& Engr 466
Senior Design Projects: May 2005
Project Number: May05-01 (click to view the web site)
Title: Headphone Amplifier and Equalizer
Description: Some MP3 players have insufficient power output to drive a set of high-fidelity headphones whose impedance vary from 32 ohms to 600+ ohms. A series of papers describing a general design including variations for a headphone amplifier have been collected and will be made available. Another series of papers, which will also be made available, describe a general design for an acoustic simulator/equalizer as a companion for the headphone amplifier. The objectives of the project will be twofold. First, the project team will optimize the combined circuits using a breadboard implementation. Second, the team will convert the optimized breadboard circuit into an actual printed circuit board implementation. The op-amp based system will operate using 9 VDC power supply being developed by a separate team of students. The expected end product is a complete, finalized system including internal power supply and case. The resultant implantation should be as small as possible.
Project Number: May05-02 (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, the objective of this project would be to develop 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 has been developed by the May04-02 and Dec04-02 project teams. The design involves a dual-processor central unit and multiple user interface units. Working with the Dec04-02 team, the new project team will concentrate on the actual implementation and testing of the system.
Project Number: May05-03 (click to view the web site)
Description: A small company in northeast Iowa has developed a deformable putting surface, called “The Dream Green”, which can be used either as a practice putting surface in inclement weather or as a competitive game. A number of Dream Greens are being used by professional golfers and collegiate golf teams (including the Iowa State University golf team), while others have been purchased for use by sports bars, cruise ships, etc. In the original model, the putting surface is deformed by manually sliding wedges with plateaus under a number of bars that support the surface. Each end of the rectangular-shaped putting surface may also be manually elevated to add an additional putting challenge. The developer desires to automate these adjustments. A previous design team (May04-03), including mechanical engineers from ENGR 466 (Multidisciplinary Design), have developed a microprocessor-based system to control a set of motors to drive a new wedge system that can be adapted to raise both the elevation bars and the ends of the putting surface. Electric motors have been identified and purchased, and much of the prototype system has been constructed. This team, again working with ME students from ENGR 466, will complete the testing, redesign as necessary, and final implementation of the automated Dream Green, ready for delivery to the client in as close to a “ready-to-manufacture” state as possible. Additional “bells and whistles,” such as “talking” deformation status read outs, may be added, which will enhance the appeal and salability of the product. All elements of the design must be safe for use by the general public (ready for certification by UL or an equivalent agency), sturdy and robust to withstand heavy use without failure, and must fit within the space available within the existing Dream Green.
Project Number: May05-04 (click to view the web site)
Description: The objective of this project is to design an improved smart snowplow. This would include such things as: (1) improving the traction of the truck under various road conditions, (2) improving the blade design, (3) providing instrumentation to insure that the salt is continuously spread on the road, (4) providing information to the driver so that he does not have to take his eyes off the road, (5) relaying important information to an IDOT base station, and (6) providing an indication of the maximum safe speed that the snowplow may be driven based on current road conditions. During the first semester of the project, the team will define cost-effective improvements that might be incorporated into the smart snowplow. It will also develop detailed descriptions of each of the suggested improvements. Wherever possible cost estimates will be developed. Use of GPS equipment also will be considered. The IDOT staff will determine which of the suggested improvements that the IDOT is interested in for further work. During the second semester, the project team will further develop one or more of the improvements endorsed by the IDOT staff. The final deliverables will include the original suggestions, the IDOT’s feedback, and the resultant designs. This will include a prototype set of modifications for the snowplow that includes: (1) any necessary conversion and/or computational capabilities, (2) any necessary communications and/or display equipment to advise the snowplow operator, (3) any necessary communications and/or display equipment to communicate with an IDOT base station, (4) the estimated cost of each enhancement, and (5) the standard senior design deliverables including project plan, poster, design report, oral presentations, and weekly email status reports.
