Domain Name Info:
Virtual Instrumentation with LabVIEW

"The computer is the instrument." Created by National Instruments, LabVIEW is an integrated development environment and graphical programming language that has become the de facto industry standard for instrumentation, control/automation, and data acquisition/analysis. With built-in driver libraries for a wide range of I/O communication protocols such as RS232, RS485, IEEE488, VXI, LabVIEW provides effortless interfacing and connectivity with any standard-compliant instruments. Its graphical programming language uses intuitive block diagrams as the basic elements of a software program, which is ideal for rapid prototyping and development of scientific and engineering applications.

With diverse backgrounds ranging from computer science to electrical engineering to solid state physics, our experienced engineering team provide LabVIEW-based instrumentation solutions that will meet any specific project requirements. From interface selection, to custom hardware design, to software development, we ensure tight integration and quality control of every aspect of a project and its successful and timely completion.

When Metal Oxide Technologies, Inc. (MetOx) needed to develop a mission critical process control system, they chose to contract the project to Chaogic Systems. MetOx is a startup company that set out to manufacture high-temperature superconducting wires on a commercial basis. Although still at its prototyping stage, the company's patent pending manufacturing process is groundbreaking. The company is expected to make major technological and social impact in the 21st century, the significance of which could potentially rival the creation of the Internet or the commercialization of the personal computer in the late 20th century.

The manufacturing process involves dozens of monitoring, control, and automation instruments and equipments, and hundreds of temperature, pressure, gas/liquid flow data check points. All instruments are connected to the master computer via various hardware interfaces and controlled by the LabVIEW program developed by Chaogic Systems, and all data points are continuously monitored and logged by the same program. In the case of a number of critical system parameters that are unaccessible via commercially available instruments, custom data acquisition hardware is designed and interfaced to the master computer via National Instruments' FieldPoint distributed I/O modules. Security control is implemented so that an operator only has access to a defined set of operations depending on his access level and/or area of expertise.

Due to the prototyping nature of the manufacturing process as well as NDA restrictions, further technical details can not be disclosed at this time. Suffices it to say, we are proud to be a driving force behind 21st century's cutting edge science and technologies.

Ic Measurement System

One of the most important physical characteristics of superconducting wires is the Critical Current (Ic), the maximum amount of current a wire can carry before degrading into non-superconducting state. In order to measure Ic, it requires precise control of current up to hundreds of Amps, and accurate readout of voltage at the Nanovolt level. Fast real-time response is also important in order to avoid irreversible damage to the sample under test. It is challenging in terms of electronic engineering and interface programming to build a robust and easy-to-operate Ic measurement system.

In the past years, MetOx relied on research/academic partners including Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for Ic measurements of their prototype wire samples, which involved physical delivery of samples by postal mail. However, with their maturing manufacture process and increasing turn-around rate of test runs, it became apparent that an in-house Ic measurement system was vitally needed. With our proven track records, Chaogic Systems was once again contracted to build such a system. For MetOx as a commercial organization, financial cost is also a concern besides technical requirements. With these constrains in mind, we came up with a unique system design involving all "commodity off the shelf" parts and instruments for hardware requirements, and LabVIEW as the software environment and interface programming language, which is perfectly suited for this type of application. In a time-frame of three months, the system was built, tested, and delivered to MetOx. The system specifications include a maximum current output of 250 Amps with ~50 Miliamps of precision, and voltage readout accuracy of ~50 Nanovolts with <10 Miliseconds of response time. Scientists and engineers at MetOx were also impressed with the system's intuitive software control panel. As a matter of fact, the Ic measurement system built by Chaogic Systems redefines "state of the art" in the field, with both hardware specifications and software interface exceeding similar systems operating at ORNL and LANL national laboratories.

Projects : Virtual Instrument

Copyright©, Chaogic Systems, LLC
>>Top of Page