National Instruments Announces USB Device and Sensor Suite for Sound and Vibration Applications

New Products Provide a Complete Sound and Vibration Stimulus Response System From a Single Vendor

July 1, 2009 – National Instruments has announced a new portable bus-powered dynamic signal acquisition (DSA) module and a suite of vibration sensors that are ideal for making high-accuracy vibration measurements required for noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and machine condition monitoring applications. The NI USB-4431 DSA module acquires data at rates from 1 to 102.4 kS/s, which makes it possible to obtain a wide measurement bandwidth. The combination of the USB-4431 and the new vibration sensors, which include three accelerometers, a triaxial accelerometer and an impact hammer, gives engineers and scientists a complete stimulus response system from a single vendor for seamless product integration.

The USB-4431 is a five-channel DSA module for making high-accuracy measurements from integrated electronics piezoelectric (IEPE) sensors. The module consists of four 24-bit simultaneously sampled analogue input channels and one 24-bit analogue output channel, which are ideal for stimulus response test systems. The USB-4431 also works well for a wide variety of field test applications such as frequency response audio tests and suspension shaker tests due to its portability. Additionally, the module delivers 100 dB of dynamic range and incorporates software-selectable IEPE signal conditioning for accelerometers and microphones.

The new sensor suite includes three high-accuracy accelerometers and a triaxial accelerometer that are compatible with all NI DSA devices. The accelerometers have low-impedance output signals that allow for accurate signal transmission over long cables, and their small form factor makes them easy to include in a wide variety of monitoring and test systems. The triaxial accelerometer characterises the acceleration of an object or device being measured in all three dimensions with a single sensor to minimise cabling at the source.

Also included in the sensor suite is a modal analysis impact hammer, a device that delivers effective measurements of stimulus signals. With this highly flexible impact hammer, engineers and scientists can measure the stimulus force for a wide range of frequencies and magnitudes required for proper object characterisation. The impact hammer, triaxial accelerometer and USB-4431 combine to form a precise structural monitoring stimulus response test system.

Engineers and scientists can get their applications up and running quickly and efficiently with the configuration-based NI Sound and Vibration Assistant software or with more than 50 ready-to-run NI LabVIEW  software example code bases provided in the NI Sound and Vibration Measurement Suite. The software suite includes a pre-built Sound and Vibration Assistant project for impact hammer response to help engineers and scientists rapidly set up a structural test application. The Sound and Vibration Measurement Suite also features pre-built virtual instruments (VIs) for NVH and rotating machinery vibration analysis applications so engineers and scientists can quickly set up almost any sound and vibration application.

Readers can visit to learn more about NI products for vibration, machine condition monitoring and NVH applications.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 10 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

For more infomation on this company click here