Project Number: May05-05 (click to view the web site)
Description: Current driver education has many shortcomings; these shortcomings can be classified into several groups including: (1) winter driving techniques, (2) driving in and near road construction work zones, (3) other weather related driving techniques, and (4) other general driving techniques. The objective of this project is to develop a comprehensive set of educational materials to better educate drivers to reduce accidents, near accidents, and driving violations. Most new drivers, as well as those moving from southern climates have little or no experience in driving in winter weather conditions including snow and ice. Driving faster than road conditions allow and using cruise controls during bad weather conditions are two such examples. Since work is often not underway in construction work zones, drivers tend not to slow down when approaching these work zones. Many drivers fail to recognize that they may be approaching other vehicles at closing speeds approaching or exceeding 100 mph because of the building of a queue of stopped vehicles. Many drivers fail to use proper safety procedures in other unsafe weather-related conditions including rain, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. Additionally, drivers need more education regarding unsafe driving practices. Eating, talking on cellular telephones, and reaching for an item are three leading causes of accidents. Many drivers do not know the distance required to stop their vehicles as a function of speed. While young drivers have the reflexes, they generally lack the experience necessary to avoid many dangerous situations. Older drivers are often not aware that their reflexes and eyesight aren’t what they once were. The above information is not complete, but provides a number of examples.
The purpose of this project is to define a list of the current shortcomings of driver education and to develop materials to overcome these shortcomings. Improved education is not only limited to drivers, but also includes people on bicycles, as well as those walking and running along roads. The first activity is to determine what types of scenarios could be prevented by better education. The second is to define which parties are affected by each scenario. The third is to define the needed education requirements and to develop the needed educational resources. This should include actual materials for handouts, presentations, radio and television public service announcements, testing as a part of driver training and licensing exams, and videos for viewing while obtaining or renewing both driver and vehicle licenses. The team should also identify the technologies that might be best used with the training materials. This should include audio recordings, slide presentations, computer games, public service announcements, billboard materials, course notes, exam questions, presentation guides, pamphlets, hard copy handouts, driver test manual modifications, video recordings, and materials for pre-drivers including coloring books, questionnaires, and other items. The team will also attempt to discover methods to evaluate the effectiveness of each item or activity. Wherever possible, cost estimates will be developed. The deliverables will include a comprehensive set of materials to educate drivers and to evaluate the educational process including: (1) detailed representations of proposed modifications to the existing materials such as the driver’s license manual, (2) sample audio and video recordings, (3) proposed evaluation methods, and (4) the standard senior design deliverables including project plan, poster, design report, final report, oral presentations, and weekly email status reports.
Project Number: May05-06 (click to view the web site)
Description: When a concert or a major athletic event is held, traffic accidents often occur as a result of drivers not being able to see traffic backing up in locations that can not be readily seen ahead. The Elwood exit on US 30 west-bound is one such example. The objective of the project would be to develop a portable system that could detect slow moving or stopped cars and warn approaching drivers. The design will need to incorporate a speed sensor, car proximity sensor, a microprocessor, and a display system. The team will be working with a CCEE team and ISU staff.
Project Number: May05-07 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is developing an entry for the International Aerial Robotics Competition hosted by Georgia Tech. A future entry is likely to require a small, lightweight secondary vehicle to enter a building, inspect the premises, and relay directly/indirectly certain information, including video shots, back to a base station using wireless communication techniques. The object of this project is to define the requirements for the secondary vehicle, the technologies that might be used, the advantages/disadvantages of each technology, and recommendations for selecting the best technology in each case. The team, at a minimum, will consider the following factors: (1) motion mechanisms, (2) control requirements, (3) environmental determination, (4) information capturing, and (5) communication methodologies. Minimum size, weight, and power requirements are critical for success.
Project Number: May05-08 (click to view the web site)
Description: Many fortunate students receive multiple job offers prior to graduation and desire to select the one that best matches their personal characteristics and priorities. The objective of this project shall be to determine the various components of typical job offers, the various evaluation criteria used by students, the priorities for each criterion as defined by the particular student, and the evaluation system, including sensitivity analysis, to be used. After determining the necessary factors, the student team shall implement the package using Microsoft Excel and shall test the package using their fellow students. The end result shall be a tested Excel package that includes instructions, an example case, and a help function.
Project Number: May05-09 (click to view the web site)
Description: Ultrasonic cleaning is used in many material-sensitive applications, from cleaning dentures to cleaning PC boards. This project involves the application of ultrasonic cleaning techniques to vinyl records. A small, but ardent, group of audiophiles prefers the music produced by turntables with vinyl records, amplified by vacuum tube amplifiers to that produced with CDs and solid state amplifiers. To produce the sounds desired from high-end (and near high-end) audio systems the records must be meticulously clean. Any foreign material or residue remaining in the record’s grooves may reduce the sonic range produced by the recording and may even introduce significant extraneous noise. Mechanically cleaning records with solvents, soft brushes, and soft cloths is a time consuming process and can, if not done quite carefully, cause damage to the records. Ultrasonic record cleaners are currently available but their price ranges from $2500 to over $10,000! The goal of this project is to design, implement, test, and document an ultrasonic record cleaner that will cost a fraction of the commercially available models. The team will research and design the ultrasound source (generation, frequency, and intensity) that will work with an appropriate cleaning solution that will efficiently clean but not harm the records, the record handling system (a means of suspending and rotating the record vertically and immersing only the vinyl portion without harming the paper center label), and a (probable) MCU-based control system for the cleaner. An automatic system capable of determining the cleanliness of the record would be most desirable. The client will provide dirty records (not of audiophile quality!) and guidance regarding vinyl records and their cleaning during the design process.
