ECpE Senior Design


Previous Projects - May 2006


Jump to Project:
May06-01: Headphone Amplifier, Equalizer, and Sound Stage
May06-02: Parking Meter – Phase #5
May06-03: Dream Green - Final Phase
May06-04: Collection Inventory System - Phase #2
May06-05: Campus Locator Project - Cell Phone Interface
May06-06: Traffic Signs Outlined by Solar-Powered LEDs
May06-07: MidAmerican Energy Company Non-Monotonically Increasing Generating Unit Dispatch
May06-08: Home/Small Office Smart Control System
May06-09: Chair-Mounted Computer Workstation
May06-10: Network Specification and Report System for ISEAGE - Phase 2
May06-11: Attack Tool Repository and Player for ISEAGE
May06-12: Viking Pump Flow Manager - Phase 2
May06-13: A Cell Phone-Based Remote Home Control System
May06-14: FPGA Controlled Amplifier Module (FCAM)
May06-15: Device Interface Board Design for Wireless LAN Testing
May06-16: Alternative Energy Evaluation
May06-17: StratoLink Spacecraft Bus
May06-18: Computer Control of Theater Performance Electronics
May06-19: Automated Nightlight
May06-20: Automated Security Camera
May06-21: Vehicle Safety Modifications
May06-22: Doctor's Office Information System


Project Number: May06-01   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Headphone Amplifier, Equalizer, and Sound Stage

Description: Some MP3 players have insufficient power to drive a set of high-fidelity headphones whose impedance varies from 32 ohms to 600+ ohms. A series of papers describing a general design, including several variations, 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 (sound stage) / equalizer as a companion for the headphone amplifier. The objective of the project will be multifold. First, the project team will optimize a series of circuits using a breadboard implementation. The series of circuits will include, at a minimum, a stereo amplifier, a three- or more band equalizer, a variable time-delay sound stage, separate bass and treble controls, balance control, ganged volume controls, power supply, and multiple headphone/speaker outputs. Second, after approval by the faculty advisors, the team will covert the optimized breadboard circuits into one or more actual printed circuit board implementation(s). The op-amp based system will operate using any one of the following three power supplies: 120-VAC/12 VDC external supply using a wall-wart, 12-VDC external automotive supply, or a 12-VDC internal supply using 8 rechargeable AA batteries. The expected end product is a complete, finalized system that includes all of the above components in a single, professional-looking case that measures no larger than 8”X8”X2”. The system is meant to be used in a car or office environment and not to be carried while walking or jogging. The results of two previous related senior design projects (463X-04 and May05-01) will be made available.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Brandon Bohlen ECpE Thomas Chenoweth EE
Travis Fast EE Cory Nelson EE

Project Number: May06-02   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Parking Meter – Phase #5

Description:ISU currently has two pay-for-parking lots that have computerized control units. Each unit is programmable with receipt printout capability. The initial cost of each commercial units starts at $10,000 and rapidly escalates to more than $75,000 as additional features are added. Several problems exist with the commercial units. Working with the ISU Parking Division, an initial dual-processor master – slave combination and has been developed and is ready for on-site testing. This microprocessor-based system includes such features as variable time-of-day rates, add-on time capability, etc as specified by the ISU Parking Division. Previous senior design teams (May04-02, Dec04-02, and May05-02) have developed the initial unit. Working with the Dec05-02 team, the new team will assist in support of on-site testing, developing a second slave unit, completing end product documentation, and creating a simulator to be used for further development, testing, and support.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson

ISU Parking Division
Doug Houghton

Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Michael Arens CprE Kristi Gavin CprE
Mikael Nielsen CprE Benjamin Quach EE
Nicole Wittry EE    

Project Number: May06-03   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Dream Green – Final Phase

