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Vote for Your Favorite 2013 GSDAA Paper

The Graphical System Design Achievement Awards (GSDAA) is the National Instruments annual technical application contest, showcasing the most innovative projects based on NI software and hardware. Technical judges have whittled down more than 150 submissions to 18 finalists, two for each application category.

Now it’s your turn to vote.

This year’s Graphical System Design Achievement Awards ceremony, held during NIWeek at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, will honor the Community Choice Award Winner: the submission selected by you, the people, the NI community of engineers and scientists. Voting closes on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5 p.m. CT.

How to vote:

Read the brief description of each submission listed below. You can also read the full paper of each submission by clicking on its hyperlink and downloading the PDF attachment - and they are ALL worth reading in full!

When you are ready to cast your vote, click on the hyperlink for each paper that you like (yes, you can cast more than one vote). Once you’ve navigated to the specific community page for the finalist paper, be sure to click on the “Like” button at the bottom right corner of the page. Once you’ve “Liked” a finalist, you've cast your vote!


Note that while you can “Like” multiple submissions, you are only able to “Like” each finalist once. “Liking” the same document multiple times will not result in multiple votes for the same submission.

Be cool.

Tell your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else in your online network to vote. Seriously, the more votes the better. But please be cool and don’t try to game the system. Let’s make sure the Community Choice Award is given to the coolest, most-deserving application.

Voting will close on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5 p.m. CT. The finalist with the most "Likes" will be honored at the GSDAA ceremony on August 6, 2013.

Submit any questions or comments about the voting process in the comments section below.

>> Learn how to submit your own paper to the Graphical System Design Achievement Awards.

>> Register for NIWeek to experience the conference and exhibition alongside the GSDAA finalists.

Read the 2013 Graphical System Design Achievement Awards Finalist Applications


Controlling a Hydraulic Motion Compensated Gangway to Improve Access to Offshore Wind Turbines 

Author: Andrew Clegg, Industrial Systems and Control Ltd.

Challenge: Creating a system to safely transfer personnel and equipment to and from offshore wind turbines in rolling seas and bad weather.

Solution: Using NI LabVIEW and NI CompactRIO to develop a movable gangway with an algorithm that computes the inverse kinematics of the gangway tip using measured boat motions to provide the required hydraulic cylinder lengths to maintain its position.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Data Acquisition and Control System for Tri-Sonic 0.3m Wind Tunnel

Authors: B. Praveen and S. Temin, Captronic Systems Private Limited, Bangalore

Challenge: Automating and controlling the various operations of a 0.3 m wind tunnel that runs in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic modes.

Solution: Automating and controlling the movement of the model based on a predefined sequence inside the wind tunnel and monitoring system parameters, alarms, and interlocks in real time while achieving the desired MACH number within the specified test time. We designed the data acquisition and control system for the trisonic 0.3 m wind tunnel using NI PXI hardware and NI LabVIEW system design software.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Controlling a Particle Accelerator for Effective Ion Beam Cancer Therapy Using LabVIEW FPGA and NI FlexRIO

Author: Dr. Johannes Gutleber, CERN

Challenge: Developing a distributed control system for 300 quadruple magnets to generate a magnetic field that controls a particle beam of protons or carbon ions with 1 ms synchronization.

Solution: Implementing a fast control system based on NI FlexRIO hardware, the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module, and a real-time embedded controller to meet stringent latency, throughput, and scalability requirements while maintaining the flexibility to implement advanced software solutions with predictable time and cost.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Control System for Electron Beam (EB) Machine with LabVIEW and NI PXI

Authors: Gao Jie, Ralf Edinger, and Dmitri Sandler, PAVAC Industries Inc.

Challenge: Developing a multiaxis motion and programmable logic controller (PLC)-style control system featuring time-critical synchronization and signal generation.

Solution: Using NI PXI hardware to replace traditional PLCs, integrating multiaxis motion control seamlessly with the National Instruments LabVIEW NI SoftMotion Module, and solving time-critical issues with the LabVIEW Real-Time and LabVIEW FPGA modules.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Optimization of Parametric Defect Localization on Integrated Circuits

Authors: Luc Saury and Sebastien Cany, ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics

Challenge: Optimizing our fault-localization tool to address complex failure analysis cases on integrated circuits.

