A computer program generates a graphical user interface that, in combination with its other features, facilitates the acquisition and preprocessing of experimental data on the strain response, hysteresis, and power consumption of a multilayer composite-material structural component containing one or more built-in sensor(s) and/or actuator(s) based on piezoelectric materials. This program runs in conjunction with Lab- VIEW software in a computer-controlled instrumentation system. For a test, a specimen is instrumented with appliedvoltage and current sensors and with strain gauges. Once the computational connection to the test setup has been made via the LabVIEW software, this program causes the test instrumentation to step through specified configurations. If the user is satisfied with the test results as displayed by the software, the user activates an icon on a front-panel display, causing the raw current, voltage, and strain data to be digitized and saved. The data are also put into a spreadsheet and can be plotted on a graph. Graphical displays are saved in an image file for future reference. The program also computes and displays the power and the phase angle between voltage and current.
This program was written by Robert W. Moses, Robert L. Fox, Archie D. Dimery, Robert G. Bryant, and Qamar Shams of Langley Research Center, and William C. White of Wyle Laboratories.