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 (May05-03), including mechanical engineers from ENGR 466 (Multidisciplinary Design), has developed a microprocessor-based system to control a set of motors to drive a new wedge system that raises both the elevation bars and the ends of the putting surface. Much of the prototype system has been constructed, although alternative AC motors should be considered to replace the currently designated DC motors. This team, again working with ME students from ENGR 466, will complete the testing, redesign as may be necessary, and the complete final implementation of the automated Dream Green, ready for delivery to the client in as close to a “ready-to-manufacture” state as possible. Preset, manually set, and randomly set positions must be available and/or recordable. 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.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson Client:
Chuck Juel
Rural Route #2
Stout, IA 50673
Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Ryan Emerson CprE David Goldberg EE
David Moline EE Brian Wicks CprE/HRI
Engr 466 Students:
Mevan Vijthakumara ME  

Project Number: May06-04   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Collection Inventory System – Phase #2

Description: Americans, from small children to seasoned citizens, love to collect “things.” These collections range from 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 the inventory, 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 used as the underlying system with the development of attractive GUIs provided to facilitate its use. Work from a previous senior design team (Dec04-01) will be made available. As a test of the proposed system, the team will attempt to categorize and inventory Prof. David Stuart’s music collection.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Eric Anderson CprE Adam Kovar CprE/Math
Dustin Lunde CprE Matt Moeller CprE
Brian Steger CprE    

Project Number: May06-05   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Campus Locator Project – Cell Phone Interface

Description: A campus locator is being designed for use by new or prospective students, faculty, staff, or visitors at ISU to find locations of interest and navigate around the campus and its nearby environments. The campus locator will guide the user to various locations, both outdoors (e.g., buildings or points of interest) and indoors (e.g., classrooms, faculty or departmental offices, etc.) Previously, a senior design team (May04-04) developed specifications for a campus locator. The technologies predominantly considered at that time included radio frequency identification (RFID) and the global positioning system (GPS) implemented on either a laptop computer or personal digital assistant (PDA.) Recent changes in technology (i.e., the lessening use of PDAs and the marked expansion of cell phone capabilities as well as their common availability) dictate that this expanding technology be reconsidered as the basic vehicle for providing campus locator services. This project will investigate current and projected cell phone capabilities as a means of implementing a campus locator. The cell phone is envisioned as an I/O terminal, providing the campus locator user with access to a centrally-located database and central processor. Current cell phone capabilities, such as text messaging and Internet accessibility, as well as predicted capabilities, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 family,) will be considered. The end product of the project will be a report presenting the detailed specifications for a cell phone-based campus locator system.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson
Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Brandon Judas CprE Kirunda Kiruthi EE
Jason McCarthy CprE Ammar Rasul EE

Project Number: May06-06   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Traffic Signs Outlined by Solar-Powered LEDs

Description: Traffic (stop, yield, detour, etc) signs are often difficult to see in locations such as fast moving roads, construction zones, and unfamiliar areas. By outlining certain traffic signs with a set of appropriately colored LEDs, these selected signs will be more visible and obvious to drivers. Because electricity may not be conveniently available, the LEDs must be solar-powered with battery backup, so that they can operate in both day- and night-time conditions. The project team will need to determine what a reasonable number of consecutive hours is without sunshine that the solar-power battery system must support based on the number of LEDs used to outline the sign. The project team must select at least three different signs whose outline will require a different number of LEDs for use in the project. The team must also justify its assumed operating conditions.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont and Patterson Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Alexander Beecher EE Jason Chose EE
James Kopaska EE Matthew Treska EE

Project Number: May06-07   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: MidAmerican Energy Company Non-Monotonically Increasing Generating Unit Dispatch

Description: A previous senior design team (May05-10) made a substantial start on an Excel spreadsheet-based dispatch program that is capable of dispatching both monotonically-increasing and non-monotonically increasing generating units (combined-cycle units). The program needs to be completed; this includes testing of the previously-developed software by both the client and the new project team, providing complete documentation for the program, adding additional features that the client may request, and finding and implementing additional solution algorithms that may provide increased solution speed. Visual Basic and macros are used in conjunction with Excel.

