23 Jul 2024


Drag-and-drop software speeds wireless sensor deployment

National Instruments has developed a wireless sensor network (WSN) that is configured using simple drag-and-drop programming, and is claimed to simplify and accelerate the deployment of wireless applications.

The wireless system (above) is designed to work with the latest version of NI’s flagship design platform, LabView 2009, which has just been released and offers enhanced support for multi-core processors and for NI’s recent SoftMotion motion control modules and mechatronics tool for machine designers.

Using LabView, you can customise the embedded software on the wireless nodes to manage their power consumption, to perform custom analyses, and to cut response times using embedded decision-making.

Special software gathers data from distributed wireless nodes and transfers it to LabView. This software also provides mesh routing and manages power use, making it possible to increase measurement distances while maintaining reliability.

LabView also supports integration with third-party wireless sensor networks, and with wired measurement devices. Drag-and-drop techniques can be used to extract measurements, perform analyses and present data.   

The WSN system uses low-power sensor nodes that can operate for up to three years before their batteries need to be replaced. The first two WSN nodes are a ±10V analogue input node and a 24-bit thermocouple node, both of which have four digital I/O channels that can be configured for input, or sinking or sourcing outputs. There is also an Ethernet gateway that connects the nodes to LabView.