Senior Design Projects Spring 2009

Home Energy Management System

Home Energy Management System

Advisor

John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

American Electric Power (AEP)

Team Members

Brian Olson, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Josh IXrri, Clarissa Koala, Tianjia Zhang and John 'Westerman. Electrical Engineering; and Jason Ricksgers, Computer Engineering

Project Overview

The Home Energy Management System should provide utility customers not only with an awareness of how they are using energy throughout their house, but also with a solution to decrease energy costs by implementing control over common household devices that use both soiled and wireless technology. Enexgy usage information will be gathered from a smart meter simulation developed by last year's team. The information gathered from this smart meter will be used to display a graph of energy usage history for the utility customer in increments of a day, a week, a month, and a year. In addition. customers will have the ability to control different devices within the home, based on their preferences. This will help the users regulate their power usage. which will help lower demand during peak power usage times and help level out energy usage throughout a given day.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]
Steer By Wire

Steer by Wire

Advisor

John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

General Motors

Team Members

Dilsher Virk, Sudanshu Talwar, Mechanical Engineering; David Martin, Electrical Engineering; Jordan Freeman, and Jeff Cieslinski Computer Engineering

Project Overvie

Steer by Wire is the electrical replacement of a contemporary mechanical steering system used in the automotive industry. 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 microcontroller. The steering wheel is attached to a rotational position sensor that relays input to the encoders, which turn servo motors that turn the wheels.

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Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

Advisor

Dr. Jeff Burl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Oshkosh Corporation

Team Members

Kaylyn Gaul and Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering, Martin Kovarik, Rongzhe Lin, and Mike Roddewig, Electrical Engineering, and James Wozniak, Electrical/Computer Engineering

Project Overview

Our team will compete in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC), specifically in the Autonomous Challenge and Navigation Challenge competitions. For the Autonomous Challenge Competition, the unmanned autonomous vehicle most follow lanes while avoiding obstacles. For the Navigation Challenge Competition, the vehicle most travel to designated waypoints in a specified order while avoiding obstacles. The task of building an autonomous vehicle benefits students by exposing them to real-world engineering problems in a team environment. Also, autonomous vehicles are desired for many different applications such as mine detection, weapons deployment, car-collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, and unmanned storage systems. Autonomous vehicles we an active area of study in the world today. The design approach for the IGVC Senior Design Town is to combine earlier concepts of autonomous vehicles with new technologies and innovations.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]

Radar Communications Hardware Emulator

Advisor

Don Secor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Team Members

Steve Littlepage, Electrical Engineering/Audio Production and Technology; James Hollenbeck, Computer Engineering; Matthew Jarrell, Peter Dohm, and Lea Johnson. Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory has sponsored the design of a Radar Communications Hardware Emulator (RCI-IE). The ACHE will test communication protocols for new radar systems using the Radar Open System Architecture (ROSA) to ensure communication with the legacy radar systems. Through the use of the RCHE, a more thorough analysis of radar back-end systems can be completed before a system arrives at a radar site—thus allowing for a quicker system development. The overall design project will allow various data streams to be emulated for testing communication system responses. The RCHE will create and replicate communications errors, run scripted scenarios, and be configurable through a user interface. Scenarios and static variables will be input data and their results will be received through the user interface. This interface will have both local- and remote-access capabilities and will display results in both textual and graphical forms.

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Remote Operated Military Vehicle Phase III

Advisor

Don Secor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

RAE Systems and GS Engineering

Team Members

Chris Ahnen, Mike Misson, Jon Parrott, Josh Radosevich, and Scott Hoffman, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview

The goal of this project is to make a working prototype wireless driving system, which will be designed for RAE Systems Mobility and Protection Systems Group. The vehicle curt be designed for the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles )PMT V) This project will advance previous design work to successfully control the vehicle. The system cost control steering, acceleration, braking, and the transmission through wireless control. Improvements on the electrical robustness are being researched. JAUS architecture will contest the system. JAUS is a component-based, message-passing architecture that specifies data formats and methods of communication among computing nodes. An analysis of the braking system will be done to see how effective the current system is. The box that houses the electronics will be modified and made smaller to fit in the FMTV.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]
Automated Vision Maintenance System

Automated Vision Maintenance System

Advisors

Dr. Chris Middlebrook, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mike LaCourt, Charles VanKarsen, and Dr. William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Dr. Bryan Suits and Dr. Max Seel, Physics

Sponsor

GHSP, a business of the JSJ Corporation

Team Members

Chris Cooper, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Myles Metzler, Computer Engineering; Sam Tootle, Physics; Tyler Schoenherr, Chris VanDyke, and Alex Gagne, Mechanical Engineering

Project Overview

GHSP, a business of the JSJ Corporation, is sponsoring the development of an autonomous vision maintenance system for use on off-road equipment. This system needs to be able to detect and clean a windshield without input from the operator. In large vehicles. the operator can be occupied by the dangers of working and cannot take time to clean a windshield. The major goals of this project are to detect visibility impairments and determine if the impairment is possible to clean. The system should also be capable of adaptation to an existing vehicle. GI-ISP currently has a heated cleaning system with which this new system will need to interface. Reliability is the top priority since this product impacts the safety of the operator.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]
Electromagnetic Stirrer

Electromagnetic Stirrer

Advisor

Dr. Dennis Wiitanen, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Ryan Hoagland, ArcelorMittal

Team Members

Andrew Joda. Electrical Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering, Bryce Lunday and Joshua Krajniak, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

Our project involves evaluation of an electromagnetic stirrer to determine possible interference with instruments in close pro:dmity to the stirrer. ArcelorMittal contracted our team to evaluate the effect of a multi-mode electromagnetic stirrer on level sensors, flow valves, and the PLC (programmable logic controller), which controls these instruments. In order to determine interference, we constructed a model of the system and found which devices were affected by the presence of the electromagnetic stirrer. Possible solutions to interference include magnetic shielding, relocation of sensors, and digital signal filtering. It should be noted that we constructed a functioning electromagnet proportional to the one ArcelorMittal plans to use. Note: team is shown with members of the Advanced Metalworlzs Enterprise team.

