Senior Design, Teams 220-239

220—Automated Distributed Configuration Management Systems

Automated Distributed Configuration Management Systems

Systems administrators working in environments of all sizes are rapidly adopting configuration management systems to automate provisioning and deployment, enforce system configuration, and streamline their work. However, it can be difficult to figure out which product to choose. Our project consisted of deploying three of the most popular products on the market today— Puppet, Ansible, and Saltstack—and comparing the computing resources that they used, their ease of use, and the scenarios that they would be most fit for.

221—Nexteer Bearing Noise Test Fixture

Michigan Tech logo

Our project goal is to develop a fixture to profile the sound and vibration characteristics of ball bearings. The bearing under test will be driven at varying speeds and loading conditions to allow Nexteer’s design engineers to select bearings for use in power steering systems. Ball bearings are used in power steering systems, which sit very close to the cabin of a vehicle. Vibrations from those bearings are amplified by the body panels of the vehicle, which can cause audible noise in the cabin. As vehicles get quieter with the advent of electric vehicles, it is becoming more important for Nexteer to be able to tune the noise that their systems produce in order to match the expectations of their customer.

222—Smart Pet Door

Doors that allow pets to enter and exit houses at their will are popular products for those who wish their pets to have freedom to explore. A common implementation is a small hinged door located at the bottom of a conventional door that allows a pet to push through in either direction, at any time. One drawback, however, is that these pet doors are non-discriminatory, or in other words, any small animal is free to use the door if it wishes. Hence, these doors make it very easy for wild animals to compromise the perimeter of a home. Our objective is to create a smart pet door that allows entry to specific animals while blocking entry to others.

223—EMP Mitigation Testing Procedure for Enclosures

A high-altitude nuclear detonation could generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that has a catastrophic effect on the national electric grid, something that was learned during the Cold War. The EMP mitigation team was tasked with developing a method to measure the effectiveness of substation enclosures to mitigate this threat. Our team developed a method of testing in compliance with IEEE, Military Standards, and a recent study done by the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI). The test we developed makes use of several types of antennas to characterize the attenuation of the buildings. This characterization data was used to create a streamlined testing procedure to be carried out on a routine basis on newly constructed enclosures.

224—Lunar Trencher

Our team is tasked with the design, construction, and testing of a lunar trencher, intended to dig trenches on the lunar surface to study the stratigraphy of the moon.

225—Turbine Engine Windmill Prevention and Thrust Vectoring

The 2019-2020 Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program (APOP) requires undergraduate students, working as a team, to research and develop a modification to the JetCat P100-RX engine that first prevents the rotor from free spinning at high Mach numbers and then gives the engine thrust vectoring capabilities. Our team modified the engine and demonstrated the ability to prevent windmilling in an engine exposed to high Mach number inlet conditions and provide a means of thrust vectoring. One of our goals was to make the device simple in nature, with a minimal amount of controls required.

226—Lunar Tech Development

We developed a system in support of NASA’s goal to explore the Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSR) of the south pole of the moon in 2023. The team’s prototype is a proof of concept of a system that will deploy a power and communications cable to the base of a lunar crater, serving as a recharging station and data transfer node for other systems operating in the PSR.

227—Eddy Current Inspection In-line Integration

Our team was tasked with integrating an eddy current testing process into an assembly cell for MacLean-Fogg. The eddy current tester non-destructively tests the washer for surface cracks before it is assembled with a nut. We are creating a testing operation that spins, tests, and ejects washers based on whether they pass or fail. The assembly has to be contained within the existing assembly cell.

228—Aqueous Washer Tank

I am working with Selkey Fabricators LLC to help design a washer tank for industrial hydraulic cylinders used for heavy equipment. This design must include a heating element to heat up the water and soap solution, and evaporate the water to eradicate the leftover oil and dirty mixture from cleaning the cylinders. Additionally, the design includes a pump that will be used to bring the water/soap solution from the tank to be sprayed on the cylinders. Lastly, the design will need a separate control panel to control all of the devices, as well as an emergency shutdown option. The successful implementation of the design will allow Selkey to acquire additional assets and grow their business.

229—Invasive Aquatic Plant Extractor

We have been engaged to create an end effector that will attach to an aquatic platform with the purpose of removing invasive aquatic plants from lakes. Invasive species, particularly Eurasian Watermilfoil—found all over the continental United States—harm the ecosystem by decreasing biodiversity and crowding waterways used for boating and recreation. Current treatment options are cost prohibitive, ineffective, or negatively impact native species. The long-term project is to create a system that can identify and remove invasive aquatic species with minimal human input. Our part, the first phase, is to create the machine plant interface, to be attached to a waterborne platform at a later time. The end effector should be capable of fully removing invasive species to stop their spread, and waterproof to operate in an underwater environment. The control system should be designed to be compatible with a wide variety of potential control platforms.

230—Orthopedic Implant Nanotexturing Manufacturing System Simulation Tool

Our team was tasked to develop a manufacturing process simulation tool for nanotexturing the surfaces of titanium orthopedic implants. The tool will use many process parameters to determine the optimal manufacturing throughput of implants, cycle times, energy and material demands, control of process chemistry, and maintain process stability within acceptable limits to ensure FDA-quality results for a large number of implants. This virtual production system will show industry manufacturing feasibility.

