Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Digital Control Systems

Figure from experiment 2 from Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier


A digital control system provides real-time control of a dynamic system. "Smart" systems usually incorporate one or more sensors to provide feedback on the current state of the system and direction for the next action. One situation that lends itself well to a digital control system is indoor air temperature. Air temperature can be controlled either actively or passively through heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) methods. Greenhouses, food production chambers, libraries, etc all require a climate-controlled environment to ensure comfort, safety, and performance. Good HVAC systems provide thermal comfort, acceptable air quality, and reasonable operating and maintenance costs. Simple on-off control systems are an inexpensive option, but they tend to shorten the life of the equipment due to excessive activation of control valves when only a single set point is used. A more practical, long-term alternative is to provide a small amount of hysteresis, or a deadband region, around the set point in which no change to the current action occurs. The width of this deadband can be adjusted to save wear and tear on parts without compromising the overall integrity of the system.


Write a LabVIEW program that monitors a Vernier Surface Temperature Sensor and activates line D1 of a Vernier Digital Control Unit (DCU) when the sensor reading exceeds a user-defined temperature limit. Your program should display the temperature reading in a digital display, with appropriate units, on the front panel.

Sensors and Equipment

This project features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You will also need

Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Build a Temperature Sensor
2Digital Control Systems
3LED Color Mixer
4Hot Wire Anemometer
5DC Motor Control
6Light Intensity & Stepper Motors
7Servo Motors
8Analyzing the Heart with EKG
9Blood Pressure
10Strain Gage Measurements
11Propeller-Powered Pendulum
12PID Ping Pong Ball Levitation

Project 2 from Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier Lab Book

<i>Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier</i> book cover

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Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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