Solution: Improving the performance of our PXI-based tool dedicated to parametric fault localization by setting a “handshake” mode between NI modules and building digital variation maps.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Future Proofing a Hearing Aid Production Test at GN ReSound

Author: Johnny Hansen, GN ReSound

Challenge: Developing a small-footprint, automated, high-throughput system for the manufacturing test of hearing aids that can scale with new specifications and technologies.

Solution: Building a turnkey, PXI-based, single-enclosure solution, the GN ReSound DSA 6000, which includes a custom PXI module to test each hearing aid to our internal standards while testing to the industry’s ANSI 3.22 and IEC 60118 specifications.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Developing a Renewable Energy Laboratory Using NI ELVIS, NI LabVIEW, and NI myDAQ

Authors: Petru A. Cotfas and Daniel T. Cotfas, Transylvania University of Brasov, Romania

Challenge: Developing a system for students to study photovoltaic, wind, and solar thermal energies, along with a small, portable version of the system.

Solution: Using NI ELVIS and a modular add-on board with an NI LabVIEW driver to create a system for studying renewable energies with an NI myDAQ device for the portable version.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Introducing Digital Data Transmission to Students with the NI Software Defined Radio Platform

Author: Jan Doh, Technische Universität Dresden

Challenge: Introducing seventh- and eighth-grade students to the fundamentals of digital data transmission using radio waves as part of a technology-exploration program involving students from Martin-Andersen-Nexö Gymnasium School in Dresden, Germany.

Solution: Using an accessible software defined radio platform with an intuitive graphical programming approach so that young students can explore and understand relatively complex topics in radio frequency (RF) and communications theory.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Improving the Efficiency of Wind Turbines with an Intelligent Measurement and Control System

Authors: Niels Anker Olesen, Vestas Technolog; Bjarke Dahl-Madsen, CIM Industrial Systems A/S

Challenge: Building a system to measure and control the behavior of a wind turbine blade to improve the efficiency of wind turbines.

Solution: Using NI CompactRIO, NI EtherCAT, and NI industrial controllers as well as NI LabVIEW system design software to build an intelligent measurement and control system that helped us further optimize the efficiency of our wind turbines.

Read more and vote for this paper here

A Novel Distributed PV System Design

Authors: Ru-Min Chao, Po-Lung Chen, Shin-Hung Ko, Chen-Feng Lo, and Shieh-Xin Chen, Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronic Engineering, National Cheng Kung University

Challenge: Developing a distributed photovoltaic (PV) system that overcomes the common performance challenges of a centralized PV system, such as those caused by shadows, temperature, or a mismatch between panels, and increases total energy efficiency.

Solution: Using NI Multisim, Ultiboard, and LabVIEW software with the NI sbRIO-9642XT embedded control and acquisition device to design and develop all of the components of a distributed PV system from the simulation of the electrical characteristics of the converter and the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm to a rapid prototype of the printed circuit board (PCB).

Read more and vote for this paper here


Enhancing Endoscopic Surgery With an Improved Ultrasonically Activated Scalpel

Author: Yoshinobu Murayama, PhD, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, College of Engineering, Nihon University

Challenge: Addressing three major challenges when developing a new, ultrasmall-diameter, sophisticated ultrasonically activated scalpel (UAS). It needed to have a flexible measurement and control system that could be used during R&D, the ability to measure and control all signals, and the ability to gather the data required for filing for approval from the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in Japan.

Solution: Standardizing on the NI platform, including the NI PXIe-8133 controller and NI LabVIEW system design software, to create low-end (stand-alone), midclass, and high-end (FPGA) versions of the same system while maintaining the quality of the systems.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Performing Fatigue Destructive Testing on Ankle-Foot Prostheses

Authors: Hung-Jen Lai, Chien-Hua Chen, Jain-Hong Lin, Wei-Kai Wang, Hsiao-Kuan Wu, and Chung-Huang Yu, TEH LIN PROSTHETIC & ORTHOPAEDIC INC., National Yang-Ming University

Challenge: Requiring ankle-foot prostheses under test to precisely follow a complex trajectory and loading profile while stepping on a tilting foot platform from heel-strike to toe-off, under the new ISO 22675 testing standard. In addition, the system needs to withstand a long repeated testing period while being flexible enough to adapt to different prostheses designs.

