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CompactRIO goes wireless with 3rd-party modules

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CompactRIO goes wireless with 3rd-party modulesEngineers and scientists requiring connectivity to in-vehicle communication buses and sensors along with wireless communication now have more options for acquisition, design and control applications. Industry leaders such as AVIAOK International Company, Drivven and Science & Engineering Applications Datentechnik GmbH (S.E.A.) have developed custom modules for the National Instruments CompactRIO platform, adding a wide variety of functionality to the platform for automotive, aerospace and military in-vehicle applications; wireless communications; and position monitoring for mobile applications; as well as direct connectivity to in-vehicle sensors for electronic control unit (ECU) design and rapid prototyping.

CompactRIO is a high-performance control and acquisition system designed for applications that require high performance and reliability. The system combines an open embedded architecture with small size, extreme ruggedness and hot-swappable I/O modules. CompactRIO is powered by LabVIEW FPGA technology, which engineers can use to reconfigure the platform for a variety of design, acquisition and control applications. Engineers can also create their own custom modules for CompactRIO for specialised I/O and communication needs, which many companies are finding extremely useful. Both third-party modules and National Instruments modules are connected directly to the FPGA of CompactRIO, allowing for synchronisation of up to 40 MHz between modules and custom timing and triggering of all I/O.

S.E.A., a provider of products and solutions in the field of industrial automation and measurement technology, has released the second generation of its GPS monitoring, GSM and GPRS wireless communication network modules for CompactRIO. Engineers can use S.E.A. modules to monitor the exact position of CompactRIO systems through built-in GPS functionality as well as wirelessly transmit data to and from CompactRIO systems and synchronise these systems with 100 ns resolution. The S.E.A. modules facilitate the control and monitoring of inaccessible and mobile CompactRIO systems remotely by GSM and GPRS telephone networks. These new modules from S.E.A. also add new features including RCC radio-controlled clock and IRIG-B output functionality, allowing a CompactRIO system to obtain a precise timestamp based on the satellite clock that engineers can use to synchronise multiple remote CompactRIO systems wirelessly.

"We have many customers looking for a rugged, mobile measurement platform for in-vehicle and industrial monitoring applications," said Wolfram Koelver, CEO of S.E.A. "All of our wireless modules come with LabVIEW software to easily integrate our modules within a CompactRIO system, creating an ideal platform for remote acquisition and control applications."

Drivven, a leading provider of automotive control and data acquisition solutions, has developed a variety of CompactRIO modules designed for rapid prototyping of full-authority engine control systems. With Drivven modules, engineers can connect CompactRIO or PXI systems directly to a variety of automotive sensors and actuators such as crank position sensors, oxygen sensors, thermistors, pressure transducers, port fuel injectors, common rail diesel injectors, ignition coils, electronic throttles and more. All of the custom modules from Drivven come with ready-to-run LabVIEW software, making the development process easy for automotive engineers. With these custom CompactRIO modules from Drivven, engineers can quickly prototype vehicle ECUs using LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time software tools for CompactRIO and PXI.

Finally, AVIAOK International Company has developed ARINC-429 and MIL-1553 CompactRIO modules for the aerospace and avionics industry. Engineers can use the ARINC-429, a point-to-point, unidirectional data bus that is application-specific for commercial and transport aircraft, to interface to aircraft subsystems and sensors.

The MIL-1553 is a high-performance, multiplexed data bus widely used by the military to integrate subsystems for which data integrity and reliability are crucial. MIL-1553 is widely used in aircraft avionics and marine, submarine and ground vehicle systems, and in some commercial applications such as reactors, subway cars and oil drilling. The AVIAOK International Company ARINC-429 and MIL-1553 modules make it possible for engineers to use CompactRIO as an ideal embedded system for avionic, aerospace and military acquisition and control applications.

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04 December 2006

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