Project Number: May05-10 (click to view the web site)
Description: Current power systems are adding generating units that have non-monotonically increasing incremental cost curves. It is necessary to develop a dispatch procedure that will produce optimal results. There are three timeframes in which dispatch of generating resources is important:
All current solution methods for economic dispatch involve classical methods such as binary-search, Newton-Raphson, or other lambda-iteration techniques. They are very fast and provide excellent results, but require monotonically-increasing incremental cost curves to facilitate these methods.
Combined-cycle generators, which typically are two simple-cycle combustion turbines with a heat recovery steam generator, exhibit an incremental heat rate (and thus cost) characteristic that is inflected. That is, it has a negative slope until hitting “bottom” at about 75% load, and then it curves upward.
This creates a need for a methodology to optimally dispatch a generation portfolio in which one (or several) of these resources resides. Much work and thought has gone into various means of solving the problem; the effort required by this problem statement will be to address one of those methods specifically.
The project objectives include: (1) developing a robust solution algorithm the uses the test data supplied by the client, (2) demonstrating that the solution algorithm produces optimal/near-optimal results, and (3) providing the program and associated documentation to the client.
Using test data supplied by the client, the project team shall demonstrate a robust solution capability for economic dispatch. Specifically, this means:
a. The solution program is to be written within the context of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using Visual Basic macro programming, with ample comments embedded in the code to permit the client to follow the logic of the programmer. This is a base requirement of this project.
b. The program must permit generator status to be specified hourly within a 7-day solution horizon. Status codes will be:
i. -1 = Forced off
ii. 0 = Off/available (-1 and 0 will mean the same thing to this dispatch program)
iii. 1 = On/dispatchable
iv. 2 = On/fixed output (this will require a matrix of fixed values which may be deferred until dispatch is proven)
c. The program is to incorporate enumeration/iteration, i.e. “normal” resources with monotonically-increasing curves to be dispatched by classical means (iterative or sort/lookup), while non-monotonically increasing resources are repeatedly tested along their curves, using a tunable dividing parameter, to locate the lowest overall system cost for the total power specified. Once this minimum is identified, the program is to revert to a finer search around this point on the non-monotonically increasing resource curve in increments set by a second tunable parameter (in Megawatts) that satisfies the system requirement, and will define the tolerance for final solution. This tolerance will typically be one MW.
d. The program must accept input data for generating units that use piecewise-linear incremental heat rate curves, with up to 10 segments each.
e. The program must incorporate an elapsed time indicator for performance measurements against other algorithms being tested by the client.
f. Results must be written into a worksheet or worksheets within the same Excel workbook, by unit and by hour (MW output, production cost), with appropriate totals and other statistics as agreed upon by the client. A switch must also be provided which will allow full output dumps (to the workbook or to an external file) of iterations tested, their cost, total generation, and other relevant metrics as agreed between the client and the team.
g. The client will validate results of the program to determine its success, and will provide all clarifications needed to the above requirements.
The team will maintain regular communication with the client; this will include:
a. Weekly reporting
The team will share weekly reports with the client (MidAmerican Energy). Reports are expected to indicate progress and upcoming goals each week, and are expected to reflect actual activities in a way that the client can observe progress.
b. Periodic face-to-face meetings
There will be meetings between the client and the team and/or the team’s faculty advisor(s) at least every two months, or more often as requested by either the team or the client. The purpose of these meetings will be to ensure that the project is on track and that the client and the team have the same understanding of the activities and goals.
After the program has been developed and tested with the test data has been demonstrated, the program code is to be turned over to the client, along with copies of all documentation and reports for the project. Success will be determined by the ability to provide a demonstrably lowest-cost solution for the test system provided and produce logically-written program code and output which lends itself to validation.
