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2 Posts tagged with the labview_fpga tag

The inner workings of the ear have been a mystery for decades. However, that’s all about to change thanks to the efforts of a team of researchers determined to shed some light on the hearing process.


Researchers from Stanford University and Texas A&M are working on mapping the tissues of the cochlea, the portion of the inner ear responsible for hearing. To map the cochlea, they used a technique known as optical coherence tomography (OCT) on animal models.


OCT is similar to ultrasound but generates very high-resolution images, along with terabytes of measurement data. This data must be processed and interpreted in order to ensure accurate images. With the aid of LabVIEW and a FlexRIO FPGA-based high-speed digitizer (PXIE-7966R with NI 5772), the team processed the data generated from measurements throughout the ear at a much faster rate. As a result, the research team drastically cut image processing time. 




The technique produced high-resolution, three-dimensional images of the inner ear. This breakthrough may lead to new therapies for hearing loss, but they’re not stopping there. They’ve already developed a handheld prototype device for humans.


“With LabVIEW FPGA and FlexRIO, we can take a six-hour process and make it happen in a couple of minutes,” says Brian Applegate, associate professor at Texas A&M. “We will rely on this data-reducing equipment more and more as we move toward producing a volumetric image that enables us to see an entire sound wave move down the cochlea.”


>> Read more about this new technology.


You already know how great NI tools are when it comes to cars and trucks. For example, engineers at Ford are using our products to test fuel cells for their electric vehicles. Our software was even spotted in Cadillac’s Super Bowl commercial this year. But buckle up, readers, because we’ve got news for you!



In June 2011, FIA released new regulations that change the make-up of Formula 1 engines for the 2013 races. The new engines require direct injector drivers and a smaller 1.6L turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with turbo boost. As a result, the engineers need stout direct injectors for fuel to be injected at a very high pressure. While most companies have commissioned engineers to develop specialized engines, Drivven, an NI company, created off-the-shelf modules that can do all of this, and do it better.



Due to the new engine structure, companies are focusing on the combination of engine control and combustion analysis to get the best engine performance. Combustion analysis helps the user figure out how the engine is performing and what algorithms are most effective. Usually combustion analysis and engine control occur separately, but Drivven has opened up the lines of communication using NI CompactRIO.



What does this mean? Well, the Drivven system can create advanced control regimes such as next-cycle control. A next-cycle control regime gathers cylinder pressure data from the current combustion event and processes it in time to change engine actuators for the next combustion event. It’s like it can predict the engine’s future and respond in record time.




Race Car CC.PNG



Photo credit to MelvDesigns.



Drivven used the NI LabVIEW Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Module and NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module to program the direct injector driver modules, increasing the power and flexibility to command the injectors. Because this new system is so flexible, the user enjoys unparalleled control on engine timing, with multiple injector pulses per combustion sample. These off-the-shelf engine modules have already been snagged up by one major racing company, but we’ll keep their identity our little secret until race time.



>> Take a look at this cool video demo by the guys from Drivven.



>> Check out how other race cars are using NI tools.