11 Virtual instruments

PC-based instruments (i.e. virtual instruments) are rapidly replacing items of conventional test equipment in many of today's test and measurement applications. This chapter provides readers with an introduction to the principles and practice of these powerful, sophisticated, and highly cost-effective instruments. One obvious use of virtual instruments is that of building automated test systems but general laboratory, bench, and field-service applications are also eminently possible.

Currently available PC instruments include digital storage oscilloscopes (DSO), many of which incorporate additional features, such as spectrum analysis, digital voltmeters and digital frequency meters, counters and timers, waveform generators, ...

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