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PXI saves 30 percent on missile test

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US plane maker Boeing says that by switching to PXI-based data acquisition and National Instruments LabView test software it reduced the cost of testing one vehicle-based missile defence project by around 30 percent.

The project is said to have required an advanced data acquisition solution that could collect data continuously over 168 channels and analyse it simultaneously to give real time feedback on such critical parameters as noise, strain, pressure, vibration, temperature and heat flux, to a remote computer located in a launch control bunker.

National Instruments (NI) Alliance Partner, Radical Systems, used the LabView graphical development software and PXI embedded hardware to create a parallel data acquisition system with the required data throughput and accuracy. The embedded PXI controller used an Ethernet interface to remotely control and observe key data prior to, during and after launching.

“With the flexibility of LabView and modular design of PXI, we optimised code re-use and created the initial prototype in fewer than 45 days,” enthuses James Slemp, director of engineering at Radical Systems. “The final version of this system showed a cost saving greater than 30 percent compared to the predecessor and performed its function more intuitively and with greater versatility.”

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