Instrumentation house National Instruments (NI---Austin, Texas) now has a suite of control-oriented design and simulation tools that extends the company's popular LabVIEW graphical development environment to the design, implementation, and test of control systems.
Priced at less than $4000, the new tool suite includes NI's LabVIEW System Identification Toolkit 2.0, and LabVIEW Control Design Toolkit 2.0. These packages feature interactive assistants that give you a drag-and-drop configuration-based environment. That's useful if you're doing plant modeling and control system design.
With the tool's interactive assistants, you can use real-world stimulus and response to identify dynamic system models, and analyze and synthesize control systems. The Control Design Toolkit features graphical tools, such as root-locus and Bode plots, to help you design dynamic control systems.
Applications range from adaptive cruise control systems to high-precision machines. Conventionally, you'd use text-based environments or control design tools without integrated I/O and system identification capabilities to handle these tasks.
The suite tools also includes a LabVIEW Simulation Module and LabVIEW State Diagram Toolkit. Whether you're designing engine controllers for motorcycles or flight controls for an aircraft, you can use these toolkits to verify controller performance. The toolkits can also be used to simulate dynamic systems offline, or you can implement them in realtime hardware.
You can then take advantage of the built-in I/O capability and determinism of LabVIEW Real-Time to download your models to realtime targets for control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop testing.
For performing applications such as control prototyping or embedded implementation, you can use LabVIEW's control design and simulation tools with the NI's recently introduced CompactRIO embedded system.
The CompactRIO is a small platform based on FPGA technology. For hardware-in-the-loop testing applications that require high-speed computation capability, you can use real-time PXI targets.
A Glowing Endorsement
"The integrated environment in LabVIEW for measurement, system identification, control design, and implementation is useful for rapid design and test of control systems," notes Karl Astrom, professor of automatic control at Lund Institute of Technology. As the winner of an IEEE Medal of Honor for fundamental contributions to adaptive control technology, Astrom should know.
Click here for more information about the NI LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Bundle.
Click here to learn about educational discounts to qualifying academic institutions.
For more info contact Ernest Martinez at National Instruments, Corp., 11500 No. Mopac Expwy., Austin, Texas 78759-3504. Phone: (800) 258-7022, or (512) 683-0100. Fax: (512) 683-8411. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to visit NI's Web site, too.