Remote Observation and Control of a Shake Table Experiment

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Title: Remote Observation and Control of a Shake Table Experiment
Author: Wirgau, Scott Arthur
Advisors: Vernon Matzen, Committee Co-Chair
Abhinav Gupta, Committee Co-Chair
John Baugh, Committee Member
Abstract: Laboratory experiences, i.e. visualization of material covered in class and hands-on use of equipment, are especially advantageous to engineering classes such as structural mechanics. Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult for on-campus students to be taken to a lab setting and impossible for those who are off campus due to work, disabilities, or other complexities and taking class through distance education. This project describes a shake table experiment that is being converted to a distance-learning environment. This will include remote access, control, and protection from misuse. An aspect of the project that differentiates it from simple remote viewing of a lecture or experiment is the need to control the experiment and to protect against the possibility of damage occurring to this particular setup if left unmonitored. This last point necessitates the inclusion of sufficient safety protocols. The environment must allow remote controlling of the system, multi-user viewing, data saving, and download capabilities. The technology selected for use in this project is the LabVIEW programming environment in conjunction with its real time counterpart, LabVIEW RT. By using this language, practical and intuitive control panels coupled with easy to follow data flow block diagrams are made possible. The LabVIEW code likewise handles the data acquisition. The information sent and received through the DAQ card is processed by LabVIEW RT code embedded in the real time processor. The information is then sent to a host computer for saving, visualization, and distribution to remote clients. This visualization includes an oscilloscope for displaying the accelerations from both the table and the structure residing on the table. Further visualization is given by way of a video camera. The code must be made safe from unauthorized usage in addition to allowing for the university network to remain protected. This research outlines in detail the setup required and programs needed to implement such a system and presents the information in a manner that can be helpful regardless of the programming language chosen.
Date: 2003-09-18
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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