Automated Data Acquisition on Superconducting Wires using LabVIEW
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One of the most important characteristics for superconductor application is critical current. Precise measurement of critical current is complicated by its dependence on temperature and applied magnetic field and also by advancements in wire fabrication, which leads to higher performance but lower stability. Currently, we employ a BASIC program that accounts for these multiple parameters and contains various data acquisition modalities. However, we are in the process of replicating and altering the logic of this code to produce a more efficient and user-friendly program with LabVIEW. Already, we have utilized less intricate LabVIEW programs to improve data acquisition for certain avenues of superconductor characterization. One of the more complex programs uses a six-channel task to determine how AC ripple in the current affects the results of critical current measurements. Another LabVIEW program monitors the voltage generated by a ramping magnetic field in order to better resolve the voltage spikes caused by flux jumps. Early sample quenches are a problem encountered in testing, so we have also constructed a program that will be used to qualitatively distinguish real quenches from false ones. These LabVIEW programs will contribute to future experiments of superconductor characterization ? experiments like those previously conducted, which have produced data beneficial to superconductor wire manufacturers and to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) fusion energy project.