake was one of the best I have ever had, but I couldn't bring myself to read the copious instruction manual recipe that divulges the secrets of recreating it.


However, over the past three years, I have grown a fondness for engineers. My co-blogger friend, Emilie, can easily put together a LEGO Mindstorms robot, or tell me how a clock works or what in the world this is all about. She also knows more acronyms than a government lobbyist in a controversial state. And that impresses me.


Anyhow, I sprend a lot of time reading stories accounts case studies about what engineers are doing with NI products. Some of them, though I know are crucial to the technological advancement of this great country, I find horridly boring. I think my ignorance puts up a barrier between me and said applications (see how I did not link to any applications? Because at least I am decent at communicating, I know that doing so would be career-limiting). No, really. There are so many applications that are so far over my head that I hand them to Emilie and tell her I am not sure about them. She reads them, explains how great they are, and then I am on my merry way. Ignorance deflected, and I then have a new appreciation for something I once thought boring.


However, there are some case studies that are initially touching.


Some applications that I just can't quit reading.


Like this one:


Engineers at a University in Scotland are working with Malawi Polytechnic school to create mobile health clinics, and they've created a facility where they can actually create these mobile clinics, as well as perform routine maintainence and make sure the clinics are using enercy as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.


At the remote health clinic manufacturing facility, mobile clinics or other mobile organizations can be manufactured, outfitted with appropriate interior equipment, and equipped with solar, wind, or microhydroelectric generating equipment. Currently, one remote health clinic facility is located in Makata, a small village in Malawi.


Engineering that results in deliciuos cheesecake, I get. Engineering that results in providing medical care in remote areas to those who wouldn't otherwise receive it, I also get.


You can read the full case study here:

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