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Engineering Clinic Projects
 
L-3 Communications
“Detection and analysis of LPI radar using time-frequency and cyclostationary processing methods”

The goal of the project is to simulate and compare the performance of methods for LPI (low probability of intercept) Radar detection and parameter extraction. The focus will be on using time frequency and cyclostationary methods for the detection and analysis. We would also like to see an FPGA (VHDL) design and implementation of one of these methods. The deliverables will include Matlab simulations, VHDL design, report on performance and computational complexity of the algorithms.

Advisor: TBD

Team composition: 4-5 EEs, 0-1 CEs
 
Moxtek
“Nanophotonic biosensor platform”

Moxtek makes nanophotonic structures for consumer and military electronics applications. The purpose of this project is to explore the application of these structures to methods in biosensing and diagnostics. The team will either modify an existing biosensor reader platform, or construct a new platform from off-the-shelf parts, and characterize the performance of their system.

Students must have taken or take ECE 5410.

Advisor: Prof. Blair

Team composition: 5 EEs
 
Power and Controls Consortium
“Power system stability”

The objective of the project is to investigate issues of stability in power systems. The studies will involve theory, simulations, and experiments using small-scale synchronous generators.

Students must have taken or be taking ECE 3510 and ECE 3600, and planning to take ECE 5671 in Fall 2015 and ECE 5670 in Spring 2016.

Advisor: Prof. Bodson

Team composition: 2 EEs
 
Power and Controls Consortium
“Electric vs. hydraulic power in rock crushing”

Compare the performance a rock crusher driven by electric vs. hydraulic motors. Reliable Controls will provide a rock crusher with both types of motors and all other equipment needed. State-of-the-art instrumentation and control hardware will be used to automate and supervise these systems, with the goal of identifying which system is more energy-efficient. Secondary objectives such as hardware cost and reliability will also be evaluated. Reliable Controls expects students to be driven, creative, passionate, and self-motivated, in order to bring innovative solutions to a critical industrial challenge. Candidates for this clinic should be willing to travel regularly to Reliable Controls at 999 Murray-Holladay Rd to perform the experimental work.

Students must have taken or be taking ECE 3510 and ECE 3600. Candidates from mechanical engineering should have demonstrated interest in control systems and hydraulic power.

Advisor: Prof. Bodson

Team composition: 1 EE and 1 ME
 
Sandia National Laboratories
“5-axis inspection station”

Sandia National Laboratories develops a wide array of advanced products for the federal government and industry. Prototype development often requires the use of non-destructive inspection methodologies, performed on components with varying shapes and sizes. Automating this inspection process would significantly decrease labor costs and improve the consistency of results. The Sandia clinic team will develop a 5-axis inspection station to translate a Keyence laser displacement meter around an object to determine its outer surface. The location information will subsequently be used to inspect the object by positioning (to at least 0.050” accuracy) other probes, such as off-the-shelf sensors that measure ultrasonic resonance, ultrasonic thickness, and 4-point probe sheet resistance. All of the existing measurement methods will be provided or a definition of their fabrication will be given. An existing frame, will be delivered in its current state. Key tasks include improving the frame’s vibration isolation, evaluating the existing stepper motors, designing bracketing to hold the probes, controlling the movement of the inspection head and collecting sensor data (preferably using LabView), and designing a GUI for controlling the station and viewing data in real time.

Advisor: TBD

Team composition: 1-2 EEs, 2 MEs and 1-2 CEs
 
Sorenson Communications Inc.
“Audio signal processing”

This team will develop acoustic transducer arrays and develop algorithms to manipulate audio streams from the arrays. The algorithms need to improve audio quality by noise reduction, echo cancellation and source selection. These algorithms will be implemented on a DSP for performance analysis.

Advisor: TBD

Team composition:
Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Projects
 
Faculty Project: Prof. Scarpulla
“Using Spice to model impedance of thin film solar cells”

Solar cells are large area diodes, and in thin film solar cells the properties may vary from location to location because of the polycrystallity of the film. Thus, a single cell can be considered as a huge number of subcells connected in parallel. Each subcell can be represented by an equivalent AC circuit consisting of resistors, diodes, and capacitors. Thus to compute the AC impedance of the whole, a SPICE model of many subcells having randomly distributed parameter values can be used. This project will attempt such a model to help explain features seen in experimental data. 

 
Faculty Project: Dr. Palmer
“Topics in power systems engineering”

This group will explore one or more topics in power systems. Projects may be for suitable for individual students or small groups. If you have a specific idea related to power systems that you’d like to pursue as part of this group, then include a short description in the “Individual Project” text box when you register. Be sure to indicate this faculty-sponsored project as one of your choices.

Team composition: Up to 5 EEs

 
Faculty Project: Prof. Scarpulla
“Optical Solar cell size measurement system”

When we test solar cell devices, we need to know their size accurately. This project will build a system using a webcam fixed to a stable platform and image analysis to image the samples and then calculate their area from the pixels defined as part of the device. Approaches in Labview, Matlab, or other image analysis software are welcome.

 
Faculty Project: Prof. Scarpulla
“Raman Spectroscopy system”

Raman scattering is a spectroscopic technique that uses slight shifts in wavelength of scattering laser light from a sample to learn about the internal structure of the semiconductor. We have most of the hardware in place. We need to add a motor to an old monochromator and build some Labview code to move the motor and record the data. We have similar systems in the lab, so this could be a great project for someone who wants to learn Labview.

 
Faculty Project: Prof. Scarpulla (with Ramesh Goel in Civil Eng)
“Solar-powered demonstration portable water treatment system”

This will involve integrating solar panels, power handling, pumps, and perhaps other components into a portable system capable of filtering and cleaning water in remote or distaster-struck locations.

 
Faculty Project: Prof. Simpson
“Atmospheric high-frequncy wave propagation”

FDTD simulation of HF wave propagation across the globe, comparison with ray tracing and measurements.

 
Faculty Project: Prof. Simpson
“E&M simulations and global warming”

Examining the issue of global warming by studying Schumann resonances excited by lightning.