EEE 490 (now EEE 488 & 489) Senior Design Laboratory

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EEE 490 Senior Design Laboratory. (3) F, S
Project-oriented laboratory. Each student must complete one or more design projects during the semester. Lecture, lab. Prerequisites: ECE 300, 334; EEE 303; senior status. General Studies: Literacy.

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Spring 2001 Projects

End-of-Semester Poster Demonstrations (April 30 - May 1, 2001)
Team Advisor Project
Douglas Anderson,
Matthew Bayes,
Kazan Block,
Michael Naujokaitis
Dr. Ayyanar Proactive Digitally Programmable Switch-Mode Power Supply
Powering tomorrow’s microprocessors - the successors to the Pentium, is a major challenge to the power supply designer. Two main problems are the requirement of very low output voltages (combined with high currents) and extremely fast load transient response times. The problem of low efficiency experienced with conventional diode rectifiers in low voltage applications, is solved by using synchronous rectifiers employing MOSFETs in place of diodes. To address the problem of response time, proactive solutions are being envisioned, wherein the power supply adjusts its output voltage or even the configuration, in anticipation of a step load change (for example, an upcoming multiplication instruction), on cue from the processor load.
The project involves the following tasks:
  • Design and development of a synchronous rectifier power supply of around 30W rating
  • Development of a digital interface for programming the output voltage in response to
    1. a manual command
    2. command from an intelligent load
  • Development of an intelligent load
Steven Bolt,
Frederick Di Sano,
Shane Self
Dr. Bird Fabrication of Semiconductor Devices for Nanostructure Research
Semiconductor nanostructures are extremely small electrical devices which are patterned on length scales approaching the size of the electron itself, and which offer considerable potential for application in future generations of integrated circuit technology. In this project, students will fabricate, and measure the properties of, prototype semiconductor nanostructures. The work will therefore require the students to familiarize themselves with basic steps in semiconductor processing and to also take a two-day safety class in cleanroom practice. After fabrication, the basic electrical properties of the nanostructures will be measured at low (liquid Helium) temperatures, and analyzed in terms of quantum transport behavior.
Tiffany Baron,
Tomas Carrillo,
Juan Ramirez,
Daniel Williams
Dr. Duman Wireless Communication System Design
This project is concerned with the design of a simple wireless communications system including the computer interface. The system will be easily programmable via the computer interface to adopt different modulation techniques. The main objective is to enable and demonstrate the transmission of bits, and evaluate the system performance. If you are interested, contact Dr. Duman with a transcript and a resume (if you already have one) at the beginning of the semester. Only one group will be selected.
Steve Martinez,
Alvaro Meythaler,
Ricardo Ruiz
Dr. Greeneich Digital Rain Gauge
Design and breadboard a system to electronically measure rainfall and display the amounts digitally. The display should have a resolution of 0.01 inches.
Kenneth Justice,
Justin O'Shea,
Richard Zawadzki
Dr. Greeneich PRA Model 1030A OCXO Benchtop Test System
How Wei Low,
Qi Qi,
David Robinson
Dr. Heydt An Improved Sonic Anemometer
In Spring 2000, a EEE490 group developed a sonic anemometer. This is a wind speed measuring instrument that has no moving parts. Ultrasound (e.g., 15 kHz) is emitted by a 'speaker' and measured at a microphone. The time required for the transit of the sound from source to the microphone is measured. This time divided by the distance between the two transducers gives the velocity. Since the velocity of sound in air is known, the difference in the measured velocity and the published velocity is the wind speed (i.e., the speed of the medium). This has been implemented in an instrument that measures the N-S and E-W components. The actual instrument does not use the division indicated: rather, a phase difference method is used to perform an analog measurement. This project is to improve on the basic instrument. The improvements must include a third set of transducers to find the wind speed in a third axis (e.g., NW - SE). This measurement is to be used with a mathematical model to obtain an improved measurement of the wind speed and direction. The method to be used is known as 'state estimation' and it is similar to locating a straight line to fit a collection of points (i.e., a least squares fit). Another improvement is to utilize several frequencies for the instrument, and again use the data collected to estimate the wind speed and direction. A nonlinear state estimator is to be studied. Other potential improvements include: experimentation for optimal spacing of the transducers; utilization of aerodynamic farings; use of nonsinusoidal signals as the basic ultrasound signal.
