Using LabVIEW, PXI, and CompactRIO to Develop a Testbed for the M15 Gas Turbine System

Srikant Kumar, Aniba Solutions Pvt. Ltd

"To eliminate the drawbacks of this electropneumatic control system for M15-E testbeds, we developed a digital control system based on LabVIEW and NI hardware."

- Srikant Kumar, Aniba Solutions Pvt. Ltd

The Challenge:

Developing a data acquisition and control system with real-time measurement and logging capabilities for an M15 gas turbine and testbed subsystem.

The Solution:

Replacing existing instruments with a digital control system based on NI LabVIEW software, and PXI and CompactRIO hardware.

The 1241-RE class of ships is fitted with M15-E gas turbines (GTs) to propel them through the water. Two cruise GTs and two boost GTs drive a ship. In the original version of the system, an electropneumatic control system operated and monitored the turbines. To eliminate the drawbacks of this electropneumatic control system for M15-E testbeds, we developed a digital control system based on LabVIEW and NI hardware. The system logs and stores all data from the time the turbines start running to the time they shut down, which provides a great deal of information about GT performance over time. This vital information provides useful inputs for periodic maintenance and overhauling the GT.


We developed the testbed facility for an RE class M15-E GT using the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module. We also used a variety of NI hardware products including a PXI-1052 chassis, a PXI-8108 embedded controller, a PXI-2567 external relay driver, a PXI-6259 M Series DAQ device, a PXI-6229 M Series DAQ device, an SCXI-1503 resistance temperature detector (RTD) analog input module, an SCXI-1102 thermocouple module, an NI PXIe-1078 chassis, an NI PXIe-4353 thermocouple module, an NI cRIO-9073 real-time controller with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), an NI 9505 DC brushed servo drive module, and an NI MKD-1117 rack-mounted monitor and keyboard.

We designed and simulated the various testbed subsystems, including the fuel system, the lubrication oil system, the cooling water system, and the HP-AIR system using the LabVIEW DSC Module. We also used the LabVIEW DSC Module to create a human machine interface (HMI) and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. The features that LabVIEW provides are powerful and customizable enough to meet our exact specifications.

We also developed a throttle control system using PWM to rotate the throttle at a particular angle. We chose a cRIO-9073, an NI 9505 DC brushed servo drive module, and a DC servo drive motor to operate this system.


The data acquisition and control system automates as much of the GT test process as possible. The system reports the status and readiness of the engine, testbed accessories, and support systems. It controls a variety of functions including the GT startup sequence, the various GT operating modes, the engine, the testbed accessories, and all support systems. It also protects the GT from unsafe operating conditions by monitoring alarms and warnings. It is responsible for online measurement and monitoring of parameters from the GT as well as parameters from various testbed subsystems. The system conducts vibration measurement, monitoring, and analysis. Lastly, the system we created reports all test results and provides an easily accessible online data archive. 


The data acquisition and control system has the following major subsystems:

(i) Engine Control System—This system controls the GT startup sequence and controls the GT and RG in various operating modes. It also protects the GT from unsafe operating conditions.

(ii) Data Acquisition and Monitoring System—This system measures various test parameters from the GT, RG, and the test facility. These parameters include engine speed, pressure, and temperature. In addition to measuring and displaying these parameters in numeric and graphic format, this system supports required processing and storage functions.

(iii) Vibration Measurement System—This system measures vibration at various GT and RG locations. It also supports online monitoring and analysis of vibration signals.

(iv) Operator Warning System—This system monitors and displays all alarm signals. Alarm indication is audiovisual and color coded.


Author Information:

Srikant Kumar
Aniba Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Fuel Oil System Simulation
The Second Fuel System
The Fuel System Process Running
The Fuel System Process
The Fuel System Process Running
The Lube Oil Preservative System Running
The Lube Oil System Running