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Virtual Instrumentation


Virtual instrumentation is an interdisciplinary field that merges sensing, hardware and software technologies in order to create flexible and sophisticated instruments for control and monitoring applications

definitions of a virtual instruments "an instrument whose general function and capabilities are determined in software" a virtual instrument is composed of some specialized subunits, some general-purpose computers, some software, and a little know-how" any computer can simulate any other if we simply load it with software simulating the other computer

basic properties of a virtual instrument its ability to change form through software, enabling a user to modify its function at will to suit a wide range of applications.

A Brief History of Virtual Instrumentation

Analog Measurement Devices



Data Acquisition and Processing devices Digital Processing based on general purpose computing platform




graphical user interfaces and visual programming into Computerized instrumentation, joining simplicity of a user interface operation with increased capabilities of computers.
ADC Display Processing



Virtual Instrument Architecture

the sensor, the signal conditioning part, the A/D converter

Wired Interfaces GPIB, SCSI, PCI, RS232 or USB Wireless Interfaces - Bluetooth, or GPRS/GSM

Processing Analytical AI

File System eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

Random writing and reading of files. Standardized markup files. SQL based interface for relation databases. Java programs SQL based objectoriented interface for relation databases. Windows programs object-based interface for various data sources including relational and XML files. Windows programs object-based interface for relation databases.

Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)

ActiveX Data Objects (ADO)

databases Data Access Objects (DAO)

communication between a user and a computer is purely textual The user sends requests to the computer typing commands, and receives response in a form of textual messages Additional effects, such as text and background colour or blinking, are possible important in distributed virtual instrumentation, and for emergency alerts

enabled more intuitive human-computer interaction Creation of many sophisticated graphical widgets such as graphs, charts, tables, gauges, or meters

Sonification (auditory display) or haptic rendering (natural feel of the virtual environment )

live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, realworld environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data

ManuVAR - Virtual and Augmented Reality - YouTube.FLV

1970s and early 1980s BASIC, late 1980s C, The first version of LabVIEW had been written in C application programming interfaces (APIs) - Visual Basic, Visual C++, Delphi or Java. third-party software libraries FFTW, OpenGL

LabVIEW is a program development environment, much like Java, C or BASIC LabVIEW uses a graphical programming language LabVIEW programs are formed as block Diagrams LabVIEW uses data-flow programming model LabVIEW is also a multitasking and multithreading system

LabVIEW includes libraries for data acquisition, instrument control, data analysis, data presentation, and data storage.

has more than 4000 built-in analysis, math, and signal processing functions, as well as support for SQL and ADO database connectivity, and open connectivity through XML, TCP/IP, wireless, and other standards

1 GB/s1000 times faster than the GPIB bus used to connect most traditional instruments to a PC, 16 times faster than USB 2.0, 80 times faster than 100-Mbps Ethernet, and even 8 times as fast as emerging Gbps Ethernet