A remote laboratory containing a specially designed experiment was built to demonstrate and visualize the characteristics of wire-shape shape memory alloys (SMAs). In particular, the unit helps the study of the hysteretic behavior of SMAs as well as how the electrical driving frequency changes the hysteresis loop. One such SMA remote experiment with a novel unified framework was constructed at the Texas A&M University at Qatar. In this project, we developed a new experiment data transaction protocol and software package used in the remote lab. It is clear that the new platform makes some improvements in traversing network firewall function and software plug-in free. In order to provide a more realistic experience to the user in conducting the remote SMA experiment, the new solution also implements a Real-Time experiment video function. Compared to the traditional remote SMA experiment that uses the LabVIEW remote panel, the new SMA remote experiment solution has three advantages. The user interface of the new remote SMA experiment is plug-in free and can run in different web browsers. The new remote lab also resolves the issue of traversing a network firewall. End users only need to access the Internet and use a web browser to operate the SMA experiment. The experiment control webpage is developed by JavaScript which is a universally used computer language. Meanwhile, any regular web browsers are able to use all the features of the remote panel without requiring any extra software plug-ins. An additional function of the new remote lab is the real-time delivery of the video transmission from the experiment, thus providing a more realistic experience for the user. This new remote SMA experiment user interface can also be used through smart phones and tablet computers. Compared to LabVIEW based experiments, the experiment data collected from the use of the novel unified framework are similar except for the amplitude of the reference signal. The amplitude can be different because they are defined by the users. The data recorded from the new remote SMA experiment GUI has fewer samples per second comparing to that in remote SMA experiment with LabVIEW. The data transmission in the GUI is limited to 140 samples per second to minimize the memory and increase the connection speed. In the remote SMA experiment with LabVIEW, the sampling rate is 1000 samples per second; however, the hysteresis of SMA has been successfully demonstrated by the data recorded in the new remote SMA experiment with the novel unified framework, which matches the original results collected locally. The study compares two different implementation approaches for the remote SMA experiment; one is the traditional approach with the LabVIEW remote panel and the other is the new approach with the novel unified framework. The difference of these two solutions is listed, and the advantage of the new SMA remote experiment based on the novel unified framework is presented. The capability of running remote experiments on portable devices allows users to learn by observing and interacting with the real experiment in an efficient way.


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