LabView for Engine Test Bench Experiments
Abdullah Umair Bajwa | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 07, 2019

LabView for Engine Test Bench Experiments

Score 7 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with National Instruments LabVIEW

I use LabView with our engine test bench's data acquisition system to collect high-speed pressure data and low-speed temperature data. The signal from the sensor needs to be acquired for a certain amount of time and in certain formats that meet our research requirements. I use LabView to make custom interfaces (VIs) that meet these requirements and output the recorded data in the desired form.
  • Graphical programming interface makes it easy and intuitive to set up data acquisition VIs.
  • Easy to add new sensors.
  • Easy to add/modify calibration specifications to get the desired form for output data.
  • Easy to package VIs in easy-to-use form that can be used by technicians and operators.
  • Sometimes have problems with my VIs when the software version is updated.
  • Becomes somewhat slow after updates.
  • Real-time plots (in my case pressure-time plots) sometimes get stuck or are laggy. Same is true for RPM gauge.
  • We use NI's data acquisition hardware as well which has made it possible to get whatever experimental data we need to get for our studies.
  • LabView has made it possible for us to post-process and tailor the raw data to our specific needs.
  • With a responsive customer support team, NI allows us to expand our data acquisition and post-processing capabilities to carry out the kind of research projects that we would want.
We have used MatLab's data acquisition toolbox in the past which was not too bad either, especially if you prefer the text-based programming format. The only problem with that was that the library of compatible data acquisition hardware was somewhat limited and if your hardware is not from one of the more popular brands like NI there is a good possibility that you won't be able to use it with your MatLab script. LAstly, the amount of supporting material (tutorials, etc.) is very limited as it is not a very popular tool.
LabView is a great tool to connect your sensors to your data aquisition hardware. It makes it really easy to set-up a data acquisition routine that meets your individual requirements. I, as an engine researcher, find it very well suited for engine experimentation.

For any other programming needs, i.e. not data acquisition, I would not recommend using LabView because of its graphical programming architecture. The architecture makes it a great tool for Data Aquisition but puts at a disadvantage when it comes to other computational tasks, e.g. making a thermodynamic engine model. For those applications having text-based programming is better suited.