What is the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module

Publish Date: Dec 08, 2014 | 6 Ratings | 3.17 out of 5 | Print

Overview

Due to the increase in computer power, simulation is quickly becoming a tool of choice for design engineers who need to quickly evaluate and iterate on the typical design process. Simulation tools that used to run on workstations a mere decade ago now run on desktop computers meant for households.

Table of Contents

  1. Applications
  2. Benefits of the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module
  3. Features
  4. MathScript RT Plug-In
  5. Control Design Assistant
  6. Simulation Model Converter
  7. Learn More

1. Applications

Two types of applications that take advantage of this newly found computer power are rapid control prototyping (RCP) and hardware in the loop (HIL). The main purpose of RCP applications is to check algorithms developed during the design/simulation phase and deploy them to a real-time system to quickly verify the performance of the algorithm. In an HIL application, the goal is to simulate a plant to be controlled with the same input/output and behavior so that the test can be performed safely. RCP and HIL have been used for years in the automotive and aerospace markets, but they are now expanding into new areas such as medical devices, oil and gas, and robotics.

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2. Benefits of the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module

As part of the LabVIEW graphical development platform, the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module offers the following benefits:

Hardware and software integration – You can use the integration of NI hardware and software to easily move from the design/simulation space to adding real-world data – both inputs and outputs. This feature is important for RCP applications where quick iteration between the simulated algorithms and real-world signals is crucial. You can use LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation with all NI hardware platforms, including data acquisition, CAN, GPIB, and field-programmable gate array (FPGA).

 

Another feature you need when deploying a simulated system in real-world conditions is the ability to run in real time for increased performance and enhanced flexibility. Again, you can directly deploy (without code generation) the code you build using LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation to a variety of real-time targets, ranging from high-performance PXI and desktop PC to rugged, industrial NI CompactRIO hardware.

Interactive user interface – One of the main benefits of simulation is the ability to modify system parameters to check how the performance of a system changes. By using the front panel in LabVIEW, you can change these parameters while the simulation is running. Another possibility is to arrange the powerful LabVIEW set of controls and indicators so that simulation interfaces are similar to real-world interfaces, opening the possibility of nontechnical users running the simulation. And with the 3D picture control included in LabVIEW, you can use intuitive models in the LabVIEW environment.

Full programming language – Because the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module is part of the LabVIEW graphical development environment,  you can integrate other LabVIEW modules and toolkits into your applications. Along with the LabVIEW Real-Time and LabVIEW FPGA modules, you can take advantage of the LabVIEW Database Connectivity Toolset, LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit, and more. In addition, you can use other tools specific to control applications such as the LabVIEW PID and Fuzzy Logic Toolkit, the LabVIEW System Identification Toolkit, or NI VeriStand software.

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3. Features

The LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module features the different algorithms and functionality you need to build and analyze systems and deploy them to hardware targets. This functionality includes dynamic systems with the necessary blocks to build both linear and nonlinear systems that are continuous, discrete, multirate, and so on; an analysis palette including the tools you need to perform analyses in both the time and frequency domains; tools for control design with features like Bode plots, root locus, and a range of advanced controllers such as linear quadratic regulators (LQRs), model predictive control (MPC), regular and extended Kalman filters, and more.

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4. MathScript RT Plug-In

LabVIEW MathScript is a new feature that you can use to perform textual mathematics and algorithm design in LabVIEW. Because engineers and scientists sometimes prefer to represent their algorithms in a text-based language, they can now reuse this same code. MathScript is generally compatible with the widely used .m file script syntax – this compatibility helps you use your algorithms while enjoying all the benefits of LabVIEW.

The LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module has a specific plug-in for the LabVIEW MathScript RT Module so you can implement the following:

  • Combine your existing .m files with a flexible LabVIEW UI using a LabVIEW MathScript Node
  • Take advantage of the MathScript text-based interactive environment for design and analysis
  • Use integrated controls with built-in numerical math and signal processing functions in MathScript or native LabVIEW VIs and toolkits

 

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5. Control Design Assistant

With the interactive Control Design Assistant, you can develop models that reflect the behavior of single-input single-output (SISO) systems. This assistant helps you load your existing models or create models of plants, analyze the time or frequency response, and then synthesize a controller. The Control Design Assistant features windows in which you can see immediately the mathematical equation and graphical representation that describe the model. You also can view the response data and the configuration of the controller.

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6. Simulation Model Converter

With the Simulation Model Converter dialog box, you can convert your model (.mdl) file, developed in The MathWorks, Inc. Simulink® simulation environment, into a LabVIEW VI that contains a simulation diagram. As part of the conversion process, the Simulation Model Converter uses The MathWorks, Inc. MATLAB® application software along with Simulink software to compile your .mdl file and execute any of your .m files that you specify in the dialog box. If MATLAB or Simulink is not installed on the same computer as the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module, the results of the conversion might be less accurate.

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7. Learn More

LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module

3-Hour Tutorial

Download the Evaluation Version

LabVIEW MathScript RT Module

NI VeriStand

MATLAB® and Simulink® are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc.

 

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