Senior Design Projects Spring 2008

Neutral Current Sensor for Fixed Capacitor Banks

Neutral Current Sensor for Fixed Capacitor Banks

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Mork, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Ray Hayes, P.E., American Electric Power

Team Members

Will Brewer, Jason Christoff, Jon Geurink, Dan Heidfeld, and Matt Madl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview

American Electric Power (AEP) is one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company has asked the team to develop a self-contained, neutral current sensor to attach to power distribution poles throughout their network The sensor needs to be robust enough to weather harsh outdoor conditions, harvest power from the neutral current flow being measured, and transmit the data through a wireless AM I network. Little research has been done in this area, and power harvesting has not yet been made marketable enough for widespread use.

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Enhanced Transmission System Data Acquisition and Control

Enhanced Transmission System Data Acquisition and Control

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Mork, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

ITC Holdings Corp.

Team Members

Jon Shauger, Erik Winsand, Pierre Bekwone, Chris Panici, and Wade Ausloos, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

ITC is looking for a way to upgrade its automated data acquisition system. The design will integrate substation control and annunciation into data collection. Team 6 investigated the capabilities of the SEL-33S1, SEL-2032, and GE-D400 computing systems to implement its chosen design within the content of ITC's system. The SEL-33S1 was chosen. This project will implement one-line control, seven-day historical data charts, tracking of system access and software manipulations, time synchronization verification with downstream devices, and fault notification to engineers through email into ITC's current data acquisition system. Deploying this device across the system is expected to significantly improve system operations and performance analysis.

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Autonomous Vehicle Phase II

Autonomous Vehicle Phase II

Advisor

Dr. Donald Secor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

BAR Systems—David Perry

Team Members

Christopher Mousseau and Robert Van Single, Electrical Engineering; Christopher Billiu, and Nate Simula, Mechanical Engineering; and Mike Cavalli, Computer Engineering/Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

The goal of this project is to take a prototype driving system, convert it to wireless controls, and make it more robust and fault tolerant. The system was designed for BAR Systems' Family of MediumTactical Vehicles (FMTV). The system must control brakes, steering, parking brakes, and the transmission. The primary effort is to incorporate a wireless system that allows the vehicle to be driven from up to fifty feet away. The secondary goals are to add fail-safes, correct several weak spots, and to error-proof the control code. The primary design constraint is that the FMTV cannot be modified in any permanent way.

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Remote Control of an Autonomous Vehicle

Remote Control of an Autonomous Vehicle

Advisor

Dr. Jeff Burl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Oshkosh Corporation, John Beck

Team Members

Andrew Armstrong, Computer Engineering and Discrete Mathematics; Austin Levendusky, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration; Jacob Love, Patrick Murray, and Lisa Woudenberg, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview

The goal of this project was to develop and implement a design to remotely control TerraMax, an autonomous vehicle created by Oshkosh Corporation. The design needed to conform to the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS). The design included sending streaming video from the vehicle to the operator control unit. This project was intended to be a proof of concept and to use only commercial off-the-shelf components, including USB compatible devices and 802.11g wireless technology. To validate our design, simulations were used. The simulations involved sending JAUS-formatted messages from one computer, the operator control unit, to a second computer representing the autonomous vehicle.

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Next-Generation Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle Power Management System

Next-Generation Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle Power Management System

Advisor

Dr. Don Secor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Jonathan Leinonen, MTEC SmartZone and Ken Rich, Phoenix Navigation Team Members Vanessa Ortis and Kevin Heglund, Mechanical Engineering; Thomas Daunais, and Anthony Dyer, Electrical Engineering; Beth Poole, Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering

Project Overview

Series hybrid technology is an excellent concept for highly populated urban driving conditions. Global energy demands require new and feasible strategies for improving fuel efficiency. Hybrid vehicle drive-trains continue to prove themselves as a viable solution to the world's energy crisis as the new technology is refined through designing a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle power management system. The hybrid electric power management systems most commonly used in the market today incorporate parallel hybrid architecture. Working with proprietary strategies developed by Phoenix Navigation and Guidance Inc.,Team S will explore and design a series hybrid electric vehicle by advancing the development of this power management system.

