Broadcasting Engineering Laboratories — Audio/Video and Data — in Real-Time over the Internet

ABSTRACT

Internet extends the reach of existing laboratory and training infrastructure to beyond the walls of such facilities. Though nothing can replace the hands-on experience in a laboratory; a carefully developed web-based digital lab may be the next best thing. In some cases, there may be benefits associated with a “distance laboratory” that are usually not available in a conventional lab. Due to radiation environment and very high cost of some labs—for example, nuclear research reactors—there exists a need to develop web-based systems that can access the experiments being conducted in a radiation measurement lab or the reactor and make them available in a virtual laboratory. These systems should be inexpensive, easily installable, and allow interactive audio/video communication as well as remote access (or sharing) of data in real-time. We here report the development of a real-time, distance lab module that is being implemented in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois. This internet-based system allows remote personnel to watch the experiments and personnel performing the experiments, acquire data, and interact (audio and video) with on-site personnel. Data are broadcasted in real time in text as well as graphical format—the same format used to display the data on site. Moreover, use of LabVIEW’s remote front panel feature allows communications between the local lab and remote client so that remote client, if permitted, can obtain part or full control of the experiments.

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PRASHANT K. JAIN
Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign
Urbana, IL

YUXIANG GU
Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign
Urbana, IL

RIZWAN-UDDIN
Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign
Urbana, IL

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