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National Instruments Selected By Airbus For Wind Tunnel Data


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National Instruments
: 16 November, 2006  (Application Story)
Airbus Selects National Instruments DIAdem to Improve Wind-Tunnel Test Data Processing
Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most comprehensive family of airliners, selected National Instruments DIAdem data analysis and report generation software as its Europe-wide standard tool for processing wind-tunnel test data, including the effects of specific thermal and aerodynamic parameters on airliners. With NI DIAdem, Airbus test engineers can automate time-consuming, repetitive analysis procedures and streamline the data reporting process to reduce analysis time and make important engineering decisions for their airliners sooner.

Airbus selected Serco Test Systems Inc., a National Instruments Alliance Partner, to refurbish its wind-tunnel facility in Filton, United Kingdom, to include a new data acquisition and control system and an updated control room environment. To accomplish this task, the companies selected DIAdem and National Instruments LabVIEW software, as well as NI FieldPoint distributed I/O hardware, for developing the data acquisition and control system. With the new system, Airbus wind-tunnel test engineers can simulate a variety of flight situations to measure the effects of multiple parameters, such as wind, temperature and force, on a model airplane.

Airbus wind-tunnel test engineers can also take advantage of the DIAdem DataPlugin technology to read their proprietary data exchange format, which they developed to archive and share their test data and results among multiple facilities. With support for their critical aerodynamics data in DIAdem, Airbus wind-tunnel test engineers at different sites across Europe can immediately access interpretable test data quickly on their desktop PCs, interactively compare historical and current wind-tunnel test data and collaborate to make important decisions for improving performance and handling quality as well as other characteristics of their airliners.

Airbus selected DIAdem for the analysis and reporting of wind-tunnel test data because the software can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks and significantly reduce the time necessary for processing the test data. At Airbus, the wind-tunnel tests include different airliner characteristics. By standardising on the new database format and DIAdem, these tests are more efficient to help engineers make decisions quickly.

Before standardising on DIAdem, Airbus relied on proprietary solutions and other software products, which were not compatible in terms of development and maintenance costs. Airbus engineers working on wind-tunnel data can share their data across a central server and, with DIAdem as their analysis tool, they can quickly generate reports based on the parameters they require. Also, they can easily read their reports in formats that help them better analyse their data, such as 2-D, 3-D and polar graphs.

Many engineers in the automotive and aerospace industries use DIAdem for interactive and automated analysis and reporting. DIAdem is designed to meet the demands of today's testing environments in which quick access to large volumes of scattered data, consistent reporting and data visualisation are required to make informed decisions. With the data-mining functions in DIAdem, engineers can correlate data based on its descriptive attributes. The software provides connectivity to a wide variety of industry-standard formats and gives engineers the ability to import custom-defined data files. For more information about DIAdem, readers can visit www.ni.com/diadem.

About National Instruments

For 30 years, National Instruments (www.ni.com) has been a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging PCs and commercial technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for test, control and design applications through easy-to-integrate software, such as NI LabVIEW, and modular measurement and control hardware for PXI, PXI Express, PCI, PCI Express, USB and Ethernet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has 4,000 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past seven years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.
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