231—Mission Trip High-Speed Drill System

Currently, high-speed drill systems are not constructed to be portable for traveling significant distances, limiting the help that surgeons and staff can provide to underserved populations. Modern high-speed drills are heavy and bulky, weighing up to 50 lbs. altogether between the drill and attachments, foot pedal, and intelligence/user interface system. Our team aims to increase the overall portability of high-speed drills by decreasing the weight and number of components in the system.

232—Road Marking Reflectivity Evaluator

Our team is participating in the TiM$10K Challenge, a national innovation and design competition, to develop a new product that features a lidar sensor provided by Sick Industries. Our team developed software that uses reflectivity values obtained by the lidar unit. The new software identifies deterioration of road stripes and recommends timely repainting to aid in the safety and reliability of self-driving and lane-assisted vehicles on the roadway. We constructed a prototype to demonstrate the functionality of our program that features a pushable cart to evaluate road markings. An intuitive user interface displays the markings that are being evaluated and indicates whether or not they meet the necessary levels of reflectivity.

233—ITC Cellular Signal Measuring Tool

Many ITC substations are in remote locations that have very weak cell signals. A cell signal is required at substations for communication and transferring relay information. At substations with weak signal strength, a well-positioned directional antenna must be used to maximize signal strength. Currently, ITC engineers struggle to position antennas properly and often have to reposition antennas multiple times. To solve this issue, our team designed a portable device to measure cell signal strength from all major carriers simultaneously and directional data to fine-tune antenna position. The device consists of a handheld unit with a screen to display information and a lightweight antenna with an electronic compass on an extendable mast. It displays all relevant information on one screen so engineers can compare signal strength of different carrier frequencies in real time. In addition to the prototype device, we developed an instruction manual for the construction of duplicate devices. ITC engineers will be constructing their own cell signal measuring tools based on the design.

234—Tailstock Redesign For Tormach 15L Slant-Pro CNC Lathe

While larger and more capable than the previous CNC lathes in the Michigan Tech machine shops, the newly acquired Tormach 15L Slant-Pro CNC Lathes have a significant design flaw. Currently, the tailstock, a necessary device for the lathe used to stabilize work pieces when spinning, prohibits the cutting tool from traveling its full length down the work piece. It allows for only about four inches of travel when the machine should be capable of up to at least 12 inches. Therefore, a redesign of the tailstock is required to allow University students who use the lathes for projects to use the machines to their full capacity. The project will output a functional prototype of a new tailstock by December 2020. If successful, the tailstock will be adopted for production and use.

235—Low-Cost Underwater Acoustic Modem

Underwater communication systems typically rely on large and expensive acoustic modems, hindering research and limiting the types of platforms on which they can be deployed. The goal of this project is to create a low-cost design of an underwater acoustic modem to promote research in the field.

236—Transcatheter Single Ventricle Device

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a congenital heart defect in infants that results in malformation of the left ventricle of the heart. With this defect, the heart is unable to pump oxygen rich blood throughout the infant’s body. Currently, infants with HLHS are required to receive a series of three surgical procedures to reconstruct the heart. We are developing a transcatheter single ventricle device that will eliminate the first open heart surgery, the Norwood/Hybrid Procedure. This procedure occurs during the first three weeks of a patient’s life, thus making the minimally invasive procedure increasingly valuable. This catheter deployable stent is inserted through the femoral artery into the ductus arteriosus (DA). The polymer-coated and shape-memory nitinol stent props open the DA while controlling blood flow through the pulmonary arteries. Our team designed a robust and repeatable system, which models physiologically relevant HLHS blood flow, allowing for the validation of an optimal polymer fenestration size and modulate blood flow under patient-specific conditions.

237—Mercury Marine Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing

An arc welder

Previously, a 1980s Bridgeport CNC mill was retrofitted with a MIG welding head. It is currently being used to produce parts and specimens through the wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) process. Our team tested parts in various manners to compare their properties with those of parts produced with traditional manufacturing methods, such as casting and machining.

238—Connector and Coupling Actuator for Mobile Electrical Microgrids

Imagine how someone living through a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Dorian must have felt—scared and helpless, with no way to call for assistance or let loved ones know they were okay. It could be days or weeks before first responders are able to restore power to the area. That is where our project comes in. Our team was tasked to design, prototype, and test a connector and coupling actuator that can establish an electrical connection between two unmanned ground vehicles that will be used to build temporary microgrids in areas that desperately need it.

239—SICK LiDAR Bat Detection Device

Little brown bats are dying in mines and caves because of a fungus that affects them during hibernation. To better understand their struggle and to care for the important bat population, the DNR regularly and laboriously counts the bats during their hibernation. Our solution makes use of a LiDAR (manufactured by SICK AG, Waldkirch Germany) to provide 3D scans of the larger rooms of the mine or cave while pointing out individual bats for the DNR’s population counts. The device will also be configurable to count the number of bats entering or exiting a given site.