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:
• Real-time (automatic generation control)
• Near horizon (operations planning)
• Intermediate-to-far horizon (corporate and generation planning)

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.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont Client:MidAmerican Energy Company
Alan Oneal

Team Makeup:
Matthew Ellis EE Noraima Fernandez EE
Jeremy Hamilton EE Robert Walter EE

Project Number: May06-08   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Home/Small Office Smart Control System

Description: National Instruments has developed a prototype microprocessor system that runs LabView software and has Bluetooth capability. The object of this project is to develop a wireless router system using multiple prototype microprocessor units that is suitable for use in a home or small business environment and is capable of supporting two to ten separate computers. It should also provide centralized printer support.

Faculty Advisor(s): Zhang Client: National Instruments
Team Makeup:
Gerald Ahn CprE Suwandi Chandra CprE
Carson Junginger CprE Austin Kelling CprE

Project Number: May06-09   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Chair-Mounted Computer Workstation

Description: Computer console paradigms existing in the commercial world include the application of significant computer hardware within an enclosure, which must be environmentally protected and maintained. The project team should consider other methods of allowing an operator to work at a workstation site without the need for a costly or massive console to accomplish their typical work tasks. Results from a previous project (May04-15) will be made available.

The project tasks shall include:
1. Investigate what requirements the operator has for interface to a computer system.
2. Understand the design constraints of the enclosure and computer, including cost and reliability.
3. Consider non-conventional methods of achieving as many of the operator constraints as is reasonably possible.
4. Perform a trade study of existing methods of accomplishing wearable, miniaturized, and/or remote computer systems.
5. Select candidate technologies for further development consideration.
6. Develop one or more prototype designs that provide effective workstation utilization for a typical sailor or airman.
7. Demonstrate and report on the solutions to the client.

The client will:

1. Provide guidance as to what operator requirements exist.
2. Provide ongoing guidance throughout the design and development cycle to help assess potential solution applicability.
3. Provide technical support and purchase any additional hardware for testing by the project team.

Faculty Advisor(s): Somani Client: Lockheed Martin
R. J. Monson

Team Makeup:
Shawn Yockey CprE Isi Oamen EE
David Roberts CprE    

Project Number: May06-10   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Network Specification and Report System for ISEAGE – Phase 2

Description: The ISU Information Assurance Center has started to develop the Internet-Scale Event and Attack generation Environment (ISEAGE) (pronounced “ice age”) at the IAC. The goal of 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 a 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 be to 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 will need to be able to be 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.

Faculty Advisor(s): Jacobson Client:Information Assuarance Center
Team Makeup:
Eric Anders CprE Jonathan Cook CprE
Piyush Patel CprE Trent Robertson EE/CprE

Project Number: May06-11   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Attack Tool Repository and Player for ISEAGE

Description: The ISU Information Assurance Center has started to develop the Internet-Scale Event and Attack generation Environment (ISEAGE) (pronounced “ice age”) at the IAC. The goal of 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 a 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.

An extensive library of attack tools will be maintained. The library will allow the researchers to launch a wide array of attacks through a web interface, and by feeding the attacks through ISEAGE it will provide researchers a mechanism to design and test defenses against real attacks. This project will involve the design of a database, and web front end to store, categorize, and search for attacks. The project will also provide a web front end that will allow for the execution of the attacks. The project will also need to collect the code for actual attacks and verify the code works and to develop documentation that will allow the users to run the attacks through the web interface.

Faculty Advisor(s): Jacobson Client(s): Information Assurance Center
Team Makeup:
Jeremy Brotherton CprE Timothy Hilby CprE/ComS
Brett Mastbergen CprE Jasen Stoeker CprE/ComS

Project Number: May06-12   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Viking Pump Flow Manager – Phase 2

Description: Viking Pump of Cedar Rapids, IA is a world leader in pump development and construction. Their product range varies from the very small to the very large, serving markets ranging from commercial kitchen appliance vendors to large chemical producers. In addition to their main business of designing and manufacturing pumps, Viking markets the Flow Manager, a flow meter that is able to very accurately measure the rate of flow through a pump using only differential pump pressure and pump speed as its primary inputs. This system avoids the use of traditional flow meters, which disrupt the flow of the fluid they measure.