Project Number: May05-11 (click to view the web site)
Description: This project involves the design of an interface that actively links power-system security software tools that can be actively accessed via the Internet. The objective is to develop a power-system computing platform that can be accessed by others anywhere in the world. A power-system example will be implemented to demonstrate the concepts. This site can be used for distance education for power-system courses. The students will not need any software to be downloaded; they need only an Internet connection.
Project Number: May05-12 (click to view the web site)
Description: Develop a power system for a very small, mobile mission system. The power system should be developed on the concept that the alternator charges the battery not the mission system.
Remotely-operated vehicles within a mission system require stabile power input from various power supplies that use on-board battery sources for stored power. The batteries are required to discharge at a nearly constant rate that is close to their rated maximum and, at the same time, be charged by an on-board charging source that may have a wildly oscillating voltage and/or frequency. The result of this challenge has been normally solved by designing a power supply that uses the charging source for the majority of power and using the battery as a filter and to makeup power when the capability of the engine-driven alternator is insufficient to drive the power converters. The results of in-field tests show that this design is not practical and after a short period of time the batteries fail due to over-charging and overheating.The approach is as follows. Given a small fuel driven motor and alternator combination:
2. Power system output: 300 watts continuous while the alternator is being driven from 2500 to 13000 RPM
3. Power-system output voltages: 5 Vdc +.2/-.1 Vdc, 12 Vdc +.4/-.2 Vdc, 3.3 Vdc +.1/-.05 Vdc
4. Noise suppression: ripple less than .05Vrms
5. Overvoltage/undervoltage protection: provided for any voltage that exceeds this specification for a duration of 1 ms.
6. Radiated/conducted emissions: per Mil-Std 704c
7. Battery time (no charging power available) 15 minutes at system rated current draw.
Project Number: May05-13 (click to view the web site)
Description: The objective of this project is to develop a hybrid electric drive system that is powered by a generator, which is in turn powered by a 10-HP Briggs and Stratton gasoline engine. The project team will design a drive system powered by either one or two electric motors, which are powered by a generator/gasoline engine combination. All rules, including safety from electrical shock, established by SAE for the Mini-Baja Collegiate Design Series must be observed. The proposed system is to be comparable to previously developed cars in terms of top speed, acceleration, and torque. The activities of the project team are to remain confidential within the team, the senior design advisor, course coordinators, and the client.
Project Number: May05-14 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Boone Area Recreation Department has requested that a system(s) be designed to control the lighting at several of their softball fields and tennis courts complexes. The systems should have the capability of tracking the usage by various groups and generating usage billings for those groups. The possibility of providing lighting, especially for the tennis court complexes, to individuals on a credit card, subscription, or coin deposit basis should also be investigated. All aspects of the systems must be addressed (including locations, lighting control equipment, protective barriers or lighting, cost of construction and installation, ease of usage and maintenance, etc.) Since various types of lighting, such as incandescent and low-pressure sodium, are used in various locations with different wiring patterns, several variants of the control systems must be designed; e.g., since low-pressure sodium lights cannot be relighted for approximately 30 minutes after being shut off, a means to warn patrons of the impending expiration of purchased time should be considered, etc.
Project Number: May05-15 (click to view the web site)
Description: This project deals with designing an AGC scheme for MidAmerican Energy Company (MAEC). This will consist of taking MAEC’s dynamic data and static data on the regulation responsibilities as provided by a regulation contract, and analyzing the performance of such a system under different operating conditions to determine the algorithms to use, the data requirements, the telemetry requirements, and the explicit regulation requirements. One technique that can be used to do this is the fuzzy logic approach. Traditional approaches also will be implemented as the basis for comparison. Both methodologies will be examined to determine their performance and the ability to actually regulate within the expected NERC guidelines as approved by FERC review of contracts.
Project Number: May05-16 (click to view the web site)
Description: Viking Pump, Cedar Falls, Iowa has requested that a control algorithm and system be designed, implemented, and tested that will accurately control one of their pumps that processes a highly visco-elastic substance. Due to the nature of the substance, a very robust, nonlinear controller will be needed. To accurately design and initially test the controller, the pump while actively processing the visco-elastic substance must first be carefully modeled. A working prototype controller meeting the control specifications established by the company is expected.
Project Number: May05-17 (click to view the web site)
Description: Civil and military aircraft are routinely inspected for cracks and corrosion using eddy current testing. Such a test instrument uses an eddy current probe, typically an induction coil, which is moved by hand over the surface of a metal component. When a flaw is encountered, the coil changes impedance and the response is displayed on the impedance plane display of the instrument.
