Automated test & measurement system for a power supply and control board

David Loker, Stephen A. Strom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Junior-level students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program complete a 3-credit Measurements & Instrumentation course. There are three main sections of the course: (1) Programming applications using LabVIEW, (2) Data acquisition, sensors, and signal conditioning, and (3) Design of measurement systems. Weekly laboratory activities mirror the lecture materials. Part of the requirements in the course includes an end-of-semester team design project where one possible option is the design and implementation of an automated test & measurement system for a power supply and control board (PSCB). For this project, students design and build the PSCB to meet these requirements: one DC output voltage, one function generator output with user selectable waveform type (sinusoidal, triangular, square waveform) and user selectable amplitude and frequency adjustments, four simultaneous TTL outputs, and four simultaneous TTL inputs. The function generator is implemented using a Cypress Semiconductor Programmable System-On-Chip (PSoC) prototyping kit. Using a National Instruments data acquisition device with analog I/O and digital I/O capability, students design an automated test & measurement system for testing the PSCB. Software is implemented with a state machine using LabVIEW. The program provides instructions to the user, using pop-up windows and/or text indicators, during the test. The program also prompts the user for adjustments (pots, switches, etc.) during the test. Additionally, the program writes test data to a file on disk. The file contains the user name, time & date stamp, and the serial number of the PSCB. This paper provides a detailed listing of the engineering requirements for the project. For the software design, functional requirements and operating sequence are provided. A summary of the contents of student reference materials and the lab handout are also included. Assessment results showing grading statistics, lab report format, and grading rubric, are provided. Examples of student work are included, along with a project assessment. Recommendations are shown to help ensure student success on the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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