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Solar-Powered Charging Station For Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Solar-Powered Charging Station For Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Mork, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

American Electric Power (AEP)

Team Members

Jason Poster and David Steffler. Electrical and Computer Engineering; Kurt Bonham. Steven O'Dacre, and Derek Yurk, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

A plug-in electric vehicle (PD') charging station is to be developed to help offset and mitigate the additional load of electric-powered transportation on the existing power grid. The charging station is to utilize standard single-phase household current and renewable solar power and/or a demand balancing system of batteries. The main criteria in evaluating design options will be effectiveness of demand balancing and energy consumption reduction by the developed system. The present state of the global oil market is beginning to make electric power a more cost-effective solution for vehicle transport. Depending on its source, electricity can also be more environmentally friendly to generate, particularly when renewable generation sources are utilized. Solar supplementation of the PD' load can also help smooth the demand of electricity from the power grid, improving grid stability and reducing effective peak load.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]

Remote System Synchronization and Restoration During a Blackout Event

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Mork, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

ITC Holdings Corporation

Team Members

Eric Morgan, Andrew Drees, Mike Korpi, Pat Peterson, and Carissa Hansen, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

During blackout conditions, the electrical transmission system (grid) may separate into islands of generation and load. lying these islands back together requires the systems to be in synch (voltage amplitude, frequency, and phase angle) to prevent damaging power swings. Today, existing methods of tying the islands back together are performed manually by operators in the substation with the use of a synchroscope, which is effective, but the goal is to perform these operations directly from the control room. The proposed software package solution involves developing software with JAVA to make a virtual synchroscope contained within a Graphical User Interface (GUI). From the GUI, the Transmission System Coordinator (TIC) in the control room will then be able to remotely ants a circuit breaker to be closed, tying the two islands back together and restoring the power grid to full operation.

[View Senior Design Projects in Flickr]
AMJOCH Observatory: Geosynchronous Satellite Tracking

AMJOCH Observatory: Geosynchronous Satellite Tracking

Advisor

Dr. Michael C. Roggemann, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Team Members

Victor Robinson, Computer Engineering; James Tinley, Benjamin Pang, Zach Berry, and Christopher McGillen, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

As our dependence on geosynchronous satellites increases, the need to track them becomes more mod more critical. Since geosynchronous satellites are too small to be resolved visually, another method of tracking is required. Using the AMJOCH observatory in Atlantic Mine, Michigan. the senior design team developed and implemented a sidereal satellite cracking method utilizing spectroscopic analysis. A database was engineered so that measurements, expected positions, and spectroscopic photographs could be easily stored and catalogued. Additionally the team created a website and web-based controller allowing the entire system, database and observatory, to be accessed and directed from any off-site location with Internet access. The team also began to employ several sustainability measures, including a motorized lens cap and infrared web cam to aid in user awareness of on-site conditions.

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GPS Guided Robotic Vehicle

Advisor

Dr. Jason Plough, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Summer Undergraduate Research Foundation (SURF)

Student Researcher

Alex Morozov, Electrical Engineering

Project Overview

This project deals with enhancing the functionality and efficiency of the SAE Supermileage vehicle through design and implementation of an active navigation/control system. SAE Supermileage is a collegiate competition, the goal of which into build the most fuel-efficient vehicle based on a 3.5 HP gasoline engine. Last year Michigan Tech achieved 456 MPG. This value was accomplished through cycling of the engine (turning it on only to accelerate to a certain speed and shutting it off to coast). The navigation/control system designed as a part of this project is intended to automate the cycling prccess. ft is implemented on an AVR microcontroller and uses inputs born a GPS unit and accelerometers. Both Assembly and C languages are used as a part of this project. Please stop by our table to see the working prototype of the system.

Laser Speckle Contrast Reduction Measurement Using Diffractive Diffusers

Advisor

Dr. Christopher Middlebrook, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

MIDAS Optical, Inc.

Student Researcher

Weston Thomas, Electrical Engineering, Photonics

Project Overview

Future generation of projection systems will involve laser illumination over LEDs. Lasers are much brighter and require less power than LEDs. allowing for larger screen sizes and smaller battery requirements. In order to properly illuminate the light modulator, certain optical elements are used within the illumination path of a projector system to shape the laser sources. Due to the nature of the optical elements and the high coherence of the lasers, a speckle pattern is produced in the final image, reducing the overall image quality. Diffractive diffusers are typically wed in combination with beam shaping elements in an attempt to reduce the coherence of the laser sources and hence reduce the speckle. The research done examines new reduction methods involving diffractive diffusing elements and presents measurements in the reduction of the speckle contrast. Various properties of the laser source will be varied for the diffuser experiments.