Solution: Using the NI sbRIO-9602 controller as the control platform while integrating NI 9215 and NI 9411 C Series modules to capture load cell and encoder signals. The FPGA on the NI Single-Board RIO controller was programmed for high-speed, precise, and synchronized motion control of the two servo motors, and a human machine interface (HMI) was programmed on the real-time OS to handle the trajectory generation and detect prosthesis failure.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Qualcomm Atheros Improves WLAN Test Speed and Coverage Using the NI PXI Vector Signal Transceiver and NI LabVIEW

Author: Doug Johnson, Qualcomm Atheros

Challenge: Keeping wireless local area network (WLAN) test costs low and test accuracy high while reducing characterization times as device complexity grows by tracking an increasing number of wireless standards.

Solution: Using the NI PXI-based vector signal transceiver and the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module to create a customized, flexible WLAN test system that delivers a 200X reduction in test time compared to previous rack-and-stack instruments, resulting in lower test costs and better device characterization.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Averna Expands and Accelerates Cable Device Testing Using the NI Vector Signal Transceiver and LabVIEW FPGA

Author: Andy Brown, Averna Technologies

Challenge: Meeting the cable industry’s needs to properly validate, measure, and certify cable-modem termination systems (CMTSs) and customer-premises equipment (CPE) in highly realistic laboratory conditions.

Solution: Using the NI vector signal transceiver, NI LabVIEW system design software, and the LabVIEW FPGA Module to develop an FPGA-based channel emulator that simulates and synchronizes a full-featured cable network while applying a host of channel impairments to test the performance of broadband devices.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Valve Leakage Detection in Industrial Pumps

Authors: Age Kyllingstad, SPE, and Pål Jacob Nessjøen, SPE, National Oilwell Varco

Challenge: Reducing human exposure to hazardous environments by developing a system to perform maintenance inspections on industrial mud pumps used in oil and gas exploration.

Solution: Deploying an embedded system with NI CompactRIO hardware and NI LabVIEW software, which can easily be retrofitted onto existing pumps, to monitor and analyze mud pump vibrations.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Fiber-Optic Strain Gages Protect Restoration of Milan Cathedral

Author: Dr. Alfredo Cigada, Politecnico di Milano

Challenge: Creating a continuous structural monitoring system that delivers highly sensitive and stable strain measurements of a large structure in a challenging environment.

Solution: Developing an optical sensor system based on the NI PXIe-4844 optical sensor interrogator that consists of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) strain gages distributed on optical fiber, which is immune to lightning and other environmental effects.

Read more and vote for this paper here


Using LabVIEW and PXI for Deterministic Multiple Unit Vehicle Stability Control

Author: Michael Arant and Damon Delorenzis, International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR), Clemson University

Challenge: Developing advanced stability control theory and applications to manage multiple-unit articulated vehicles as well as hardware to implement the stability controls on a test vehicle.

Solution: Using the NI PXI platform with M Series DAQ devices to prototype a multiple-unit vehicle measurement and control system along with NI LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module to assess the vehicle’s dynamic state, evaluate system stability (current and predicted future stability), and apply corrective actions as needed to maintain stability.

Read more and vote for this paper here

Ford Deploys Fuel Cell Test System Using NI VeriStand and the INERTIA Add-On

Authors: Michael P.C. Cornwall, Todd VanGilder, and Darryn La Zar, Wineman Technology, Inc.; Todd VanCamp, Ford Motor Company

Challenge: Creating a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system to simulate, control, and monitor passenger vehicle fuel cells developed by Ford Motor Company.

Solution: Basing the test system on the NI VeriStand real-time test environment, the Wineman Technology INERTIA control software add-on, and NI PXI hardware, so that Ford can test a variety of fuel cells with a single test system.

Read more and vote for this paper here