Product Details Supplier Info More products

National Instruments has recognised innovative applications developed by engineers, scientists and researchers as part of its NIDays 2010 Graphical System Design Case Study Content.

The annual technical paper contest is intended to showcase innovative uses of virtual instrumentation and graphical system design in teaching or by engineers in industry.

Dr David Keeling and Ali Alazmani from the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds accepted the award for the winning paper on behalf of their colleagues at the university and Leeds General Infirmary, who developed a mechanical heart simulator or Ventricular Assist Device.

The simulator is an artificial muscle wrap that assists a failing heart by applying compressive force, synchronous to the native rhythm, around the external surface of the heart’s ventricles.

The cyclic ‘squeezing’ action augments heart muscle efforts, leading to an improved output for the diseased heart.

The team created a hardware-in-the-loop heart simulator that combines a real-time software blood-flow model with a physical 3D mechanical heart.

They used the NI Labview graphical programming environment and NI CompactRIO to enhance the testing environment so the heart simulator could operate as a standalone system and run reliably for prolonged periods of time.

‘CompactRIO offered a rugged, reliable, standalone platform, enabling our team to conduct prolonged testing, which would not have been possible on a traditional computer,’ said Keeling.

Racing Green Endurance and Wavebob were the contest’s two finalists.

The case study written by Alec de Zegher and Tobias Schulz from Racing Green Endurance details the design and implementation of a control system for an electric supercar using CompactRIO.

In less than nine months, the Racing Green Endurance team built a 400bhp twin-motor battery electric vehicle to traverse the Pan-American Highway.

CompactRIO, with its onboard real-time controller and field-programmable gate array, was used to implement a tough, advanced and safe vehicle control system in less than four months.

CompactRIO controls the vehicle’s battery management system, which ensures the constant wellbeing of the lithium-ion-phosphate batteries and also manages the motor controllers, drive interface and safety systems.

Wavebob harnesses the power of the ocean to produce clean, renewable energy.

Eugene Doogan’s paper describes the design of a prototype floating buoy device that automatically adjusts its response to suit the prevailing wave climate to maximise the amount of useful power delivered to the electricity grid on-shore.

The control and data acquisition system of this prototype wave energy converter is powered by Labview, Compact Fieldpoint and CompactRIO.

Wavebob’s goal is to develop a commercial wave energy converter that can produce significant electrical power for the onshore grid on coastlines with a suitable wave climate.

Honourable mentions were given to Rodrigue Akkari from BPP-Tech for his paper about creating a riser management system for deepwater drill ships and semisubmersible; and to Stuart Watson and colleagues from the universities of Glamorgan and Swansea for developing a magnetic induction tomography system for the detection of intracerebral haemorrhage using very low-noise RF signals.

National Instruments

National Instruments transforms the way engineers and scientists around the world design, prototype and deploy systems for test, control and embedded design applications. Using NI LabVIEW graphical programming software and modular hardware, customers at more than 30,000 companies annually simplify development, increase productivity and dramatically reduce time to market. From testing next-generation gaming systems to creating breakthrough medical devices to controlling autonomous vehicles, NI customers continuously develop innovative technologies that impact millions of people’s lives.

View full profile