The objective of this project is to produce a computer-based inspection simulator, which would provide a means of training inspectors and helping to sell test equipment. In an advanced form, a simulator could act as an aid to the design of inspections, showing which inspections are feasible and which are not. The mouse could act as a virtual probe with the resultant signal being displayed in real time. Software for calculating impedance signals due to flaws in metal is already in existence. Specifically, this project involves the creation of a ‘front end’ to (1) present the calculated signals on an instrument display, and (2) simulate the instrument controls. The team will also produce an outline of what the training might include and how the simulator could be used.
Project Number: May05-18 (click to view the web site)
Description: Several times within the last year, a young passenger who has lain down on a seat and gone to sleep has been left unaccompanied and locked on board a bus for an extended time when the bus was parked at the end of a route or trip. Although drivers are supposed to check for passengers left on the bus, an automatic system to detect and prevent this occurrence is needed. The system must function automatically, not relying on the driver or others to be activated. It must detect the presence of the overlooked passenger or other items in any possible location within the bus and set off an alarm quickly enough to attract the attention of the driver before leaving the immediate location of the bus. The system must be useable on any of a number of bus types used by several transportation agencies, be robust, self-diagnostic and failsafe, but be moderate in cost. The team should also investigate the application of the system to other forms of mass transit. Consideration should be given to adapting the system to detecting other items unintentionally left in storage areas or to detecting potentially dangerous items left in public areas. The project team is expected to complete the work of a previous project team.
Project Number: May05-19 (click to view the web site)
Description: The current world population of 6.3 billion people is projected to grow to approximately 9 billion by 2050. To accommodate this growth food production must increase by 50%. To meet this need the agricultural industry must apply technology to increase efficiency and production. GPS technology, coupled with yield monitors and precisely controlled planters and fertilizer applicators, has led to “precision farming.”
True precision farming, however, must start from the ground up. Precision soil sampling will provide the information to make current technologies more useful. Soil samples will show which areas need more fertilizer and why areas may be yielding poorly. Current laboratory soil sampling techniques are costly and time consuming. Clearly, there is a need for a true precision soil sampler that is quick, inexpensive, yet accurate.
The objective of this project is to design, build, and test a prototype portable precision soil sampler. To keep the scope of the project at a manageable level, the initial prototype will concentrate on only one or two micronutrients. A successful prototype can then be extended to the full analysis range needed. Preliminarily, the team will evaluate the various methods of rapid sampling that are available and select the one(s) most suitable. A small-scale sampler that can be mounted on a four-wheel ATV or small truck will be designed, implemented, tested, and documented. In addition to the multidisciplinary team specified below, additional support will be sought from agronomy, chemistry, chemical engineering, and agriculture and biosystems departments on campus.
Project Number: May05-20 (click to view the web site)
Description: This project will incorporate geographic information system technology, 3-D visualization tools, and actual geographic data to develop an educational tool for use in high school and undergraduate history classes.
The team will develop software that integrates digital elevation data, Dr. Russell's Lewis and Clark Trail data, satellite photos, and historical documents. OTLC will allow students to follow the path of Lewis and Clark through realistically rendered fly-throughs of 3-D terrain. It will allow for comparison of historic documents with real measurements and possibly provide a plug-in architecture where modules can be added to allow new interactive learning experiences.
Costs: It is anticipated that commodity PC hardware with a reasonably new 3-D graphics card will be used. Software and data should be free
End Product: A software framework for 3D GIS/Historical education with a Lewis and Clark education module.
Project Number: May05-21 (click to view the web site)
Description: Each year students from middle schools and high schools across the United States participate in the FIRST (Fostering Interest in Research, Science, and Technology) Lego League (FLL) robotics competition. The FLL competition involves the design, building, and programming of small robots constructed from Lego blocks with a microprocessor, motors, and sensors from the Lego Mindstorm collection. The students design and program the robots to solve the challenge or perform the function (such as negotiating a complex maze in the fastest time) posed in the competition. Iowa State has been asked to develop aids, which are acceptable within the competition rules that will maximize the ability of handicapped students to participate as fully as possible in the FLL competition. Such aids might include, but not be limited to, audible signals from the robot that help a blind student track its motion; or, the inclusion of auditory response and large icon aids to programming the robots for blind students or those with limited sight. The aids will be developed to support the student for whom the request was specifically made, but also may be extended to help specific categories of handicapped students selected by the team.
