Reconfigurable virtual instrumentation middleware

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Instruments are integral in our daily lives. From the trader to the engineer, everyone uses instruments to quantify objects or events. Engineering instruments have seen rapid improvement from cathode ray tubes and mechanical inventions to state-of-the-art electronic gizmos. Now there is a new instrument on the block – the Reconfigurable Virtual Instrument (RVI). RVIs make it possible for traditional instruments to be emulated. One moment it can be configured to read voltage and then, within a matter of minutes, it can be reconfigured to read current or even temperature. However, RVIs, in the market so far, are expensive to acquire and maintain especially with the licenses that have to be paid for them periodically. Already, an existing research on creating RVIs using an FPGA has already been achieved. This goes a long way to help developing countries like Ghana with regards to operational expenses on instruments particularly in secondary and tertiary institutions. The aim of this research is to build upon what has already been done by letting RVIs be accessible by the use of a simple web browser on a PC without the need of special installation. Not only accessible by one PC at a time but by multiple PCs at a go via a distributed system. With the emergence of smart phones that have advanced browsing capabilities, RVIs can also be accessed provided they are connected via a wireless network. This is achieved by using free open-source tools. This research uses an existing RVI research with emphasis on the instruments that were configured on the RVI – the digital frequency meter and the function generator. Tests show promising results with a considerable error margin with regards to the function generator which requires real-time display. , application
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Computer Engineering,
Middleware, Interface, Distributed systems, Application