ECpE Senior Design


Previous Projects - May 2007


Jump to Project:
May07-01: LED-Outlined Traffic Signs on the ISU Campus
May07-02: Parking Meter – Phase 7
May07-03: Program to Evaluate Alternative Energy Sources
May07-04: PDA-Based UAS Remote Video Terminal
May07-05: Air Dropped Communications Relay System for Unmanned Vehicles
May07-06: High Performance Optical Interconnect Project
May07-07: Statistical Analyzer for Golf
May07-08: Collect and Identify (C & I)
May07-09: A Wireless Internet Security Test Bed
May07-10: USB Portable Firewall
May07-11: Highway Deer Identification System
May07-12: Expanded “Cookbook” Instructions for the Teradyne Integra J750 Test System
May07-13: Precision VFD for AC Synchronous Motor
May07-14: Paperless Restaurant
May07-15: Self-guided Wheelchair
May07-16: Optimization of the EE 432 Class Fabrication Process
May07-17: Oxygen Analysis System for SCUBA Equipment
May07-18: Machine Model Parameter Determination
May07-19: Video Carousel
May07-20: HardSSH Cryptographic Hardware Key


Project Number: May07-01   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: LED-Outlined Traffic Signs on the ISU Campus

Description: A previous senior design team, May06-06 (Traffic Signs Outlined by Solar-Powered LEDs), successfully developed a system for designing traffic signs outlined by solar-powered LEDs. In conjunction with recent efforts to improve pedestrian safety on and near campus, the ISU Department of Public Safety has authorized a follow-on project to develop recommendations for implementing LED-outlined pedestrian safety signs on the campus. If a CCEE 490 student can be identified, that student will be responsible for developing a comprehensive plan to emplace LED-outlined pedestrian crossing signs at critical locations on the campus. At a minimum, the plan will contain a complete set of recommended locations, in prioritized order, for the signs with justifications for the locations, specific site layouts for each location, and logistics requirements and costs estimates for each location. One prototype sign will be designed, and constructed by the ECE team members. The sign will be installed for testing at a critical location on campus (perhaps one of the student crossing areas on Union Drive south of Black Engineering Building.) The sign will be designed to provide flashing LED-outlines automatically at critical student crossing times (between classes) or upon student demand (at other times) to flash for a specifiable length of time. The sign will provide the user with a count-down of the flashing time currently remaining on the request.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson


ISU Department of Public Safety
Doug Houghton

Team Makeup:
Jacob Bonner EE Dustin Nekvinda EE
Hieu Qhang Pham EE Brain Schnurr EE
David Wallace CprE    

Project Number: May07-02   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Parking Meter – Phase 7

Description:Previous teams have developed an automated parking meter as a potential replacement for the ones in the lot west of the armory. The current units are very expensive and require that a programmer be flown in from Canada to make any changes; moreover, the company has recently gone out of business. The new unit includes a dual-processor (with redundant memory) master and a single-processor client to serve a parking lot with up to 999 parking spaces. This team will help support customer testing beginning this semester, will help produce a second client unit, and will develop an interface to easily update changes in the software. Each client does/will include a coin acceptor, printer, keypad, and display. All communications to/from the master unit are/will be through a client unit.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont & Patterson

ISU Department of Public Safety
Doug Houghton

Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Clint Hertz CprE Nicholas Hollander CprE
Austyn Trace CprE    

Project Number: May07-03   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Program to Evaluate Alternative Energy Sources

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, micro-turbines, 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. Three types of operating modes will be investigated: a.) the alternative source(s) operating in a stand alone mode without backup; b.) the alternative source(s) operating as the primary source of power with utility-supplied power as a backup; c.) the utility-supplied power operating as the primary source of power with the alternative source(s) as a backup. If the alternative energy system is a supplement to the current energy supply, the protection requirements must be defined. 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. Estimates of the costs to install, operate, and maintain each applicable alternative energy source and/or storage system shall be made.

Faculty Advisor(s): Lamont, Patterson, and Baird Client:
Senior Design
Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Christina Erickson EE Daniel Harkness CprE
Matthew Kuker CprE Parker Lohrenz EE
Joseph Moeller EE    

Project Number: May07-04   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: PDA-Based UAS Remote Video Terminal

Description: Design an unmanned aerial system (UAS, aka UAV) Remote Video Terminal (RVT) based around a PDA or PDA-like device. This project will require the team to read in a simulated telemetry data stream over a serial line and display critical information in a user-friendly display. The GPS location of the user and the UAV will be used to calculate and display a range and bearing from the user to the UAV. The device will have to simultaneously read in an analog video signal (NTSC) and display the video on the PDA screen along with the telemetry information display. The cost of the project is not to exceed $1000.

