Iowa State University Electrical and Computer Engineering EE/CprE 491/492
& Engr 466
Senior Design

Senior Design Projects: Dec 2005
Dec05-01: Senior Design Laboratory Design
Dec05-02: Prototype Parking Meter system - Phase 4
Dec05-03: Corrective Actions for Relieving Overloads in a Transmission System
Dec05-04: Computer-Based Trading Room – Phase 2
Dec05-05: Command Translator for Medical Device Testing
Dec05-06: Evidence Inventory and Tracking Program - Phase 2
Dec05-07: Real-Time Embedded Architecture and Operating System
Dec05-08: Communication Device for Handicapped Kids
Dec05-09: Inventory Control in Stores
Dec05-10: Computer Control of Holiday Yard Display
Dec05-11: Emergency Alarm Device
Dec05-12: Vehicle Accident Automatic Reporter/Responder
Dec05-13: Vehicle Faulty Lamp/Flasher Identifier

Project Number: Dec05-01   (click to view the web site)
Title: Senior Design Laboratory Design

Description: As soon as architectural plans are complete and funding is available, Coover Hall will be renovated and expanded. When complete, the senior design facilities will be moved back into Coover Hall. The objective of this project is to determine what are the desirable features and capabilities of the new facility. The team, at a minimum, shall consider: (1) work areas, (2) a presentation facility, (3) storage requirements, and (4) meeting rooms. The project team will develop a detailed description of each needed feature and capability along with the associated cost. The results shall be documented in the project’s final report.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Boyd, Jason Alan CprE Klosak, Michael John EE
Hoernecke, Andrew Todd CprE Saathoff, Matthew Lee EE

Project Number: Dec05-02   (click to view the web site)
Title:Prototype Parking Meter system – Phase 4

Description: ISU currently has two pay-for-parking lots that have computerized programmable control units. 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, the objective of this project is to complete the development of a demonstrable, microprocessor-based prototype unit with a number of features such as variable time-of-day rate, add-on time capability, etc as specified by the ISU Parking Division. An initial overall design involving a dual-processor central unit and multiple user interface units has been partially implemented. (See previous project teams May04-02, Dec04-02, and May05-02.) Working with the May05-02 team, the new project team will complete the prototype implementation and will provide support as the prototype is tested in a portion of the parking lot immediately west of the Armory. Changes resulting from the testing period will be made and additional features, such as the ability to effect a complete reprogram via laptop computer, will be added.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson Client:
ISU Parking Division
Team Makeup:
Crist, Brandon Michael EE Helvick, Daniel Scott EE/CprE
Graber, Seth James CprE Meeks, Jeremy J EE

Project Number: Dec05-03   (click to view the web site)
Title: Corrective Actions for Relieving Overloads in a Transmission System

Description: This project will develop application software for use in determining the most cost effective way of redispatching generation unit(s) in order to relieve overloaded high voltage transmission circuits. When such overloading conditions occur, a central reliability coordinator issues a “transmission loading relief” (TLR) for operational personnel to take action that will reduce the loading on the circuit. These actions usually involve shifting power production from one or a group of generation units to one or a group of other generators. Normally, there are a large number of possibilities to make this generation shift that will satisfy the required TLR. But because of differences in power generation costs among the generation units, some actions are more economic than others. So the objective of this project is to identify the most economically attractive generation shift to satisfy the required TLR. Input information to be used includes:

1. Generator shift factors, from the NERC website. This website is password protected and therefore the application will have to provide user input for logon information to automatically download the generation shift factors.
2. Level of MW redispatch: This is the MW level of relief needed to remove the overload from the constrained line.
3. Incremental heat rate curve data, unit commitment data, and total system production cost.

The output information would be the best N solutions that meet the TLR redispatch requirement and the total cost of redispatch. The solution will consist of the unit(s) to decrease power output and by how much, and the unit(s) to increase power output and by how much. The cost variables will present total change in production cost as well as new system production cost. In addition, it will be of value to know the solution sensitivity to changes in the TLR overload level (for example, if the a given solution had a unit at one of its limits, and the TLR redispatch was increasing such that this solution would no longer be valid). The final result of this project will consist of application software written in Visual Basic, C, or Fortran, that makes the appropriate computation. A menu-driven user interface should be developed, and I/O should be compatible with the client’s energy management system data streams.