This project is a continuation of a previous team's (May05-16) work toward improving the Flow Manager by modernizing its design. The previous team has completed gathering requirements for the updated device and has finalized an initial design. This project will focus on constructing and delivering a working prototype to Viking Pump. It is expected that a working prototype will be used as a guide for Viking to "take to production" in the future.

The end result of the project will be a working prototype that controls a pump test bed system provided by Viking. As such, it is important that the team be made of members with a diverse knowledge base. Although much of the remaining work consists of software development, the fact that the software controls a physical device dictates that EE's and ME's be involved. There is also a fair amount of circuit work to be done to allow for the pump to be driven properly.

Faculty Advisor(s): Elia Client: Viking Pump
406 State Street
Cedar Galls, IA 50613
Jim Mayer
Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Francois Munyakazi EE Daniel Paulsen CprE
Dwanye Stammer CprE    

Project Number: May06-13   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: A Cell Phone-Based Remote Home Control System

Description: The objective of this project is to enable users to remotely control their home appliances and systems using a cell phone-based interface. The user should dial a cell phone number, which identifies his/her home control system. After authentication, the user would then enter the code of the device to be controlled, followed by the required/desired function/action. The cell phone-based interface at home would relay the commands to a microcontroller that would perform the required function/action, and return a function completion code that would be sent to the user. This system would enable the user to remotely control his/her security system, control the climate control system in the home, and start the oven, dishwasher, etc. Deliverables include a home system central control unit, which would be connected to a wireless cellular phone interface. The unit will be commanded over a wireless link, and will issue control signals to perform the corresponding function(s). The system will include both hardware and software components.

Faculty Advisor(s): Kamal Client: ECpE Department
Team Makeup:
Issa Drame EE Adam Mohling CprE
Chau Nguyen EE    


Project Number: May06-14  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: FPGA Controlled Amplifier Module (FCAM)

Description: This project is continuing project activity.

Background Info: For the past 4 semesters Iowa State University Senior design teams have been developing an FPGA Controlled-Amplifier Module (FCAM). This module has been designed to offer selectable gain, wide-bandwidth operation (>100MHz), and high signal fidelity. The project thus far has involved both analog and digital hardware design along with some FPGA development. The FCAM is truly a state-of-the-art piece of electronics.

Continuing Work: This team will be tasked with taking the design to the next level. As it stands now, the FCAM module has been fabricated and assembled on a 10.5” x 6” four layer PCB. An FPGA (field programmable gate array) will need to be developed using high-level HDL (hardware description language) programming. This FPGA hardware and software will implement automatic DC offset calibration of the amplifier circuit. The assembled module will also need to be tested in the laboratory. This will involve a high-level of skill in analog circuit analysis and familiarity with bench equipment such as pulse generators, oscilloscopes, power supplies, and meters. Test methodologies will need to be developed and executed. This is a great opportunity for a multi-disciplined team of students to bring a design from prototype to a production worthy product. Students who participate will have direct engineering support from a team of 3-4 ISU alumni currently employed by Teradyne, Inc. These students will gain valuable practical experience in product development, which will greatly help with their transition into industry.

High-Level Milestones:

1) Understand and become familiar with the design requirements.
2) Audit the existing project documentation, identify existing product/specs gaps and create high-level list of tasks to do to enable the use of the existing hardware.
3) Develop project plan to meet customer and ECpE deadlines.
4) Develop, Test and Debug FPGA HDL code for DC offset calibration
5) Bring-up and test design in the lab (Amplifier circuit, FPGA controller, power supplies, and offset calibration circuitry)
6) Report test results weekly, implement and document any required changes to the design
7) Update design documentation and release the final design package to Teradyne, Inc

Expertise Required:
2 EEs (preferably with analog and digital circuit design, analysis, simulation and lab skills/experience) and 2 CprEs (preferably with FPGA HDL/Verilog programming/debug/test skills and experience). Knowledge of high level programming languages (i.e. C, C++, Visual Basic) would be an advantage although not mandatory. Students who have participated in co-ops preferred.