Faculty Advisor(s): Zhang Client:Todd Colten
Lockheed Martin
Eagan, MN
Team Makeup:
Devin Carney EE Jonathan Farmer CprE
Matthew Henkes CprE Rene Rios EE

Project Number: May07-05   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Air Dropped Communications Relay System for Unmanned Vehicles

Description: Develop a system of self-contained communication devices (based on 802.11 technologies) that can be air-dropped from a UAV at 500 ft above the ground. Multiple devices (or “nodes”) will be dropped in a pattern to allow “network-centric” communications between unmanned vehicles (ground level to 500 feet altitude) in an operational area. Students will have to trade size/cost/weight of each “node” with the total number of “nodes” necessary to cover a given area. Students will only have to build and demonstrate a 2 node system and demonstrate communications between 2 unmanned (simulated) vehicles or a vehicle and a base-station (simulated). A self-destruct system for the nodes will be designed, but not implemented. The cost of the project is not to exceed $1000.

Faculty Advisor(s): Kamal Client: Todd Colten
Lockheed Martin
Eagan, MN

Team Makeup:
John Chargo CprE Andrew Hanrath EE
Jonathan Newell EE Matthew Pross EE

Project Number: May07-06   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: High Performance Optical Interconnect Project

Description: This project would utilize high performance COTS interconnect technology to help the team understand how to interconnect multiple processors using a 10Gbps Ethernet or RapidIO switch interconnect and a fiber optic media. It would interconnect 2-4 high performance COTS processors using 10Gbps protocol on fiber optics. The primary protocol options would be Ethernet or RapidIO. Switches are available from companies like Tundra. This would involve selecting and integrating these high-performance, interconnect devices. This would also involve installing interface drivers that would utilize this performance. Also, this would involve performing performance benchmarking. The cost of this project is not to exceed $5000. The team is to develop the most capable system for this funding.

Faculty Advisor(s): Mina and Somani Client:Rick Stevens
Lockheed Martin
Eagan, MN

Team Makeup:
Layth Al-Jalil CprE Jay Becker CprE/ComS
Adam Fritz EE David Sheets EE/CprE

Project Number: May07-07   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Statistical Analyzer for Golf

Description: The objective is to develop a mobile application that will allow the user to record data for from one to four golfers for later analysis and feedback on all shots taken during a round of golf. Data to be recorded for each shot would include such elements as the club used, starting and ending locations of the shot, type of lie, shot characteristics, and type of swing. By recording, accumulating, statistically analyzing, and reviewing the results, it is believed that a serious golfer could significantly improve his or her game. To facilitate the rapid recording of the data, the application will include graphical representations of individual fairways and greens for one or more golf courses. Either a PDA or a Pocket PC will be used to record the data. The data stored on the PDA or Pocket PC is to be downloaded to a PC for storage, classification, statistical analysis, review, and printing. The project team will work with the client to select the necessary hardware (PDA or Pocket PC) and develop the necessary software (to be written in Visual Basic) that will work with Excel.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chang and Nguyen Client:Jack Whitmer
Retired ISU Political Science Professor & golfer

Team Makeup:
Brain Cain CprE/ComS Scott Coleman CprE
Joshua Roberts CprE Shannon Schulz EE

Project Number: May07-08   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Collect and Identify (C & I)

Description: Reiman Gardens wants to provide educational material on their website and kiosk in a manner that would be enjoyable for the end user ages six and up) in the form of a computer game to play/use but one that would also provide the user learn about insects. “C & I” would provide the user the opportunity to learn how to search for and catch butterflies of varying species in a virtual environment. The user would then use a variety of scientific “keys” to identify their captured butterflies, adding them to their virtual butterfly life list before releasing them back into the virtual world. The objective of this program is to increase the end users’ interest in insects by teaching them the skills needed to identify unknown insects while at the same time sparking their interest to go outside and to do some searching of their own. This project, when completed, would need to be very user friendly and enjoyable to use. The program shall be written in Flash to ensure compatibility with both the Reiman Garden website and kiosk. The Butterfly Wing Curator at Reiman Gardens will aid in the creation of the game especially in areas of educational content and scientific key creation. The Reiman Garden’s graphic designer can help with the visual feel of the game if needed.

