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     Virtual Instrumentation Centre opened

Chandigarh, June 26th 2006, Tribune News Service

Dr Vijay Gupta, Director, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), today inaugurated the Virtual Instrumentation Centre at the college. The first training programme for the PEC faculty has commenced at the center and will continue up to June 30. This programme is being conducted by Dr Sanjay Gupta, Chief Scientific Officer (Research Professor) from IIT Kanpur, and experts from National Instruments.

Virtual instrumentation provides an environment where instruments like a digital voltmeter, digital counter, or oscilloscope are available on screen as Graphical User Interface as a part of the LabVIEW Software Package. The primary benefits of using data acquisition technology to configure virtual instrumentation include cost, size, and flexibility and ease of programming. The cost to configure a virtual instrumentation-based system using a data acquisition board or cards can be as little as 25 per cent of the cost of a conventional instrument. The conventional instruments as compared to a virtual instrumentation can be very large and cumbersome. They also require a lot of power, and often have excessive amounts of features that are rarely, if ever used. Most conventional instruments do not have any computational power. Since the virtual instrument is part of a computer, the computerís computational as well as controlling capability can be applied to a test configuration.

Virtual instruments are used in a large numbers of businesses that require quality assurance to ensure that the manufactured product is stable and meets industry requirements. These types of controls are frequently found in industrial processes, engineering, and most facets of modern technology, including, but not limited to, appliances, automobiles, and electronics. Instrumental controls range from common objects, like a digital scale, to more specialised devices, such as a laser sensor.

The centre will be used by BE students for their project work, by postgraduate students for developing instrumentation and to carry out research activities leading to their dissertation. The centre shall be a value addition in the institute for consultancy jobs. This will also act as incubation facility in virtual instrumentation in this part of the country.

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