Faculty Advisor(s): McCalley Client:
Mid American Energy Company
Matt Mitchell
Team Makeup:
Huynh, Tien B EE Joundi, Zakaria EE
Pauls, Bryan J EE Scheibe, Mark Adam EE

Project Number: Dec05-04   (click to view the web site)
Title: Computer-Based Trading Room – Phase 2

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 messaged between traders. This project will involve 12 trading desks, one supervisor, and one clearing position at a minimum. The project should consider the 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. 4 EE or CprE students.

Faculty Advisor(s): Sheble Client:School of Business
Team Makeup:
Gattani, Shantanu CprE/Phys Weber, Matthew Leslie  CprE
Little, Douglas Hoy CprE Wyman, John Thomas CprE

Project Number: Dec05-05   (click to view the web site)
Title: Command Translator for Medical Device Testing

Description: Guidant extensively tests every pacemaker and defibrillator it produces using computer-driven instrumentation. These general-purpose instruments are programmed to create input scenarios that evoke responses from the device under test. These responses are compared to standards and pass/fail decisions are produced. This project will explore the use of a specialized instrument designed as a heart simulator to produce the needed input scenarios for testing.

Functional specifications for a pacemaker model will first be converted to test specifications. A subset of these test specifications will be a primary input for defining the problem. The project team will create interface hardware connecting the pacemaker under test to a heart simulator and other general-purpose instruments as needed to recreate one or more scenarios from the specification.

Once the hardware test bench is defined, the team will write LabVIEW software to control the heart simulator and instrumentation. The software will orchestrate the scenario and collect data from the evoked response. Timing the heart simulator’s actions with the general purpose instruments and the pacemaker under test will be important to the success of the project. The scenarios will be executed multiple times to collect a distribution of data and demonstrate the robustness of the test design.

The team will monitor several metrics during the design and execution of the project and will report on the effectiveness and efficiency of this approach to test generation.

The expected deliverables include: (1) schematics for the test bench interconnect, (2) LabVIEW software needed for execution of the test scenario, (3) resulting data analysis reports (histograms, tables, etc.), and (4) presentation of effectiveness and efficiency metrics.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson
Technical Advisor:Weber
Client: Guidant
Andrew Garnett, Test Engineer
Team Makeup:
Guy, Adam Carl CprE McKee, Marc Steven EE
Koob, Justin Joseph CprE Mishler, Adam Joseph CprE

Project Number: Dec05-06   (click to view the web site)
Title: Evidence Inventory and Tracking Program – Phase 2

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.

The Boone Police Department wants to develop a system for documenting and maintaining a record of the chain of custody for every item that it collects or stores. Ideally this would be done by a computer program to allow for quick searches of items. As a minimum, the computer program would have the following requirements:

1. Allow for searches based on victim’s name, suspect’s name, case number, date, item description, or storage location.
2. Print prescribed reports based on the above factors.
3. Provide a means to document every change the item undergoes (e.g., movement to a new location, repackaging, testing, copying of contents, etc.).
4. Employ “digital signature pads” to facilitate unique electronic identification of each person responsible for each step in the series of events along with a date and time stamp.
5. Allow for items to be flagged, notifying the user when certain time-based events are approaching.
6. Be capable of printing a property tag to attach to the item (perhaps using bar codes?).
7. Be network-based to allow officers to access the information anywhere within the network but be protected from unauthorized access or modification of records.
8. Provide automatic documentation of every inquiry for each item.
9. Allow for the use of a PDA or other handheld device to facilitate searches and audits.
10. Provide automatic completion of frequently used forms (lab submittal request, return receipt, release form and notification letter, etc.).
11. Allow for the attachment of photographs of each item.

A previous team (see Dec04-07) has completed the initial design and a partial implementation of the program. The new team will continue the development of the program, conduct complete testing (especially security testing), and add the additional capabilities desired by the Boone Police Department that the initial team was unable to complete.