Faculty Advisor(s): Song Client: Reimen Gardens
Nathan Brockman

Team Makeup:
Michael Boxleiter CprE Andrew Brand CprE
Aaron Nordyke CprE Ryan Wagner CprE

Project Number: May07-09   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: SHARK: A Wireless Internet Security Test Bed

Description: SHARK is a demonstration system that will contain sets of wireless access points distributed over a large geographic area. These access points are designed to be hacked and attacked by students. These are the essential aspects of the system: 1) A set of wireless access points and imposter networks implemented in a single-board PC, 2) a remote diagnostic computer system that monitors the attack attempts and maintains the remote access points, 3) a transparent, tunneling scheme that hides the communication between access points and diagnostic computer. The team will use a combination of freeware and custom software to implement the test bed. Unix is the operating system of choice.

Faculty Advisor(s): Russell Client: Russell

Team Makeup:
Stephen Eilers CprE Jonathan Murphy CprE
Alexander Pease CprE Jessica Ross CprE/Math

Project Number: May07-10   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: USB Portable Firewall

Description: Contaminating a computer system with a virus transmitted from any outside source has become a distinct possibility. Conversely, it is quite possible that a portable storage medium may become infected by a virus contained in the host computer or any of its other inputs. The objective of this project is to design, implement, test, and document a firewall that would be resident on the portable storage medium and would prevent the transmission of a virus in either direction, to /from the storage medium when connected to any host computer.

Faculty Advisor(s): Daniels Client:Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Jason Erbskorn EE Timothy Polehna CprE/EE
Aaron Sartor CprE Aaron Thoeming EE
Jared Wachter CprE/EE    

Project Number: May07-11   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Highway Deer Identification System

Description: A collision with a deer darting across a road or an Interstate highway can wreck or severely damage an automobile and even cause the death of people in the automobile. The objective of this project is to design an automated system that could warn approaching vehicles that one or more deer is near either of the two shoulders in the next mile of highway where deer are common. Sections longer than one mile should be protected by sequential systems. The system should be designed to be both efficient and cost effective. It should alert the motorist when a deer enters the roadway from either side and continue the warning until the deer has exited the roadway. If there are cross roads or driveways within the monitored area, the system must ignore those sections by assuming that deer is unlikely to cross in those locations. The system should be designed to operate in areas where a utility electricity supply is not readily available.

Faculty Advisor(s): Chen Client(s): Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Matthew Bonneau EE Tony Delouis EE
Nathan Schoening EE Steven Schreiber EE

Project Number: May07-12   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Expanded “Cookbook” Instructions for the Teradyne Integra J750 Test System

Description: The capabilities of the Integra J750 Test System, provided to the ECpE department several years ago by Teradyne, have been expanded to included mixed-signal IC testing. A previous senior design team, May04-25 (Cookbook Instruction for the Teradyne Integra J750 Test System), developed a “cookbook” of instructions for using the tester in its original configuration. This project will expand the “cookbook” of instructions to include the newly-acquired mixed-signal testing capability. Specific tasks include:
a. Review test procedures from Teradyne training materials related to the mixed-signal option
b. Replicate the digital cookbook but with added materials related to mixed-signal testing
c. Develop a test scenario and document support for two different 10 to 12 bit ADC's
d. Develop a test scenario and document support for two different 10 to 12 bit DAC's
e. Develop a test scenario and document support for a 10 MHz or greater op-amp.

Faculty Advisor(s): Weber Client: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Team Makeup:
EE/CprE Students:
Murwan Abdelbasir Bioch/EE Jonathan Brown EE
Brent Hewitt-Borde EE Paul Jennings EE/SPAN
Robert Stolpman EE    

Project Number: May07-13   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Precision VFD for AC Synchronous Motor

Description: The objective of the project is to design, implement a prototype, and test a precision variable frequency drive (VFD) for use with a small AC synchronous motor. The VFD must provide a minimum of 75W of output, continuously-selectable from 58 to 62 Hz with long-term (drift) and short-term stability of less than +/- 0.01%. A frequency readout accurate to three decimal places will be provided in LED or LCD format; e.g., 60.053 Hz. In addition, a portable strobe system will be developed that can be used to measure the motor’s exact rpm rate. One possible use for such a drive is to power the synchronous AC motor of a high-end (audiophile), belt-driven, record turntable. Using such a drive, the listener can tune the turntable to produce exactly a 33 1/3 (or 45) rpm rotation, thus producing music at exactly the correct pitch. A prototype of the VFD will be implemented and tested for use with such a turntable. The strobe system will also be adapted to read the turntable’s exact rpm rate (for both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm.) Both the VFD and strobe system shall be designed and tested to the “ready to manufacture” level, complete with all parts lists, PC board layouts, prototype enclosure, etc.