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AMJOCH Observatory—Geosynchronous Satellite Tracking

AMJOCH Observatory—Geosynchronous Satellite Tracking

Advisor

Dr. Mike Roggemann, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Team Members

Jim Dennison, Mechanical Engineering Ben Jacques, Scott Otterbacher, and Nick Riegel, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

The AMOCH Observatory is owned by Michigan Tech and located near Atlantic Mine. It houses a 16-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope which will soon be fixed to a Paramount ME equatorial mount. The primary goal of this project is to provide any necessary renovations and upgrades to the observatory which will allow it tube used to locate, track, and take spectrometer readings of geosynchronous satellites. In order to do this, optical, control, and tracking systems will be designed and implemented throughout the remainder of the semester. It will also be necessary to write all the necessary software to link each of the systems and provide one overall user interface.

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Precise Measurement of Roll-to-roll Gap

Precise Measurement of Roll-to-roll Gap

Advisor

Dr. Dennis Wiitanen, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Kimberly-Clark

Team Members

Tom King and Ryan Petras, Electrical Engineering; Dan Morris, Mechanical Engineering; Matt Willmer and Mark Sandberg, Computer Engineering

Project Overview

The project seeks to find a may to measure the roll-to-roll gap of the knife and anvil rolls on die cutters in use by Kimberly-Clark. This project utilizes different methods of measuring gaps to a high degree of resolution to find the method that would be most suitable for this application. The die cutters are used at various stages of production to cut out shapes in a moving web. The gap of one-quarter inch needs to be measured to a tolerance of +/- 0.000050 inch to ensure the correct interference between the knife blades and the arwil roll. The sensor must be able to interface with common hardware and software for ease of system integration. Without a way to measure the gap. the interference can become too great, causing the knives to become dull, or the interference can become too little, preventing the knives from cutting the web.

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Steer-by-Wire Truck

Steer-by-Wire Truck

Advisor

John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

General Motors

Team Members

Jacob Caverly and Katie TUrmel, Mechanical Engineering; Stacy Auger and Igor Trifonov, Electrical Engineering, Brandan Iwaszko, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview

A steer-by-wire system replaces the steering shaft, gearbox, hydraulic system, and other associated mechanical equipment with electric motors, various position sensors, and a dedicated micro-controller. The steering wheel is attached to a rotational position sensor that relays input to the encoders, which turn servo motors to turn the wheels. Feedback is given to the steering wheel in the form of counter force delivered by a smaller motor mounted on the steering column to provide haptic feedback to the user. This gives the vehicle the feel of traditional mechanical resistance when steering through atom. The challenge of this year's team is to create a more compact steer-by-wire system with a variable steering ratio that communicates over a CAN bus.

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Real-Time Java for Embedded Systems

Real-Time Java for Embedded Systems

Advisor

Kit Cischke, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Caterpillar

Team Members

Eric Domeier, Staci McNelis, and Sean Carlson, Computer Engineering, Andrew Miller, Computer/Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

Caterpillar's earthmoving machines are increasingly relying on embedded electronics to provide value to their customers. The majority of their embedded software is currently written in the C programming language. As the complexity of this software increases, some limitations of the C language have become evident. Caterpillar is interested in using Real-Time Java to overcome these limitations, but it may not be ready for industry use. EE Senior Design Team 2 has investigated the feasibility of Real-Time Java technology for embedded systems. The team chose the Scorpion Java Environment from DDC-I as a test bed for the study To assess the feasibility of Real-Time Java, the team developed software to test its ability to meet hard, real-time constraints, determined requirements for interaction with existing C code, gathered performance metrics, and determined memory requirements. The team concluded the study with the development of a Real-Time Java application representative of engine control software.

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Energy Dashboard Development Using Advanced Metering Capabilities

Energy Dashboard Development Using Advanced Metering Capabilities

Advisor

Dr. John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

American Electric Power

Team Members

Tom Bartlett. Nathan Homer, Jonathon Pelon, Adam Peterson, and Mike Stobl. Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

The Energy Dashboard, by Team 3, attempts to make homeowners more aware of the energy they are consuming by placing a small computer in the home that monitors energy usage, calculates the amount of money spent on electricity, and displays this information to the homeowner. This is possible due to advancements in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), in which the home's energy meter is capable of communicating with both the energy company and the house itself. Team 3 will be simulating an AMI system, communicating energy usage data wirelessly to the Energy Dashboard. and displaying the information in a user-friendly fashion on the screen.

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