Project Number: May05-22 (click to view the web site)
Description: The goal of this project is to develop a controlled laser system that can effectively operate on a desired medium. The aim is to produce a modular application that is adaptable for multiple operations; anything from cutting plastic to performing laser eye surgery. To accomplish this modularity, the first step is to successfully control the laser's position and movements on a 2-dimensional plane. This project will make use of parallel I/O to control and monitor the motors and stages. To accomplish this multiple-timed I/O problem, the National Instruments LabVIEW FPGA module will be used. FPGA hardware will give the application greater control of the hardware level I/O measurements and timing. Using the LabVIEW FPGA software to develop the control logic will be more productive than coding in VHDL, plus it provides a built-in user interface courtesy of LabVIEW. With this combination, the task of development will be drastically simplified while still yielding an extremely precise application.
Project Number: May05-23 (click to view the web site)
Description: Many senior design teams employ a microprocessor of some description in their projects. These microprocessors range from a simple PIC, such as the 16F872, to a complete microcomputer, such as the PC 104. All too often the teams select a particular microprocessor because it may be readily available or because the team members are already familiar with its use, instead of selecting the most appropriate microprocessor based strictly on the needs of the system. Often, the selected microprocessor is far more capable, and hence, far more expensive, than is dictated by the project requirements. This team will first identify and characterize a comprehensive range of microprocessors, from the simplest and least expensive to the most complex and capable. It will then develop an expert system that end-use teams may employ to select an appropriately sized and specified microprocessor. Finally, the team will provide or develop supporting material for each microprocessor selection that will assist the end-use team in programming and incorporating the selected microprocessor into its design project.
Project Number: May05-24 (click to view the web site)
Description: Children left outside unsupervised are often exposed to several dangers. Some examples include wandering away from home, being kidnapped, and drowning in swimming pools and other bodies of water. The objective of this project is to develop two safeguards in a single system, which should be able to handle up to six children simultaneously. It should sound a different alarm for each child being monitored and who is potentially in trouble. The first check is to make sure that each monitored child has not ventured further that a prescribed distance (25-125 feet). The second check is to insure that each monitored child is not in water where they could drown. Each monitored child will wear a small device, which he/she can not remove that includes a transmitter and a water detection device. A single receiver will pole each monitored child and will sound an alarm if either a signal is not received or the child is in water.
Project Number: May05-25 (click to view the web site)
Description: The ISU Information Assurance Center (IAC) has started is developing the Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE) (pronounced “ice age.”) The goal of the ISEAGE is to provide a world-class research and education facility to enhance the current state-of-the-art in information assurance. Dedicated to creating a virtual Internet for the purpose of researching, designing, and testing cyber defense mechanisms, the proposed one-of-a-kind facility will be the catalyst for bringing together top researchers from several disciplines for the common goal of making computing safer. Unlike computer-based simulations, real attacks will be played out against real equipment. The ISEAGE will also be used to test key components of the critical infrastructure. This project will create a tool or set of tools that will allow a user of ISEAGE to create a network topology through a GUI that can be uploaded to ISEAGE for simulation using XML. The tool(s) will also be able to display results from the simulation. The network topology must be capable of being GIS based; for example, the State of Iowa wants to model the entire state network using ISEAGE. The State of Iowa model needs to have the locations of the network equipment specified.
Project Number: May05-26 (click to view the web site)
Description: Thomas Enterprises, Inc. of Anamosa, Iowa is a manufacturer of high-end PC racing game controls used by serious online gamers as well as many professional race drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Thomas Enterprises’ current controller uses four 10k potentiometers, connected through a USB circuit board. This board is capable of reading 255 positions in one full rotation of the potentiometer. While this is sufficient for the mainstream product, they are looking for a high-end variant of the circuit board that will enable a higher resolution output, preferably in the range of 1024 positions. This will not only provide greater precision for the most demanding drivers, but also allow them to produce a controller with a larger turn radius for simulation of street driving and truck driving for specific simulation applications, while still maintaining a reasonable level of input sensitivity.
The end product sought would be a direct replacement for the USB circuit board currently used, having roughly the same dimensions, and the same connectors. They would also seek to replace the potentiometers with optical encoders for position detection of the steering wheel and pedals (gas, brake, and clutch). In addition, they would want to maintain the 16-button functions available via their current PCB. The new circuit board would need to interface with the PC through the USB port, using the same built-in HID drivers that are currently being used.
