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CompactRIO platform gains wireless I/O

Posted: 16 Dec 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:sensor network  wireless gateway  measurement node 

National Instruments unveils a wireless gateway and three new measurement nodes that boost the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) platform allowing engineers to use the WSN gateway through the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, to easily integrate wired and wireless measurement and control systems and program WSN nodes to perform local control, data analysis and event-based alarming or notification.

According to NI, the new devices offer increased performance and expanded connectivity to thousands of sensors and instruments.

Engineers can insert the NI 9795 C Series gateway into any available slot in a CompactRIO chassis to complement existing measurement and control systems with wireless I/O. With a similar software experience, combining wired CompactRIO monitoring and control systems with distributed WSN measurements is easier than ever, said NI. The C Series gateway is a key addition to the existing programmable and non-programmable WSN gateways offering customers different choices in terms of cost and flexibility to communicate with deployed NI WSN measurement nodes.

The NI WSN-3214 strain/bridge completion node brings waveform acquisition capabilities to the WSN product line and delivers the ideal product for wireless structural health monitoring of bridges, buildings and equipment. The node features four analogue channels that support quarter-, half- and full-bridge completion, as well as two digital I/O channels for event detection and programmatic control. With the NI LabVIEW WSN Module Pioneer, engineers can process and analyse strain data on the node to determine or predict the presence of fault conditions. They can then choose to transmit the entire waveform or only meaningful, analysed data, which reduces the amount of wirelessly transmitted data, thereby prolonging the battery-operated lifetime of the WSN measurement nodes.

The programmable NI WSN-3230 (one-port RS232) and NI WSN-3231 (one-port RS485) serial nodes can wirelessly control and interface with serial-based instruments, sensors and control boards. Using the LabVIEW WSN Module Pioneer, engineers can embed query and parse algorithms directly on the WSN nodes to create an autonomous, programmable interface to a variety of serial devices. These nodes also feature two digital I/O channels for event detection and programmatic control.

Engineers have long used wired systems for monitoring and control applications. As the adoption of wireless measurement technology continues, the ability to augment existing wired systems with wireless measurements is increasingly important. With these new devices, engineers can use a single software environment to create complete wired and wireless measurement and control systems, targeted at applications such as environmental monitoring, industrial measurements and control, energy monitoring and structural health monitoring.

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