20220122 (Fundamentals of Virtual Instrument)

Course Name: Fundamentals of Virtual Instrument

Course Number: 20220122

Program: Undergraduate program

Type: Required

Credits: 2

Term Offered: Autumn

Prerequisite(s): Physics, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Computer Programming, Principles of Electric Circuits

Instructor(s): Wei Zhao, Songling Huang


Songling Huang, JingWu, Basic Tutorial of Virtual Instrument Design, Tsinghua University Press, 2009.


National Instruments. LabVIEWTM Halp(371361D-0118),2007.

National Instruments. DAQ PCI E Series User Manual, Part Number 320945C-01,1997

Guoping Hou, Shen Wang, Qixin Ye. LabVIEW 7.1 Programming and Virtual Instrument Design. Tsinghua University Press, 2005  

Course Description:

     The course focuses on the basic concepts virtual instrument design. It covers the scale of LabVIEW, virtual instrument programming, virtual instrument editing and debugging techniques and computer-based detection technology, including sensors, data acquisition, error evaluation and signal processing respectively.

Course Objectives and Outcomes:

     Numbers in brackets are linked to department educational outcomes

1.Students should skillfully master the methods of designing virtual instruments. [1, 2, 3]

2.Students would have access practical the useful examples of virtual instrument, such as virtual signal generator and virtual power meter. [8,9,10,11]

3.Students should learn to use the knowledge obtained from other courses in an integrated manner.[3, 5, 11]

4.Students would be familiar with a certain number of terminologies, which will be used repeatedly in the successive learning and studying. [5]

Course Topics:

1.Concept of virtual instruments, Hardware of virtual instruments, Software of virtual instruments, basics of LabVIEW.

2.Start LabVIEW, basic composition of LabVIEW program, front panel and block diagram, icon/connector, VI, subVI, Programming Environment of LabVIEW, data type of LabVIEW,

3.Structures, While loop, For loop, exchange of data within and outside in the loop structure, auto index, shift register, Case structure, stacked sequence structure, flat sequence structure, formula node.

4.Array, data manipulation functions, functions polymorphism, cluster, cluster manipulation functions, waveform, waveform manipulation functions.

5.Graph, waveform graph, XY graph, Chart, intensity chart, Graph3D, Express VI.

6.String control, string indicator, Combo Box, Table, Express table, Tree, string manipulation functions, File I/O, File I/O manipulation functions, High-level Vis, Low-level Vis.

7.Introduction of test system, data acquisition, establishment of data collection tasks, DAQ assistant, DAQmx functions.

8.Digital filter, correlation, Curve Fitting, measurement signal analysis, local variables and global variables, property node.

Experiment(s): Design experiments, which is the entitled as projects as follows.


Simple Virtual Instrument Design by LabVIEW

 Understand the principles of virtual instruments, Use LabVIEW to establish a Sinusoid and Display it on the front panel, either to generate a random array and Display it on the front panel.

Frequency Measurement by LabVIEW 

 To apply knowledge learned in data acquisition and measurement signal analysis to design a virtual instrument, which can measure frequency of sinusoidal component in the sinusoidal damped oscillation signal with LabVIEW.

Design Sinusoidal Signal Generator with computer sound card 

 To apply knowledge learned in Digital-analog conversion and analog-digital conversion to design and implement the sinusoidal signal generator, arbitrary waveform Generator based on computer, sound car and LabVIEW. 

Course Assessment:

       Assessment, 21 points

       Simulation project, 9 points

       Presentation in seminar, 10 points

       Final exam, 60 points