While Thomas Enterprises would like to keep the cost of the board as minimal as possible, the end cost isn’t their primary concern. The cost of the board plus components should be determined by what is needed to best accomplish the goals of the project. The end product will be priced accordingly. A cost in the range of $30 to $50 would be excellent (not counting the optical encoders), but they would accept an end cost as high as $150, if that were necessary.
Thomas Enterprises will provide the game software for testing, as well as the controller hardware, as needed.
Project Number: May05-27 (click to view the web site)
Description: This project also supports the ISEAGE being developed by IAC (see PP04-64.) Three tools will be used to collect information to be replayed within the virtual internet created by ISEAGE. The attack collector is a honey pot/honey net that will be used to collect host based attacks. The attack watcher is an intrusion detection system that will capture network attacks. The attack replayer is used to replay the attacks inside the virtual internet. The attack collector and watcher are connected to remote sites via the internet using encrypted connections.
Project Number: May05-28 (click to view the web site)
Description: Teradyne is asking a team of talented Iowa State engineering students to design a hardware and software solution that solves a critical problem that applies to all consumer products. The project is the design of a high-performance FPGA-controlled amplifier, which will be used as a spectrum analyzer front end.
This project is a follow up to the third phase (May03-10) of the Teradyne-sponsored PC-based spectrum analyzer senior design project. This project will involve the assessment of the previous project design work, as well as the following tasks: (1) hardware/software development, (2) research, (3) PCB layout and fabrication, and (4) the evaluation of the design performance.
In previous phase of this project, the team researched, designed and simulated the following:
2. Creation of a test plan to evaluate the design’s performance. This should include test techniques, test programs and required measurement equipment.
3. Layout and PCB fabrication of the phase-three hardware design with any agreed upon modifications to improve expected circuit performance.
4. Characterization of the frequency response, noise, distortion, etc… of the 100 Mhz high-gain, low-noise, and low-distortion amplifier.
5. Characterization of the frequency response, noise, distortion, DC offset, etc… of the programmable DC offset and frequency response correction circuits and software algorithms.
6. The above characterization steps 4 and 5 will include debugging, tweaking and midcourse corrections to meet the design performance goals.
7. Presentation of the results.
Teradyne will fund the cost of materials and can assist in or do any required board layout/fabrication. Additionally, a dual-processor workstation, development software, and a PC-based digitizer card have been provided as part of the PC-based Spectrum Analyzer project and are available for use. The expected output is an evaluation of the prototype hardware against the expected performance and design requirements.
Project Number: May05-29 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Teradyne Integra J750 Test System is a $500,000 tester that Teradyne has provided the department. Its function is to automatically test electronic circuit boards. The object of this project is to design a device interface board (DIB) that will provide the electrical interface between the J750 and a Texas Instruments wireless LAN chip. The design will include the protection mechanisms necessary to protect the J750. The project involves the following tasks: (1) understand the J750’s capacity for I/O, (2) understand the I/O requirements of the wireless LAN chip, (3) design and have developed a circuit board that meets the I/O requirements of the chip, and (4) develop the necessary test code to perform the testing.
Project Number: May05-30 (click to view the web site)
Description: National Instruments (NI) has developed the Mobile DAQ, which is a battery-operated data acquisition module that communicates to PCs or PDAs via Bluetooth. It connects to many types of sensors including voltage, temperature, and accelerometers. The Mobile DAQ module works in conjunction with the LabVIEW PDA module to solve mobile data acquisition problems. National Instruments has built a significant library of routines that will simplify building of a solution. Although RFID tags are becoming a standard for many types of applications, the new module does not yet support RFID operations. NI has requested that a design team research and build an add-on LabVIEW module for handhelds that would read and manage RFID tags. The team will develop an example application, in addition to the development of the add-on module.
Project Number: May05-31 (click to view the web site)
Description: This project will use Xilinx FPGAs to implement the hardware design for calculating in real-time the discrete Fourier transform and Inverse discrete Fourier transform (DFT/IDFT), and the Radon transform and inverse Radon transform (RT/IRT.) In the design, the team will carefully balance the tradeoffs between performance and FPGA gate count. It may use some specific Xilinx library functions. The end product of the design will be a transportable implementation using hardware description language (HDL), which will be used as a component in a more complex project in the future. A background and interest in communications and digital signal processing (EE 421, 422, and 424 as co- or pre-requisites to the project) is very important; classes in CprE 305 and/or CprE 483 are desirable.
