2049CH01 - Bitter, Rick et al "Introduction to...

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Unformatted text preview: Bitter, Rick et al "Introduction to LabVIEW" LabVIEW Advanced Programming Techinques Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC,2001 1 ©2001 CRC Press LLC Introduction to LabVIEW Programmers develop software applications every day in order to increase efficiency and productivity in various situations. LabVIEW, as a programming language, is a powerful tool that can be used to help achieve these goals. LabVIEW (Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench) is a graphically-based programming language developed by National Instruments. Its graphical nature makes it ideal for test and measurement (T&M), automation, instrument control, data acquisition, and data analysis applications. This results in significant productivity improvements over conventional programming languages. National Instruments focuses on products for T&M, giving them a good insight into developing LabVIEW. This chapter will provide a brief introduction to LabVIEW. Some basic topics will be covered to give you a better understanding of how LabVIEW works and how to begin using it. This chapter is not intended to teach beginners LabVIEW programming thoroughly. Those wishing to learn LabVIEW should consider attend- ing a National Instruments LabVIEW Basics course. Relevant information on the courses offered, schedules, and locations can be found at http://www.nat- inst.com/custed/ . If you have prior experience with LabVIEW, you can skip this chapter and proceed to the advanced chapters. First, VIs and their components will be discussed, followed by LabVIEW's dataflow programming paradigm. Then, several topics related to creating VIs will be covered by explaining the front panel and block diagram. The chapter will conclude with descriptions of icons and setting preferences. 1.1 VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS Simply put, a Virtual Instrument (VI) is a LabVIEW programming element. A VI consists of a front panel, block diagram, and an icon that represents the program. The front panel is used to display controls and indicators for the user, while the block diagram contains the code for the VI. The icon, which is a visual representation of the VI, has connectors for program inputs and outputs. Programming languages such as C and BASIC use functions and subroutines as programming elements. LabVIEW uses the VI. The front panel of a VI handles the function inputs and outputs, and the code diagram performs the work of the VI. Multiple VIs can be used to create large-scale applications, in fact, large scale applications may have several hundred VIs. A VI may be used as the user interface or as a subroutine in an application. User interface elements such as graphs are drag- and-drop easy in LabVIEW. ©2001 CRC Press LLC 1.1.1 T HE F RONT P ANEL Figure 1.1 illustrates the front panel of a LabVIEW VI. It contains a knob for selecting the number of measurements per average, a control for selecting the measurement type, a digital indicator to display the output value, and a stop button....
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2049CH01 - Bitter, Rick et al "Introduction to...

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