2012-2013 Clinic Projects

Blackrock Microsystems

“Wireless Data Link for Macro/Micro ECoG”

Goal: Blackrock is a leading manufacturer of devices and electronics for neural interfaces. They are moving towards wireless communication links between devices and systems, currently at a 2Mb/s raw data rate. They want to implement 96 or more channels with 12 bit sampling at greater than 1.5kS/s. The clinic team will implement this link using an off-the-shelf radio and microcontroller or FPGA, and develop signaling/coding protocols, specifically for electrocorticography recording devices.


“Optical Systems Testing”

Goal: The Clinic team will develop advanced instrumentation for the testing of optical polarizers from the production line. Particular challenges include: testing optical performance in the ultraviolet spectral region, testing an entire wafer in less than 3 minutes, and/or testing pixelated polarizers with large arrays of pixels as small as 5 microns in size. Additional needs are in the testing of polarizer performance in optical systems applications, such as advanced microscopy.

Power Industry Consortium

“Topics in Electric Power Generation”

Goal: This will be a collection of individual student projects, organized around a theme. Topics will include electric generators and advanced drives (as possible continuations of this year’s projects), and motors.

Sandia National Labs

“Energy-Harvesting Sensor Modules”

Goal: The useful life of distributed sensor networks can be limited by the availability of power for the sensor nodes, especially in applications where it may be impractical to install wiring or replace batteries. The goal of this project is to design a small module that harvests ambient energy (vibration, RF, thermal, etc.) to power and log data from one or more sensors. Key aspects include power conditioning and storage, low-power circuit design (for a controller and memory), and sensor selection. Additional goals can be negotiated to suit the interests, strengths, and ambition of the team members. For example, periodically reading the data could be accomplished with a USB connection (to provide power and communication), but a wireless method (RF, optical) would be preferred.

Wet Design, Inc.

“Interactive Water Features”

Goal: Wet Design constructs choreographed water features on small to large scales. Think of the fountains at the Gateway in SLC and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Currently, control over the laminar jets only takes into account stimuli from the environment for intrusion detection and for detection of high wind conditions. The purpose of this project is to incorporate a wider range of environmental stimuli into the operation and choreography of the water feature. Stimuli could be for the purpose of interactivity between the water feature and the observer(s), compensation for environmental changes (e.g. wind), etc. Challenges in this project include identification of appropriate sensors, sensor networking, feature extraction and decision making, and integration into the water feature control system. The team will have the opportunity to work with laminar flow devices.

L-3 Communications

“Cooling GaN Power Amplifiers”

Goal:The objective of this project is to design a small-‐scale, closed­‐loop system, capable of cooling an equivalent heat load to 5 adjacent GaN amplifier.