Other Requirements:
The successful candidates must be responsible, confident and be self-motivated; the ability to work on one’s own initiative would be a distinct advantage. They must have computer skills for data management and presentations, excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability/flexibility to work with tight schedules. Candidates must also have strong problem solving skills, and be capable of using data to analyze process and product problems. Understanding of PCB manufacturing and industry specifications preferred.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chu Client: Teradyne
Team Makeup:
Jesse Bartley CprE Zhi Gao EE
Michael Hayen CprE Jiwon Lee EE


Project Number: May06-15  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Device Interface Board Design for Wireless LAN Testing

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. This team will extend the work of a previous team (May05-29), in particular adding a PLL (phase-locked loop) capability to the previous work.

Faculty Advisor(s): Weber Client: ECpE Department
Team Makeup:
Joseph Chongo EE/MUBA Matthew Dahms EE
Justine Skibbe EE    


Project Number: May06-16   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Alternative Energy Evaluation

Description: The objective of this program is to develop an Internet-based program that could help a rural resident or farmer evaluate the applicability of various alternative energy sources as either a supplement to or a replacement for their current energy supply. At a minimum, the team shall include the following types of sources: wind, solar, small-head hydro, microturbines, fuel cells, heat pumps (both vertical and horizontal), biomass, and various types of energy storage. The end user would specify the various types of energy usage that the system would supply (home, lighting and energy for other buildings, grain drying, remote electric waters/feeders, etc). Other inputs would include energy usage both peak and monthly values for each major application and current energy costs from their present supplier. If the alternative energy system is a supplement to the current energy supply, the protection requirements must be defined. Estimates of the costs to install, operate, and maintain each applicable alternative energy source and/or storage system shall be made. The end user shall be able to specify where (possibly zip code or longitude and latitude coordinates) the system is to be used. This will be used as the basis for sunlight, wind, and temperature conditions. The end user shall be provided with a prioritized list of practical alternative energy sources and their expected life. For each alternative energy source and/or storage system, the end user shall be provided with a detailed check list of items that should be further investigated. This shall include any required technical capabilities (human and machine) to install, operate, and maintain the equipment.

Faculty Advisor(s): Baird Client: Patterson
Team Makeup:
Steven Chebuhar EE Anhtuan Dinh EE
Ryan Ferneau CprE Justin Jorgensen EE


Project Number: May06-17  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: StratoLink Spacecraft Bus

Description: Stratolink is an extension of the HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology) program at Iowa State University. HABET uses helium filled latex balloons to send "spacecrafts" to the near space environment of around 100,000 ft. The goal of Stratolink is a simplified spacecraft that is easier to use with less equipment and less expertise. Stratolink is be designed so it can be used by other programs for educational purposes. The objective of this project is to design, fabricate, test, and document a portion of the StratoLink spacecraft bus. The specific components of the spacecraft bus that the team must complete are the ORBCOMM® satellite transceiver and the power regulation system. The StratoLink spacecraft must be able to transmit spacecraft telemetry to the existing ORBCOMM® satellite network throughout the entire flight. The power supply for the StratoLink spacecraft must be redundant and safe, allowing StratoLink users with no electrical engineering experience (such as high school students) to safely charge the spacecraft power supply (consisting of Lithium Polymer batteries) to allow for a successful mission to near space altitudes. Further information can be found at .

Faculty Advisor(s): Mina Client: Spacecraft Systems and Operations Lab (SSOL)
Mani Mina, Director
2362 Howe Hall
Team Makeup:
Adam Allison EE Robert Bond EE
Hai Duong EE Alan Johnson CprE
David Johnson EE/PolS    


Project Number: May06-18   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Computer Control of Theater Performance Electronics