Faculty Advisor(s): Ajjarapu Client: Jim Walker
ISU EE Graduate and audiophile
112 North Dakota Ave.
Team Makeup:
Jason Kilzer EE Nick Nation EE
David Reinhardt EE Matthew Shriver EE


Project Number: May07-14  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Paperless Restaurant

Description: Currently waiters and waitresses in most restaurants write customers’ orders on a piece of paper or a pad. The final bill is either a hand written receipt or is a computerized printout. If the customer wishes to pay by credit card, the customer’s credit card must be taken to a central location for processing and printing.

The objective of this project is to design a system that would allow the waiter/waitress to enter an order directly into a handheld computerized communication device, which would automatically be relayed to the restaurant’s cooking staff. When the order is prepared, the waiter/waitress would be notified via his/her communication device. When the customers at a table have completed their meal, the waiter/waitress could show the paying customer his/her bill on the display on the communication device. The device will also be used to process on site a transaction for a customer who wishes to pay by credit/debit card. Therefore, the device must contain a swipe card reader, a screen with a customer signing capability, and a small printer that would print the customer’s final receipt.

Faculty Advisor(s): Manimaran Client: Senior Design
Team Makeup:
Christopher Ford EE Sean McVeigh EE
Obioma Ohia EE/Phys Nichole Taylor EE
Anthony Vansant EE    


Project Number: May07-15  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Self-guided Wheelchair

Description: The objective of this project is to design, implement, and test a self-guided wheelchair capable of autonomously moving through a home or hospital safely, avoiding any obstacles. The wheelchair must be capable of traversing a path from any one of several possible starting points to any one of several possible final destinations. Electromagnetic and optical modes of tracking should be considered, as well as any other identified possible technologies. At a minimum, mechanical bumpers and sonar should be considered for casual obstacle avoidance. Senior Design will provide a motorized wheelchair for the project. National Instruments will provide a single board computer (CMD65 evaluation board), LabVIEW Embedded 8.2, and additional monetary support, not to exceed $1 000, for other components that might be required.

Faculty Advisor(s): Elia Client: National Instruments
Andrew Dove
Team Makeup:
Brennen Beavers CprE Margaret Shangle EE
Vee Shinatrakool CprE Tara Spoden EE
John Volkens CprE/EE Brian Yauk EE


Project Number: May07-16   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Optimization of the EE 432 Class Fabrication Process

Description: The semiconductor fabrication class, EE 432, utilizes a relatively simple CMOS process that the students can implement in one semester to realize working chips. A new process was introduced a couple of years of ago, and has had several runs through by now. There are three aspects of the process that need improvement: production of ohmic contacts; design of the "pwell" region for making n-channel MOSFETs reliably; and, tolerances in the mask set that are sometimes too tight to guarantee working devices. The goal of the project would be to investigate the first two issues to find more reliable fab procedures and then to re-design the mask set to make it easier to obtain working devices. These improvements should markedly improve the lab experience for students taking the EE 432 class. It is imperative that only students who have completed the EE 432 class previously be assigned to the project.

Faculty Advisor(s): Tuttle Client: Tuttle
Team Makeup:
Jerome Helbert CprE Leah Henze EE
Ryan McDermott EE Alexander Smith EE


Project Number: May07-17  (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: An Oxygen Analysis System for SCUBA Equipment

Description: To achieve longer times at depth without required decompression SCUBA divers can breathe mixtures of air containing more oxygen (21-40%) than standard air. Once a tank is filled with a mixture of air and extra oxygen the contents of the tank must be tested, so that the person using the air is aware of its contents. The percentage of oxygen in the contents of the tank must be known to an accuracy of 1% in order to determine the amount of time available without required decompression and the maximum depth at which the mixture can be used while avoiding oxygen poisoning. The objective of this project is to build a system with an LCD display that will accurately analyze the contents of a SCUBA tank. The operator should be able to switch the display between %O2, maximum operating depth, and maximum no decompression time for the enriched mixture. This will give the diver the critical information necessary to safely complete their dive.

