& Engr 466
Senior Design Projects: Dec 2004
Project Number: Dec04-01 (click to view the web site)
Title: Collection Inventory Software
Description: Americans, from small children to seasoned citizens, love to collect “things.” These collections range form the ordinary (baseball cards) to the highly unusual (ornate doorstops) and practically anything in between. A computerized inventory system would help collectors enjoy their collections more by allowing them to easily organize, account for, and control their collections. The objective of this project is to develop such a system. It must be easy to learn and use, yet be flexible enough to be easily customized to any of the many categories of collections. A relational database, which would allow for multiple categorization and access of collection members, should be considered for use as the underlying system with the development of attractive GUIs provided to facilitate its use. Both computer- and PDA-based implementations, perhaps with intercommunications capabilities between both platforms, should be considered. As a test of the proposed system, the team will attempt to categorize and inventory Prof. David Stuart’s music collection.
Project Number: Dec04-02 (click to view the web site)
Description: ISU currently has two pay-for-parking lots that have computerized control units with receipt printout capability. Each unit is programmable. The initial cost of each unit begins at $10,000 and rapidly escalates to more than $75,000 as features are added. Working with the ISU Parking Division, an initial overall design was developed by the May04-02 project team. The design involves a dual-processor central unit and multiple user interface units. The May04-02 team will concentrate on the development of the user interface units, while the new team will develop the dual-processor central unit. The two teams will work closely together.
Project Number: Dec04-03 (click to view the web site)
Description: Software for estimating, bidding, scheduling, tracking, and administering the paperwork required for a large construction project is readily available to large general contractors. It is, however, well beyond the scope and requirements of a smaller, custom homebuilder. This project will design, implement, and test a software package tailored to the needs of a smaller, custom homebuilder. The package will provide for conceptual and parametric cost estimating, bidding, scheduling, tracking, and administering the paperwork required for building a custom home. The package must account for such variables as weather and subcontractor experience levels and must allow for post-completion review and feedback to perfect the software variables and improve the utility of the package. Aid from construction engineering students and faculty as well as from various custom homebuilders is anticipated.
Project Number: Dec04-04 (click to view the web site)
Description: The project team will study utility line design trends and practices as they relate to lightning protection, and compare and contrast with Alliant Energy's current line design practices. The motivation is to benchmark state-of-the-art lightning protection line design practices and give credibility of Alliant’s practices to its customers. An additional step to be performed in this project or a follow-on project is to correlate lightning data obtained using the national lightning monitoring system with line faults and outages and create a priority list of worst performing circuits with respect to lightning in order to determine refurbishment of lightning arrestors. This additional step would focus on transmission first, and distribution second, since distribution data will be much less precise.
Project Number: Dec04-05 (click to view the web site)
Description: The students are to design and implement the software for a software trading room in the new school of business to support commodity trading. The main emphasis is on computer-to-computer communication of trade offers and acceptances, tracking of all trades through the systems, and summary statistics on the trades offered and accomplished. The emphasis is on fault tolerant tracking of messages between traders. This project will involve 12 trading desks, one supervisor, and one clearing position at a minimum. The project should consider future requirements, especially for an extensive decision support system. Additional data will be input through a computer-based connection with the existing trading floors in Chicago and New York, primarily CBOT and NYMEX.
Project Number: Dec04-06 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has responsibility for operating the Texas Transmission Control Center in Austin, Texas, which monitors and controls the Texas Transmission System, one of the three electric power interconnections in the continental United States. One of the most important control center functions is security-related decision-making, where measurements are taken throughout the transmission system, communicated back to the control center, and processed into a power flow model, so that the power flow model can then be utilized to perform "what-if" analysis (e.g., what if line 832 is lost, what if generator 73 is lost, etc) in order to determine the security level of the system. If the security level is deemed too risky, some kind of action must be taken by the operator in order to decrease the risk. This process is currently implemented at ERCOT (and at most control centers in the country) using a deterministic (non-probabilistic) approach. ERCOT is interested in using a probabilistic approach developed recently at Iowa State University and available via a set of Matlab routines which provides assessment and suggested decisions based on risk indices. In this project the students will refine and update these Matlab routines and apply them to a transmission model of the ERCOT system. The expected deliverable will be, for a single power flow model, a comparison of the deterministic results typically obtained at the ERCOT control center to a set of risk-based results obtained from the ISU software.
Project Number: Dec04-07 (click to view the web site)
Description: Most criminal prosecutions include the presentation of some form of evidence to the court. The item may be small like a cigarette butt or large like vehicles and household appliances. There may be a single piece of evidence or thousands of pieces. One consistent fact regarding all items accepted as evidence by a court is that the agency presenting the item must thoroughly document how it got the item, what it did with the item, and who had access to the item. Without such a “chain of custody,” evidence may not be accepted for consideration at trial. The O.J. Simpson case is a good example of what can happen when evidence is mishandled.
Project Number: Dec04-08 (click to view the web site)
Description: The sponsor of this project envisions a system that uses a PDA as a marine multi-function instrument to display the following functions as a minimum: wind speed, wind direction, boat directional orientation and true heading, and boat speed. Additional parameters may be added as determined by the team and sponsor. The unit shall operate in wireless mode using low cost sensors and transceivers. The project end product will be a working prototype including both hardware and software and all design data. The sponsor has available anemometers, flux detectors, and software tools for use in the project. The final product may be marketed as a low cost electronic kit and as a slightly higher cost completed unit.
Project Number: Dec04-09 (click to view the web site)
Description: The goal of this project is to develop a personal record keeper for a computer or possibly a PDA that would maintain records to assist a person with such things as insurance records, tax records, plans for moving and product warranty information. The software would contain different sections to help the user easily maintain the necessary records. It would include such things as item name by type, model number, serial number, purchase date, purchase cost, vendor name, warranty length, 800 telephone numbers, a digital picture, and whether or not the item is tax deductible. It would allow the user to maintain a record of whom to notify (friend, businesses, magazines, etc) when moving from one location to another.
Project Number: Dec04-10 (click to view the web site)
Description: Nanocrystalline Si:H is a new electronic material with potential use in photovoltaic devices. In this project, the materials will be grown using plasma deposition; their optical, structural, and electronic properties will be characterized, and working PV devices will be made.
Last updated: 29 Jan 2004 KML
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