More options: Modules enhance in-vehicle, wireless CompactRIO abilities

By Control Engineering Staff December 14, 2006

Engineers and scientists developing acquisition, design, and control applications requiring connectivity to in-vehicle communication buses and sensors along with wireless communication now have more options. Three companies have developed custom modules for the National Instruments CompactRIO platform: Aviaok International Co., Drivven, and Science & Engineering Applications Datentechnik GmbH (S.E.A.)

National Instruments’ CompactRIO goes wireless with new third-party modules from AVIAOK International Co., Drivven, and S.E.A.

CompactRIO combines an open embedded architecture with small size, ruggedness, and hot-swappable I/O modules and is powered by Labview FPGA technology, which engineers can use to reconfigure the platform or create custom modules. The new modules add functionality for automotive, aerospace, and military in-vehicle applications, wireless communications, and position monitoring for mobile applications, as well as direct connectivity to in-vehicle sensors for electronic control unit (ECU) design and rapid prototyping. Both third-party and National Instruments modules connect directly to the FPGA of CompactRIO, allowing for synchronization of up to 40 MHz between modules and custom timing and triggering of all I/O.

S.E.A provides GPS monitoring, GSM, and GPRS wireless communication network modules that let engineers wirelessly monitor the exact position of CompactRIO systems. The S.E.A. modules facilitate control and monitoring of inaccessible and mobile CompactRIO systems remotely by GSM and GPRS telephone networks, and add new features including RCC radio-controlled clock and IRIG-B output functionality.

Drivven offers a variety of CompactRIO modules designed for rapid prototyping of full-authority engine control (FADEC) systems. These let engineers connect CompactRIO or PXI systems directly to automotive sensors and actuators such as crank position sensors, oxygen sensors, thermistors, pressure transducers, port fuel injectors, and more.

Aviaok International has developed ARINC-429 and MIL-1553 CompactRIO modules for the aerospace and avionics industry. Engineers can use the ARINC-429, a point-to-point, unidirectional data bus that is application-specific for commercial and transport aircraft, to interface to aircraft subsystems and sensors.