Faculty Advisor(s): Tuttle Client: Dan Stieler, EE graduate student and avid diver
Team Makeup:
Michael Beckman EE Adam Petty EE
Rory Lonergan EE Jeffrey Schmidt CprE


Project Number: May07-18   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Machine Model Parameter Determination

Description: Dynamic simulation software (i.e. PSLF, PSS/E) in use throughout the electric power industry performs simulations on the behavior of the various pieces of power system equipment during system disturbances. Many standard models exist for various machine types, but each machine has different parameters associated with the gains, time delays, etc., used to model that class of machine. GE staff routinely performs measurements on generating units to obtain the information needed to determine these parameters. The machine testing process is reasonably quick and can be accomplished in a few hours. However, the process of deriving parameters for the model from the test data can take several days, even for an experienced engineer. Currently the process consists of the engineer hypothesizing what the parameters should be based on his/her experience, testing the model in a dynamic simulation program, comparing simulation results to actual results, modifying the parameters, and re-simulating until the model closely matches reality.

The objective of this project is to develop a tool to identify the machine model parameters more quickly. The project will be deemed a success if the model identification time can be reduced to 1/2 day from the present 3-5 days of effort. The characteristics of the tool are as follows. The tool should be built using Simulink and should be interactive. For each machine type (the team should start with an easy type and agree with the client up front on how many should be built during the course of the project), the engineer should be able to quickly change the model parameters on the block diagram through a user interface, input the same signals as were used during testing, and be able to automatically compare the results of the simulation with the measured results. The tool should be very interactive -- an automatic parameter identification system that completely replaces the engineer is not desired.

Faculty Advisor(s): Liu Client: General Electric
1 River road, Bldg. 2, Rm. 623
Schenectady, NY 12345
Attn: Doug Welsh

Team Makeup:
Yu Chan CprE/Math Jared Kline EE/Ger
Mark Reisinger EE Adam Wroblaski EE


Project Number: May07-19   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: Video Carousel

Description: The objective of this project is to create a video management application, named Video Carousel, that has the ability to store, play, and stream video files. Specifically, Video Carousel will provide a user-friendly graphical interface for managing and playing a user’s video files. This interface will include play lists, drag-and-drop support, video playback in full screen or windowed mode, and searching of the user’s video library. Video Carousel will also have the ability to store, search and retrieve video files anywhere on the user’s hard drive, manage metadata about the user’s video files, and use Internet resources (such as IMDB or Amazon) to provide that metadata.

Video Carousel will be an OS X native application, requiring Mac OS X 10.4, which will allow the leveraging of APIs that are native to OS X to provide a very powerful, yet flexible, foundation. All OS X applications are coded with Objective-C, an object-oriented language that is based on C. Additionally, Apple’s Cocoa API is used to create the graphical front end for OS X applications. For data management, Video Carousel will use CoreData, Apple’s API for the built-in SQLite database. Video Carousel also will use the built-in Quicktime API for video playback. To provide additional features in Video Carousel, Apple’s Bonjour networking will be used and CoreVideo will be integrated into the program, which will allow users to apply real-time effects to video. If not previously known, the senior design team members will be required to learn and master these technologies, which will be used in the design and implementation of Video Carousel. The possibility of future marketing of Video Carousel as shareware exists.

Faculty Advisor(s): Jacobson Client: Student Team (Eric Aderhold, Blake Faris, Chris Hoff, and Brandon Newendorp)
Team Makeup:
Eric Aderhold CprE Blake Faris CprE
Christopher Hoff CprE Brandon Newendorp CprE


Project Number: May07-20   (click to view the web site) ▲TOP
Title: HardSSH Cryptographic Hardware Key

Description: The HardSSH Cryptographic Hardware Key is a hardware encryption and authentication device to facilitate secure logins to a remote server from an untrusted computer (e.g., a computer in a public computing lab). It will plug into the untrusted computer's USB port, and handle all encryption and authentication without disclosing authentication credentials such as passwords or private keys to the untrusted computer.

The device will establish a connection with the remote server via SSH2 and authenticate using SSH public key authentication. The user's private key will be stored in the device by a trusted computer, and will be inaccessible to both untrusted and trusted computers. A small control program will run on the untrusted computer, channeling data between the remote server and the device, and providing an interface for user interaction.

Deliverables include:
- Hardware specification and design documentation (including build
- Working prototype(s)
- User manual
- Software (buildable with freely available toolchains)
- Embedded control and encryption software
- Control software for untrusted computers
- Key-loading software for trusted computers
- Full access to all software must be available, so the correctness and integrity of the device's operation may be verified.

Faculty Advisor(s): Jacobson Client: Michael Ekstrand and Steven Schulteis
Team Makeup:
Michael Ekstrand CprE Taylor Schreck CprE
Steven Schulteis CprE Joseph Sloan CprE/ComS