NI Debuts Interactive Design Tools for Developing Real-Time Control Systems

11/19/2004 - National Instruments announced a suite of control design and simulation tools that extends the LabVIEW graphical development environment to the design, implementation and test of control systems. This suite of tools includes the new NI LabVIEW System Identification Toolkit 2.0 and NI LabVIEW Control Design Toolkit 2.0, which feature interactive assistants that give control design and simulation engineers a drag-and-drop, configuration-based environment for plant modeling and control system design.

With the new tools’ interactive assistants, engineers can use real-world stimulus and response to identify dynamic system models and analyze and synthesize control systems. The new LabVIEW Control Design Toolkit features graphical tools such as root-locus and Bode plots to help engineers design dynamic control systems for everything from adaptive cruise control systems to high-precision machines. Traditionally, these engineers used text-based environments or control design tools without integrated I/O and system identification capabilities.

“The integrated environment in LabVIEW for measurement, system identification, control design and implementation is useful for rapid design and test of control systems,” said Karl Astrom, professor of automatic control at Lund Institute of Technology and winner of an IEEE Medal of Honor for fundamental contributions to adaptive control technology.

The suite of LabVIEW control design and simulation tools also includes the NI LabVIEW Simulation Module and NI LabVIEW State Diagram Toolkit. Whether they are designing engine controllers for motorcycles or flight controls for an aircraft, engineers can use these toolkits to verify controller performance and simulate their dynamic systems offline or implement them in real-time hardware. They then can take advantage of the built-in I/O capability and determinism of LabVIEW Real-Time to download these models to real-time targets for easy rapid control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop testing.

For performing applications such as rapid control prototyping or embedded implementation, engineers can use the LabVIEW control design and simulation tools with the new NI CompactRIO embedded system, a small and durable platform based on FPGA technology. For hardware-in-the-loop testing applications that require high-speed computation capability, they can use real-time PXI targets.

For more information about the NI LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Bundle, readers can visit To learn about educational discounts to qualifying academic institutions, readers can visit

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,100 employees and direct operations in 41 countries. In 2003, the company sold products to more than 25,000 companies in 90 countries. For the past five years, FORTUNE magazine named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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