Project Number: May05-32 (click to view the web site)
Description: National Instruments (NI) has created a very small, modular computer system called Cubix that will run programs created with NI’s LabVIEW program. The computer is comprised of seven stacked PC boards, each approximately 1.5” by 1.5.” The seven boards contain a power module, a processor module, a communications board, a storage board, an MIO board, a debug board, a Bluetooth board, and a breadboard. A Cubix would be ideally suited to monitor and record environmental conditions and report when certain set limits were exceeded. As examples, a Cubix could be used in a grain silo to evaluate moisture or in a refrigeration truck to evaluate and log temperature. A group of Cubix modules could be organized into an ad hoc network to evaluate and log data points from a group of locations. After becoming thoroughly familiar with the hardware and capabilities of the Cubix modules, the design team will select an appropriate data logging function or set of functions and design the system using Cubix modules. NI suggests the possibility of incorporating GPS data into the collection scheme, a capability that would have to be developed for the Cubix, as it does not yet exist.
Project Number: May05-33 (click to view the web site)
Description: The object will be to develop a web-based program, which runs on a Linux server using a MySQL database to enter, display, sort, and update action items for multiple projects. This program could be accessed by multiple senior design teams to capture and display action items, problem reports, trade studies, etc. The program will be accessible via a browser. Users will be required to login using their usual departmental login. Only students assigned to a project can enter data associated with that project. An option for a public reading capability will evaluated by the team and a recommendation will be made to the course coordinator for approval. Update will be appended to existing entries so that a history record is maintained. A summary page for each project showing open items, due dates, etc will be included. Copies of the weekly email status reports will be maintained in the data base.
Project Number: May05-34 (click to view the web site)
Description: The purpose of this project is to create an automation system for KURE. KURE is currently required to shut off their transmitter any time that station personnel are not present in the studio. This project will create a combination of hardware and software allowing for legal operation of the transmitter in the absence of station personnel. The software will be able to play audio files from a computer, and will be able to maintain legally mandated log files of the transmitter operation. The hardware will serve as an interface between the software and the existing hardware. Using the products of this project will allow the station to operate legally without station personnel present in the studio.
Project Number: May05-35 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Boone City Parks Department is a small city government department with limited personnel. They have requested that a software program be written that would enable them to track the usage of park facilities and personnel to make the best use of personnel and materials. The program must simplify the time required to record information and produce the needed reports. The elements presented below, as a minimum, must be included within the program. (The team may also help the department develop the specifications for a more robust management package.)
Shelter Reservation Software
Employee Work Report
Project Number: May05-36 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Boone Cemetery is managed by the Boone City Parks Department, which is a small city government department with limited personnel. They have requested that a software program be written that would enable them to more efficiently mange the cemetery operations to make the best use of personnel and materials. The program must simplify the time required to record information and produce the needed reports. The elements presented below, as a minimum, must be included within the program. (The team may also help the department develop the specifications for a more robust management package.)
Cemetery Event, Lot owners and Financial Tracking
Employee Work Report
Project Number: May05-37 (click to view the web site)
Description: Reiman Gardens is looking to provide more educational material on their website in a manner that would be enjoyable for the end user to play/use, but at the same time provide learning about insects. “Build an Insect” would give the user the ability to create an insect by selecting a variety of attributes from a variety of insects, assembling them to create a new insect. The user would then be able to test this insect in a variety of habitats to see how well their insect does in a specific habitat or whether or not it can survive. The objective of this program would be to increase the end user’s interest in insects and the special attributes that make them one of the most success animals on the planet. When completed, this project must be user friendly, fun to use, and educational.
Project Number: May05-38 (click to view the web site)
Description: Reiman Gardens is looking to provide more educational material on their website in a manner that would be enjoyable for the end user to play/use, but at the same time provide learning about insects. “Adopt a Caterpillar” would give the end user the ability to experience what it is like to care for and raise a caterpillar. The project would need to create a virtual caterpillar and subject it to all of the possible trials and tribulations involved as they go through their development stages. The objective of this program would be to increase the end user’s interest in insects as well as to teach them the life stages involved in the development of the insect. When completed, this project must be user friendly, fun to use, and educational.
Project Number: May05-39 (click to view the web site)
Description: The Alumni Association would like to completely redesign their on-line store and order processing facilities using ASP.NET and a DB/2 database. The project will replace a static HTML product catalog, an Access database for session management, and a standalone Access database for order processing (into which all orders must be copied by hand). It is highly desirable that team members have had previous C#/.Net and/or database-driven web development experience.
Last updated: 13 Feb 2005 DJL
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