Power Amplifiers

This lab focuses on the amplifiers used to drive the brushed DC motor. The first section of the lab outlines the operation of a linear power amplifier, with a focus on the simplicity of the operation. The second section introduces the operational theory of the pulse width modulation amplifier, with a focus on the comparative performance of this amplifier. The two amplifiers are finally compared in the context of actuator efficiency and control.
by Quanser Inc.

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This is lab 2 of 4 in the course, Fundamentals of Mechatronic Actuators.


After completing this lab, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the operation of a PWM and linear amplifier.
  2. Describe the design of an amplifier, and explain how it is used.
  3. Characterize the performance of an amplifier.
  4. Understand how amplifiers can affect the performance of an actuator system.
  5. Contrast PWM and linear amplifiers in terms of major design criteria.
  6. Evaluate the suitability of PWM and linear amplifiers, given example applications.


  • Introduction to Physics or Equivalent
  • Basic LabVIEW Proficency


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.


LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.

Quanser Mechatronic Actuators Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Mechatronic Actuators Application board is an ideal tool to introduce a variety of common actuators and demonstrate their advantages, interfacing and operation, as well as design considerations and limitations.

Required Software

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  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW FPGA Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit

Required Hardware

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