Adam Chandler,
Ron Krogstad,
Ashley Lee,
Kelly O'Dell
Dr. Heydt A Phase Controlled, Series Boost Voltage Conditioner
Power 'conditioning' refers to maintaining a load at a constant voltage. This is usually an AC load application. Some loads (like computers) are vulnerable to variations in line voltage (sags, spikes, momentary outages). Power conditioners are devices that effectively condition the AC supply voltage so that loads 'see' relatively constant voltage -- no matter what the supply voltage may be. This project relates to the use of a device known as a 'series boost' to hold load voltage constant. The concept is to use a voltage source in series with the supply voltage in order to make the sum (i.e., the source voltage plus the series boost voltage = the load voltage) relatively constant. The series voltage source is developed from a winding of a transformer that is fed by the original supply itself. However, the series transformer excitation is chopped using back-to-back SCRs or possibly a triac. The chopping control is varied in order that the series voltage is the correct magnitude and phase to compensate for supply voltage sags or swells. It is desired to use the simplest possible controller and circuitry so that the power conditioner is simple and cheaply constructed. The project entails the design, simulation, and construction, of a series boost power conditioner as described. The device should be tested under various load and supply conditions.
Damion Fields,
Paul Prentis,
Jin Xu,
Mark Zawadzki
Dr. Higgins Computer Controlled Medicine Dispenser
Eugene Diaz,
Matt Glassburn,
Angel Parra,
Andy Schuldt
Dr. Higgins Thermatron Chamber Fan Motor Controller
Jenny Fan,
Giovanni Gahona,
Dario Lopezquintero
Dr. Higgins PCI Board Design with DSP Functionality
Brian Kennedy,
Charles Ng,
Derek Schwartz
Ali Alfaraj,
Erik Molina,
Shane Winston,
Jason Zhou
Dr. Holbert Function Generator with White Noise
The student team will design and build an analog function generator. The function generator will output sine, square, and sawtooth waveforms via a BNC connection. The frequency of the base waveforms will be user adjustable; the peak-to-peak voltage output level shall be around ± 8 volts. The option to overlay the base waveforms above with wideband (white) noise shall be included. The relative strength of the white noise signal compared to the base waveform shall also be user selectable. Produced analog signals shall be analyzed using computer-based data acquisition and signal analysis.
Baher Ahmad,
Jeff Hickman,
Ravi Slickman,
Michael Yarusinsky
Dr. Karady Remote Current Measurement
Electric power companies measure the current using old-fashion current transformers. A new emerging concept is to measure the current by monitoring the magnetic field at the ground level. The project objective is to develop an algorithm for calculation of the current from field measurements and perform experiments to prove the feasibility of this new method. Project receives partial support from industry.
Wesley Knuth,
Deborah Pitts,
Sterling Pitts,
Lisa Welbourne
Dr. Karady Voltage Measurement Using Fiber Optic Cables
The objective of the project is to develop a measuring system that uses the magnetic field produced phase shift of polarized light. The work requires both computer simulation and experimental work. A company in the valley supports this project.
Gregory Mayer,
Kenneth Suit,
Robert Whitley
Dr. Karady Multiplexing Data Communication onto Power Distribution Lines
Yusuf Cavdarli,
Anh Chung,
Bryan Larish,
Jeremy Lassetter
Dr. Karam Face Recognition System
The students will develop and build a system for face recognition. A camera and a computer will be used as part of the Face Recognition System. The camera will be used to capture pictures of people’s faces to be introduced to and, later, recognized by the system. In addition to developing and implementing face recognition techniques, the students will develop tools to interface the camera with the computer system and will implement a user-friendly graphical user interface.
Christopher Fleenor,
Felecia Howlett,
Mike Machaud,
Brian Saum
Dr. Kozicki Characterization of Non-volatile Memory Devices
The Programmable Metallization Cell (PMC) is a novel high density, low power memory technology that was developed at ASU. It uses an electrochemical process to rapidly form a nanoscopic metal connection between a pair of electrodes when a small voltage is applied between them. The metal emerges from a thin film of a chalcogenide glass which may be incorporated easily and cheaply into a conventional integrated circuit. The metal is dissolved back into the glass film by applying a reverse voltage and the result of the formation or dissolution of the tiny wire is a large and consequently easily detected change in the electrical resistance of the device. The resistance changes in PMC are non-volatile, meaning that resistance values persist even when the electrical power is removed from the device. This project concerns an evaluation of the stability of the "on" state of programmed PMC devices with time at temperatures ranging from -55 to 125 deg. C. The project team will be required to design various experiments using existing characterization equipment and carry out the measurements with the protocols developed.
