Table of Contents
The Sweet Apps blog on the NI Developer Community is uncovering some of the unique applications created by NI customers. From laser-powered space elevators to do-it-yourself (DIY) fusion reactors, the blog finds extraordinary uses of LabVIEW in everyday life.
Creating Energy Using Nuclear Fusion
Mark Suppes, a Web developer by day and DIY nuclear physicist by night, is tackling one of the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering as named by the National Academy of Engineering: provide energy from fusion. Using low-cost NI USB data acquisition hardware and NI LabVIEW software, Mark built his own fusion reactor, which was recently featured on CNN.
The Sweet Apps blog captures unique, exemplary use cases of NI products like building a homemade fusion reactor with LabVIEW software and NI data acquisition hardware.
Testing the Nexus One Android Phone
HTC and Google joined forces to develop the Nexus One smart phone, based on the Android platform. In a series of short films documenting the making of the Nexus One, Google steps through each phase of the manufacturing process, noting the high-precision test systems HTC used, which feature LabVIEW front panels, to test the Nexus One circuitry.
Laser Mapping the Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Ash Cloud
After the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruptions grounded hundreds of flights in Europe in April 2010, researchers equipped an airplane with a LIDAR sensor controlled by LabVIEW and PXI. The sensor shot laser beams into the volcanic ash cloud to map the ash particles and monitor the cloud’s characteristics such as height, ash development, and concentration.
Investigating a Space Elevator
To investigate the viability of a space elevator as an alternative to space shuttle trips, the Spaceward Foundation has challenged teams of engineers to create a wireless laser-powered robot that could climb a 1 km tether at 5 m/s. The Kansas City Space Pirates powered their robot, which is based on NI CompactRIO hardware, using an 8 kW TRUMF industrial laser aimed through an optics system, and controlled the laser power and robot’s position with LabVIEW.
This article first appeared in the Q4 2010 issue of Instrumentation Newsletter.
Reader Comments | Submit a comment »
This material is protected under the copyright laws of the U.S. and other countries and any uses not in conformity with the copyright laws are prohibited, including but not limited to reproduction, DOWNLOADING, duplication, adaptation and transmission or broadcast by any media, devices or processes.