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About OCC
LabVIEW Applications and Systems Development

David Thomson, Ph.D.
Boulder, Colorado

David Thomson

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National Instruments Alliance Program Member


  Certified LabVIEW Architect    

Certified Instrument Driver Developer

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Charter Member of the LabVIEW Champions

    Original Code Consulting provides LabVIEW programming from instrument drivers to complete applications.  I have over 22 years of LabVIEW experience in laboratory data acquisition, experiment control, and data analysis and review tools, and over 17 years as a LabVIEW consultant in Colorado.  My previous projects have included serial, DAQ, and custom interfaces to mass spectrometers, test and measurement equipment, high speed digitizers, analytical chemistry instruments, and laser and optical systems.  Although many of my consulting projects have been in the R&D world (academic, government, and industrial), I also have extensive experience in commercial and industrial applications such as process monitoring and production test.  Besides working with NI hardware, I have written drivers and programs for instruments and plug-in boards from numerous other manufacturers.  In addition to working with clients throughout Colorado, I have helped customers achieve success throughout the United States and in Europe.

    I provide cost-effective programming solutions designed with long-term maintainability in mind.  My emphasis is on well-documented, quality code with a highly-functional, easy-to-understand user interface.  End-user support is available to ensure successful implementation and full compliance with the customerís specifications.  A discounted rate is available for educational and government institutions.  Besides extensive experience with LabVIEW itself, I am proficient in using LabVIEW RT (Real Time), and LabVIEW FPGA, and have worked with NI's Vision hardware and software as well.

Previous Experience
LabVIEW Programming Instruments
Instrument Drivers Digital Oscilloscopes RS232/RS485 serial
Data Acquisition High Speed Digitizers UDP, TCP-IP
Data Analysis and Display Lasers
Instrument Control Laser Power Meters NI-DAQ, including CompactDaq
Process Monitoring Power Supplies VISA
Integrated Data Systems
 Pulse Generators Vision

Systems Analytical Chemistry Instruments Motion Control
Lasers / Optical Systems Micro-Positioners Plug-In Cards
Mass Spectrometers Particle Counters Custom Interfaces
Optical Spectrometers
Multi-Channel Analyzers USB Instruments
Industrial Processes Aerosol Instrumentation Communication Interfaces via DLLs
Test and Measurement Custom Instrumentation, including FPGAs
SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface)
Laboratory / Field / Aircraft / Balloon
Industrial/R&D Process Control


  • My largest LabVIEW project has been the Particle Analysis by Laser Mass Spectrometry Instrument (PALMS), which I have helped build and operate at the NOAA Aeronomy Lab in Boulder, Colorado.  PALMS is a complex, state-of-the-art instrument that measures the chemical composition of individual atmospheric particles.  It operates completely autonomously on a high-altitude aircraft or under operator control in the laboratory or at ground-based field stations.  The software is composed of 6 independent, parallel tasks that control the instrument, maintain it in a safe operating state, and acquire the science data and monitoring data.  This program includes over two dozen custom drivers for commercial and custom hardware components.  More information on this instrument can be found on the PALMS website and on my publications page.
  • As a contractor, I have done LabVIEW consulting on several other aerosol instruments, including particle sizers and counters, aerosol spectrometers, the Single Particle Soot Photometer made by Droplet Measurement Technologies, and the Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (CFDC) operated by Paul DeMott's group at Colorado State University.  The CFDC is an instrument for studying the ice nucleation properties of aerosol particles.  Several years ago, the CFDC and PALMS were brought together for field measurements at the Storm Peak Laboratory near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to investigate the composition of ice-nucleating particles.
  • From 2008 to 2013, I worked at Droplet Measurement Technologies, first as the head of the software department, and then as Director of Engineering.  During that time, I oversaw the reorganization and revitalization of nearly all of DMT's instrumentation software.  PADS (Particle Analysis and Display System), a program that interfaces to dozens of DMT and third party atmospheric instruments, was a program I first wrote for DMT as a consultant, and which I later refactored and improved as a DMT employee.  I also created the software for the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), the Ultra-High Senstitivity Aerosol Spectrometer, and the Spectrometer for Ice Nuclei (SPIN).
  • The OCC Streaming Data System (OSDS) is a flexible suite of components that make it easy to read a wide variety of data streams into any LabVIEW program.  This tool has been integrated into numerous LabVIEW programs for atmospheric instrumentation, including those for the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), the Spectrometer for Ice Nuclei (SPIN), the Particle Analysis and Display System (PADS), the Multi-Instrument Control and Acquisition System - eXtended (MICAS-X), and others.
  • OCC released MICAS-X, the Multi-Instrument Control and Acquisition System - eXtended program at the end of 2013.  MICAS-X provides a framework and infrastructure that can support a wide range of data acquisition and control systems, allowing for fast development and deployment.  The power of MICAS-X results from the depth of functionality already present, combined with its open nature, allowing new modules to be developed for each custom project.

    Many examples of my previous work are described on this web site, including previous scientific and utiltity LabVIEW programs, drivers for various instruments available for free download, and several publications and presentations I have written, including two that were selected as finalists in the Research category for the NIWeek paper contest.

What's New from OCC

    May 6, 2015:  MICAS-X 1.5.0 is now available.  This version includes significant improvements to the Sequences, including starting a sequence at any step, pausing and unpausing a sequence, and the ability to add new sequences to the program while it is running.
  It also includes new alert sounds, new functionality for Globals which allows any error to be reliably identified and acted on, and a CRC check applied to the configuration file, for automatic detection of corrupted or tampered-with configuration files.
    April 30, 2015:  MICAS-X 1.4.13 has been released with numerous improvements.  Five new commands have been added which execute arithmetic on channel values.  A new version of the email component (1.4.1) provides support for a wider range of email servers.  It also allows the definition of four different groups of email recipients, allowing messages to be targeted to a group relevant to the context.  Emails can also include information on the values of any channels in the program.  In addition, support has been added for Omega temperature controllers, Parker motion control, PrimeScales industrial scales, the Vaisala HMT310 RH sensor, and the Web Power Switch 7, a cost effective, simple way to control power to instrumentation.  All the features, improvements, and bug fixes can be found in the Change Log.

    March 4, 2015:  The utility VI "Compare Version Strings.vi" has been posted by OCC on the NI LabVIEW Community and on the OCC website.

Previous announcements from OCC can be found here.

    OCC has recently made available a list of recommendations for configuring a data acquisition computer.

Contact Information:

Phone and Fax:  303-499-1973

Resume and references available on request.
For my Google Scholar Profile click here.

About OCC

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