Senior Design Projects Fall 2006

Steer-by-wire Development

Steer-by-wire Development

Suggested ECE Interests

Controls, Electronics, Computers

Other Disciplines

Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor

An Automobile Manufacturer

Project Overview

A major automobile designer and manufacturer is seeking enhancements to a prototype steer-by-wire system which has been advanced to varying stages by previous MTU teams. The test vehicle will be available to the students for this project, which will involve three core areas: improving the robustness of the physical installation (both electrical and mechanical), integration of a diagnostics box into the system, and refining or in some cases redefining the control laws previously established. The project could also involve conversion from TTP to a dSpace rapid prototyping system for the control law development.

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Repacker Machine Design Improvements

Repacker Machine Design Improvements

Suggested ECE Interests
Controls, Electronics, Computers, Motor Drives
Other Disciplines

Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor

A Personal Care Products Company

Project Overview

The sponsor is a major consumer products manufacturer with an emphasis on safety and high speed manufacturing. The senior design team will revamp a proto-type manufacturing machine (to be delivered on campus) that repacks individual pieces of product into groups, to be packaged for shipment. By engineering this machine to be more operator friendly, efficient and robust, the sponsor can reduce costs associated with an outside co-packer by an estimated $100K+. The Electrical/Computer students will develop code and ladder logic, organize the final code, and develop a troubleshooting guide. Mechanical students will develop improvements to the pneumatics/vacuum sub-systems, redesign framework and brackets to accept various product sizes, recommend other hardware upgrades, and also create a trouble shooting guide. ME students will use Solidworks and/or Autocad.

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SEL-451 Current Differential and Overcurrent Relay for Capacitor Bank Control and Protection

SEL-451 Current Differential and Overcurrent Relay for Capacitor Bank Control and Protection

Suggested ECE Interests

Power Systems

Sponsor

A Power Transmission Company

Project Overview

The sponsor is a growing provider of high voltage power transmission. The senior design team will be tasked with performing acceptance testing of a microprocessor-based relay as an improvement over solid state relays in use today. Working with the sponsor’s Relay Performance Group, the team will acquire test relay(s), develop and document test and commissioning procedures, develop a capacitor bank protection and control panel and standard, and create/update associated schematics using Microstation.

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Noise Fingerprinting System Development

Vehicle Noise Fingerprinting System Development

Suggested ECE Interests

Communications & Signal Processing, Electronics, Computers

Sponsor

An Automobile Manufacturer

Project Overview

A major automobile designer and manufacturer has challenged a student team with the design and development of a system which will interface with a vehicle to acquire signal data from over 60 engine sensors and actuators. The system will also have the means for analyzing the data relative to threshold signal to noise ratios and therefore aid in diagnosing the health of the system. An actual test vehicle will be available to the students to demonstrate their final system, with the two key aspects of the project being hardware/circuit design (data acquisition) and software (Matlab – data analysis and graphics).

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Verification of Transmission Line Impedance Using Temporary PMU’s

Verification of Transmission Line Impedance Using Temporary PMU’s

Suggested ECE Interests

Power Systems

Sponsor

An Electric Utility

Project Overview

The sponsor is one of the largest electric utilities in the US, covering power generation, transmission, and distribution. This project addresses the need for improved transmission line models, which are critical to system operation and state estimation – particularly since the Eastern Interconnect blackout in 2003. The senior design team will combine conventional electric power engineering with state-of-the-art measurement equipment to evaluate several transmission lines within the sponsor’s transmission grid. The selected lines will be instrumented with phasor monitoring units or PMU’s to collect time-stamped data on actual voltage and current. The team will compare their engineering calculations, the utility’s current model values, and the actual impedance measurements as collected from the PMU data to assess whether the utility’s system models can be improved.

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EMC Performance Improvement of Automotive Electronic Circuits

EMC Performance Improvement of Automotive Electronic Circuits

Suggested ECE Interests

Electromagnetics, Communications & Signal Processing

Other Disciplines

Material Science Engineering (Electronic materials)

Sponsor

A Large Automotive Supplier

Project Overview

The sponsor, a major player in the automotive interior electronics market, has challenged this student team with learning and applying principles of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), an emerging area and one of significant importance as vehicles move towards increased electronic content. Unintended consequences of electronic circuits include noise generation and/or interference with other electronic devices within the vehicle. The team will apply these principles on the following circuits: a switch mode power supply, a Codec circuit, and CPU/Flash/RAM. By gaining an understanding of the underlying physics, and using a combination of circuit board modeling (PSPICE) and testing (anechoic chamber), the team will recommend and evaluate countermeasures to improve EMC performance. The team must also consider tradeoffs among EMC performance, cost, and safety/thermally sound designs. It is also expected that the team will assess the correlation of radiated emissions between MTU and the sponsor’s test labs. The sponsor may also introduce more advanced EMC modeling and test methods available at their facility.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]
Autonomous Vehicle Control System

Autonomous Vehicle Control System

Suggested ECE Interests

Controls, Electronics, Motor Drives

Other Disciplines

Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor

Military vehicle Manufacturer

Project Overview

The sponsor’s core product line is a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) for military ground operations. Autonomous vehicle control offers obvious benefits in military safety and logistics, and events like the DARPA Grand Challenge have served to advance technology in this area. This project will involve the modeling, design, and building of an electronic control system for autonomous actuation of vehicle steering, air brakes, engine throttle, and possibly transmission shifting (automatic). One key constraint is that the standard FMTV truck may not be permanently altered in any way, thereby enabling a vehicle to be configured to autonomous control (and back if necessary). The team will need to have electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering skill sets in order to develop and fabricate a viable design. An actual FMTV truck will be available locally for the project. The team will use Matlab/Simulink and Pro/Engineer modeling tools in the process.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]