Faculty Advisor(s): Daniels Client:Boone Police Department
Team Makeup:
Brezinski, Thomas Lawrence CprE Pruckler, Daniel Josef CprE
Hand, Eric Alan CprE Vijayakumar, Vignesh CprE

Project Number: Dec05-07   (click to view the web site)
Title: Real-Time Embedded Architecture and Operating System

Description: TPlatform A prototyping environment (PE) for real-time embedded applications includes the Memec Virtex II Pro, Xilinx Embedded Development Kit, and Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system. The PE will be used in a new instructional laboratory on embedded computer systems in the department, and it is currently being used in several research projects. The goal of this senior design project is to develop two in-depth industry-relevant case studies using the PE for demonstration and instruction of real-time embedded applications. One objective is to identify and characterize the relevant architectural features and configurations in the PE. A second objective is to identify and characterize the relevant operating system features. A third objective is to develop a document containing the requirements and specification description for the two applications with assistance from faculty and other customers. A real-time embedded system used in smart farming would be an example that draws upon faculty expertise in ICUBE (in ECPE as well as ABE) and, potentially, from industry interest. A fourth objective is to select a set of architectural and OS features that best match the application and evaluate the system performance. This project will build on the results of a previous project (May04-28). The new laboratory is being developed in part with a gift from Rockwell Collins.

Faculty Advisor(s): Manimaran Client:Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Team Makeup:
Edoh-Bedi, David Koffi CprE Gamage, Madusha P. CprE
Erwin, Jennifer Marie CprE Lawson, David Thomas CprE

Project Number: Dec05-08   (click to view the web site)
Title: Communication Device for Handicapped Kids

Description: This project is to develop a communication or educational device to assist handicapped children. The expected end product of the project is a single device suitable for use by children with various motor and other challenges. The team will contact various regional government agencies working with handicapped children to determine a general set of design requirements. After the design is complete, a prototype system will be developed and tested by a handicapped child.

Faculty Advisor(s): Ma Client:
Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA 11)
Sue Young, Assistive Technology Consultant
6900 NE 14th Street – Suite 26
Ankeny, IA 50021
Team Makeup:
Grove, Brian Patrick  EE Peters, Stephen Mark CprE
Leith, Alexander Roscoe EE Tandon, Ankur CprE

Project Number: Dec05-09   (click to view the web site)
Title: Inventory Control in Stores

Description: The objective of this project is to study and then design an improved system of automated inventory control coupled with product purchasing checkout and enhanced product security for various types of retail stores including grocery, discount, department, etc. Products must be automatically added to the store’s running inventory as they are processed through the store’s receiving area. This must be accomplished for large bulk quantities with inventory procedures currently available and used by wholesale distributors. Individual products will then be broken out of bulk packaging and processed or identified in such a manner that facilitates individual check out upon sale or that automatically triggers an alarm if an attempt is made to remove the product from the store without proper processing through a check out station. The check out station must be compatible with available computerized inventory methods. The system must provide robust inventory and security control yet be cost effective and easy to use. Such a system should eliminate the need for conducting shelf-by-shelf inventory of the products in customer-accessible areas. Various methods should be considered for the system, such as RFID (radio frequency Identification) tagging, bar coding, magnetic strip coding, etc.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chen Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Benson, Jeffrey Steven CprE Reed, Christopher David EE
Brown, Frederick II EE Wagner, Brian D. CprE

Project Number: Dec05-10   (click to view the web site)
Title: Computer Control of Holiday Yard Display

Description: Many holiday yard displays have become quite large and complex and require a quantity of electric energy. The objective of this project is to maximize the effectiveness of holiday yard displays while optimizing the efficient use of electric energy. The team should investigate various methods of achieving the objective, such as: (1) computer control of animation and light sequencing so that only the lights that are required for an effect are used at the proper time; (2) computer coordination of all aspects of the display to optimize the overall effects of lighting, animation, audio, etc.; (3) alternative light sources rather than the standard incandescent lights (e.g., LEDs that can be strobed yet appear to emit a continuous light, or cold florescent or neon displays, etc.); (4) unique solutions, “outside the box” of routine solutions, as may be generated by the team. It is envisioned that the team will create a small unique holiday display employing their solutions to be placed in Coover Hall or Town Engineering Building during the 2005 holiday season.