Description: The objective of this project is to develop an interface for real-time interactive video and audio control between wireless hardware and a computer to enable dancers or actors to control their own stage environment. Dancers or actors wear flexible sensors, or piezo sensors on their bodies, connected to FM transmitters. Their movement sends wireless signals to the computer, which is running the interactive software ISADORA. ISADORA uses the signals to manipulate video and audio output as desired by the performers. The project involves developing a housing for a flexible sensor (to prevent wear and tear and corrosion from sweat), and programming a 'sensor watcher' in the interactive software ISADORA to interface between the performers and the computer. ISADORA is programmed in C++; an SDK is available for ISADORA. The goal is to give the performers more direct control over their stage environment without the need for intervention of stagehands or technicians. Valerie Williams, director of Co'Motion Dance Theater (professional dance company in residence at ISU Department of HHP) will coordinate requirements, dancers, and use of dance labs.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dickerson Client: Janice Baker
Director, Iowa State Dance (Dept of HHP)
240 Forker Building
515-294-8740 (Fax)
Team Makeup:
Alexander Sills EE Amanda Farniok EE
Sheng Ly CprE    


Project Number: May06-19   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Automated Nightlight

Description: An automated nightlight for hallway use is desired that will change its light output between off, low, and high automatically. During daylight hours it shall remain off. During the hours of darkness it shall remain on “low” to provide a comfortable atmosphere for sleeping until it detects the need for additional light, such as when the sleeper walks to the bathroom, at which time it shall change automatically to “high”. The team must develop a good method to automatically return the system to “low”. Methods for consideration should include a user programmable length of time or detection of when the person(s) have returned. A backup battery power supply to be used during a power outage shall be considered. All aspects necessary to manufacture a commercial unit must be considered in the design. This includes, but isn’t limited to, product ruggedness and reliability, overall cost to manufacture (including parts and manufacturing costs), complete list of parts, packaging layout and specifications (including any printed circuit boards that may be required), safety and UL (or equivalent) rating, ease of use, etc. A working prototype, which may be significantly different from the comprehensive product design above, must be built and demonstrated.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chen Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Wesley Adreon EE Andrew Cook EE
Dantrayl Smith EE Kong-Wei Soon EE


Project Number: May06-20   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Automated Security Camera

Description: The object of this project to develop an automated security camera system that could be used as the basis for a home security system. The security system should store digital images on a computer hard drive. The system must be designed and implemented such that it only records images when movement is observed in the observed area. A time stamp shall also be incorporated into the stored results. Finally, consideration shall also be given to a camera that functions in very low lighting levels.

Faculty Advisor(s): Russell Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Brian Swanson CprE Anthony Gunawan CprE
Kyle Litwin CprE Nathaniel Roiger CprE


Project Number: May06-21   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Vehicle Safety Modifications

Description: A previous senior design project (May05-05) identified a number of potential safety improvements for personal vehicles. Some of the included items were: (1) front and back sensors to alert the driver to objects in his/her way, (2) a bad weather alert system, (3) blind-spot eliminators, (4) potential collision detectors, and (5) a driver-alert detector system. Most of these items are currently available on more expensive new cars, but are not low enough cost to be made available on lower cost new cars. The objective of this project is to design and implement at least two of these items in a form that would be useful, practical, reliable, and cost effective as either an add-on capability or for lower cost new cars.

Faculty Advisor(s): Tuttle Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Joshua Bruening EE Mei-Ling Liew EE
Brian Phillips CprE Adams Sutanto EE
Liu Fei EE    


Project Number: May06-22  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Doctor’s Office Information System

Description: Studies have shown that, on average, patients understand and retain less than 40% of the information and instructions provided them by the doctor during an office visit. Possible causes for these miscommunications might include an initial misunderstanding by the patient of the technical, medical information provided by the doctor or the inability of the patient, who is often ill and not functioning at his/her best capacity, to hear, to remember, or to take notes on the information presented by the doctor. The objective of this project is to pinpoint the reasons for doctor-patient miscommunications and develop a system for identifying and recording the information and instructions that are critical to the patient. Several modes of presenting the material to the patient should be considered including presenting the patient with a printed transcription of the critical data before the patient departs the doctor’s office. The team needs to be aware that the patient may not be computer literate. The system must be simple, easy to understand, and not be time consuming or cumbersome for the doctor or an elderly patient to use.

Faculty Advisor(s): Woods Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Adam Oberhaus CprE Srdjan Pudar CprE
Kevin Schmidt CprE Saalini Sekar ECpE/EE