Archive for the ‘hardware_in_the_loop’ Category

Virginia Tech recently was named the overall winner of EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, a three-year collegiate vehicle engineering competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors (GM). The Virginia Tech team designed and built an extended-range electric vehicle using E85 (ethanol) and capable of achieving fuel efficiency of 81.9 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. The team used NI technology to design, prototype, validate and deploy a control strategy for the hybrid components of the vehicle.




To interface with and control the vehicle, the Virginia Tech team chose CompactRIO to act as a hybrid vehicle supervisory controller that would balance power distribution between the vehicle’s combustion and electric systems. The controller was programmed with LabVIEW, which also served as the runtime environment for the main driver display in the vehicle. The LabVIEW Statechart Module was used to create a high-level state machine control architecture for splitting torque between the hybrid components. Prior to deploying their control strategy to hardware, the team used NI VeriStand and NI PXI to create a hardware-in-the-loop simulation and validation system that evaluated the fuel and electric energy consumption of the vehicle as well as test safety features.


Sixteen North American universities participated in EcoCAR and re-engineered GM-donated vehicles to minimize fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining its utility, safety and performance. In addition to winning the overall competition, Virginia Tech won awards for Shortest 60-0 MPH Braking Distance, Best AVL Drive Quality, Best Dynamic Consumer Acceptability and Best Fuel Consumption. The team also received the National Instruments Most Innovative Use of Graphical System Design award. NI is a platinum sponsor of EcoCAR.


Visit to learn more about the EcoCAR competition.

When faced with the challenge to develop an integrated, configurable hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) flight simulator, the engineers at HCL Technologies knew where to turn – the dynamic duo of NI LabVIEW software and PXI hardware. The company’s client, a leading company specializing in developing flight control systems (FCS) for aircraft, needed a flexible, scalable new testing system that could simulate various flight conditions and measure the HIL sensor responses.




HCL engineers got down to work, building the FCS on open, industry-standard PXI architecture. Then, they chose LabVIEW for its unbeatable graphical capabilities and seamless integration with PXI products, and included LabVIEW drivers for use with third-party hardware.


With the help of NI products, HCL rose to the challenge. With PXI, the team was easily able to combine data from a wide range of interfaces. Nifty toolkits such as the CEI-LabVIEW and the LabVIEW FPGA Module greatly reduced development time.


Using their new FCS powered by LabVIEW and PXI, HCL’s client saves significant time when completing manual testing and collating, analyzing, and preparing reports. Now, that’s what we call taking business to new heights.


>> Read the full case study.