The WiLAB Telemeasurement Platform For Distributed Resources On Heterogeneous Communication Networks

DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-09663-6_17


This chapter presents a platform enabling the concept of cooperative telemeasurements involving distributed resources, such
as laboratories with instrumentation, programmable devices based on FPGA (partially or fully programmable) or DSP architectures
and network cameras. The platform allows an easy and fast remote configuration through virtual interfaces (VIs), implemented
through both commercial software and Java; in the latter case VIs are designed in such a way that they do not depend on the
particular resource, but on its functionalities. That means, for example, that the interface working for a specific spectrum
analyzer also adapts itself to the same kind of instruments of different manufactures, whereas the traditional approach would
require customized VIs for each specific instrument. New general-purpose data structures and communication protocols have
been properly implemented in XML code, with high degree of scalability and transparency to user hardware and interface. The
architecture has been implemented in the Wireless Communication Laboratories (WiLab) at the University of Bologna, Italy,
where three different laboratories are interconnected through a heterogeneous communication network and properly cooperate
to increase their functionalities.

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    ABSTRACT: Remote access to distributed resources such as instruments is one of the most important challenges to increase the value of laboratories of excellence. Through a telemeasurement platform enabling cooperative experiments involving distributed resources, users would be able to reach the workbenches, configure instrumentation, programmable circuits, and network cameras, thus controlling the entire system under test. First, this chapter investigates different kinds of instrument connections in order to allow remote access and their performances in terms of response time of remote commands compliant with the IEEE488 standard. The different types of access techniques, investigated at our laboratory, are GPIB-ENET, IEEE802.3 LAN, and Wireless IEEE802.11b connections. Second, the refresh rate of NI LabVIEW remote virtual panels representing the instrumentation, estimated for various access techniques, is characterized. KeywordsTelemeasurement-Distributed resources-Cooperative work-Instrument connections-Wireless access
    12/2009: pages 33-42;