LabVIEW extensions

National Instruments has introduced a suite of control design and simulation tools that extends the LabVIEW graphical development environment to the design, implementation and test of control systems.

The suite of tools includes the new NI LabVIEW System Identification Toolkit 2.0 and NI LabVIEW Control Design Toolkit 2.0, which feature interactive assistants that give control design and simulation engineers a drag-and-drop, configuration-based environment for plant modelling and control system design.

With the new tools’ interactive assistants, engineers can use real-world stimulus and response to identify dynamic system models and analyse and synthesise control systems. The new LabVIEW Control Design Toolkit features graphical tools such as root-locus and Bode plots to help engineers design dynamic control systems for everything from adaptive cruise control systems to high-precision machines. Traditionally, these engineers used text-based environments or control design tools without integrated I/O and system identification capabilities.

The suite of LabVIEW control design and simulation tools also includes the NI LabVIEW Simulation Module and NI LabVIEW State Diagram Toolkit. Whether they are designing engine controllers for motorcycles or flight controls for an aircraft, engineers can use these toolkits to verify controller performance and simulate their dynamic systems offline or implement them in real-time hardware. They then can take advantage of the built-in I/O capability and determinism of LabVIEW Real-Time to download these models to real-time targets for easy rapid control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop testing.

For performing applications such as rapid control prototyping or embedded implementation, engineers can use the LabVIEW control design and simulation tools with the new NI CompactRIO embedded system, a small and durable platform based on FPGA technology. For hardware-in-the-loop testing applications that require high-speed computation capability, they can use real-time PXI targets.