Faculty Advisor(s): Kruempel Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Aldini, Seth Thomas CprE Hove, Ross Eugene EE
Brown, Christopher A. CprE Wong, Yee Ching EE

Project Number: Dec05-11   (click to view the web site)
Title: Emergency Alarm Device

Description: Often times at night it may be dangerous for a lone individual (especially a female, younger or older person) to go for a walk/jog, cross the campus, or even go to a car in a dark parking lot after work. This project will design, implement, and test a device to make such an excursion somewhat safer. Such a device must be effective, lightweight, easy to carry and use, and have both a manual and an automatic alarm (trigger to be determined.) It might sound a self-contained alarm or siren, interface with a car horn, initiate a 911 cellular call, and might have GPS-locating capability. Some type of self-defense capability, such as pepper spray, might be incorporated, but it must be legally acceptable. The team may also consider extending the capabilities of the device to include automatic notification of emergency personnel if an elderly person falls or becomes disabled and unable to move. A further extension to other similar circumstances may also be considered. The team is expected to finish a complete design for a consumer product, including power supply, printed circuit board layouts, packaging layout and specifications, parts and materials lists, manufacturing considerations, etc. A working prototype, which may be significantly different from the comprehensive design above, will be built and demonstrated.

Faculty Advisor(s): Qiao
Technical Advisor(s): Geiger
Client(s): Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Becker, Chadwick B. CprE Varney, Zachariah David EE
Jarvis, James Jefferson EE Zafar, Salman EE

Project Number: Dec05-12   (click to view the web site)
Title: Vehicle Accident Automatic Reporter/Responder

Description: For several years a number of General Motors cars have offered the On-Star system, which, among other functions, automatically reports to a central agency when the vehicle’s airbags have deployed. The vehicle’s occupant can then be queried to see if an emergency response vehicle should be dispatched. If the occupant doesn’t respond an emergency is assumed and aid is sent to the location of the accident as determined by the onboard GPS system. This project will design, implement, test, and document an after-market add-on system that will perform automatic accident reporting and locating functions similar to those of the On-Star system. In addition to automatic accident reporting the system should also allow the driver to request aid manually. Several modes of reporting (automatic cell phone, “normal” radio link, satellite radio link, etc.) should be considered. Any additional supporting personnel or equipment, in addition to the add-on unit in the car, should be specified. The system, which may be configured in conjunction with an existing car computer or in stand alone mode, must be robust, yet easy to install, maintain, and use; provisions such as those for automatic status checking with diagnostic readout shall be included. The team should consider incorporating additional functions such as tracking and automatically recording and reporting the status of critical automotive systems. Coupling to the vehicle’s (1992 models and later) computer monitoring system should be considered. The capability of recording and reporting such usage factors as maximum speed, miles traveled, emergency braking, etc. (as by a teenage operator or borrower of the vehicle) should also be considered.

Faculty Advisor(s): Tirthapura
Technical Advisor(s): Geiger
Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Abou-El-Ardat, Ziad Fathi CprE McGlynn, Peter James EE
Herard, Lou A. CprE Sanger, Ryan Michael EE

Project Number: Dec05-13   (click to view the web site)
Title: Vehicle Faulty Lamp/Flasher Identifier

Description: Currently many vehicles are capable of automatically indicating when one or more light bulbs have failed. However, most of these systems do not specify which specific lamp has failed. The objective of this project is to design, implement, test, and document an improved system that will monitor all operationally significant lamps within the car and report specifically which bulb or bulbs have failed. The system shall be able to identify which specific filament has failed in a multiple filament bulb, such as in a rear tail/brake/turn signal bulb. Additionally, the system shall be able to sense a disabled flasher unit in the turn signals system and shall be able to distinguish and report on the failure of an indicator light on the dashboard or the failure of the actual lighting function; e.g., the failure of the actual high beam headlamps or of just the high beam indicator on the dashboard.) The system shall be robust, with automatic self-checking and diagnostic reporting, easily maintained, and easy to use and understand. The team may also consider the system monitor and report upon the condition of other functionally critical systems in the vehicle in addition to lighting systems. Client: Senior Design

Faculty Advisor(s): Tuttle Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Halbur, Joshua Jon   CprE Patel, Dhaval Sunil EE
Henin, Ramy Wafik CprE Tamin, Faisal EE
Mishra, Deepak Rohan CprE    

Last updated:  19 Aug 2005 DJL
© Copyright 2005, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.
Course coordinator:  Dr. John Lamont
Webmaster:  Debra Lauterbach