Kevin Dowdy,
Erin Eng,
Kenneth Ung
Dr. Morrell Telemetry Sensor
The purpose of this project will be to design a sensor to provide tri-axis telemetry data to a control system. The device will transmit the acceleration, velocity, and position of the probe to a computer station. A major consideration of the project will be the analysis of data and characterization of device parameters from functional tests. The design should be small, robust, and precise. Possible applications for this device include satellite positioning, flight management systems, automotive navigation, and any other system requiring portable telemetry information.
Fleance Fernando,
Lucas Kriel,
Robert LaTendresse
Philips and Dr. Kim DC and AC Test Fixture for Testing Analog Devices
Objective: Research, Design, Fabricate, and Evaluate test fixtures to test both DC and AC parametrics of "state of the art" analog devices. The overall goal of this project is to develop a schematic and test hardware topology to test various analog device parametrics using an high-speed automated temperature test chamber coupled to a universal electrical tester (TMT). This project will require considerable system level research into the automated test chamber, TMT tester, as well as the analog device to be tested. The test fixture topology should incorporate multiplexing techniques so as to provide efficient utilization of the test chamber and tester. This project will require considerable interfacing with Design, Applications, Test, and Product Engineers.
  • Research test chamber and TMT tester, and analog devices to be tested
  • Develop a system level topology using a mother/daughter board concept and compare with industry "state of the art" testing approaches
  • Design circuit schematic and hardware necessary to develop an integrated system capable of testing various analog devices
  • Present a design review to Design, Applications, Test, and Product Engineers of the integrated test system for design approval
  • Commit and oversee the hardware to fabrication
  • Conduct design verification testing of the system and demonstrate its use and versatility
Deliverables: Technical Project Summary Report including recommendations and evaluation of the project hardware, and publish technical performance data of the test system (documentation back-up on floppies)
Daniel Horner,
Monther Househ,
Jose Rangel,
Travis Sherrill
Dr. Reed ASUCanSat Communication System
The CanSat system typically consists of a ground station with one or more "satellites" (CanSats). The following sums up the scope of the proposed EEE 490 project:
  • Wireless telemetry communication system
  • Able to command multiple module’s (CanSats)
  • Telemetry module can handle digital and analog signals. (Sensors)
  • Must be less than 2.5 in x 4 in
  • Command and display data real-time
Ryan Ashby,
Mathew Manusharow,
Anthony Nichols,
Amy Powers
Dr. Rodriguez Toward the Development of a Flexible Testbed for FAME Research
(FAME: Flexible Autonomous Machines operating in an uncertain Environment). This project will continue the development of a smart remotely operated (semi-autonomous) tank-like electric vehicle. The goal is to integrate ultrasonic and video for the purpose of navigating and remotely operating the vehicle. GPS solutions will also be examined.
Nicholas Ickes,
Rodney King,
Phillip Morton,
Scott Pugh
Dr. Rodriguez Development of a Single Link Robotic Manipulator
The goal of this project is to design and build a single link manipulator that can be used within the lab and on our electric vehicles. Toward this end, one immediate goal is to build a low-cost high-precision (inverted pendulum like) pointing device. Students will learn about optical robot dynamics, encoders, potentiometers, dc motors, data acquisition boards, and computer control systems.
Sheldon McGee,
Tolu Ogundiji,
Siew Wong
Dr. Si Toolkit Design for Data Format Transformation
The project focuses on designing a toolkit, which can transform any given two-dimensional data into a defined table. The original data can be in any format such as text, html, word or any database file format. The final result should be an executable window-based application, which has a friendly interface.
Kevin Brown,
David Koster,
Steven Sowinski,
Hans Wennerstrom
Dr. Spanias Design and Implementation of a Microphone Array
This project involves the design and implementation of a smart microphone array. This array involves using several microphones in a linear configuration. The idea it to develop an electronically steerable multisensor microphone. The project involves both hardware implementation and software development.
Brian Harris,
Jessy Moudry,
Michael Ross
Dr. Thornton Micropower Oscillators
This project requires three students. At least one of the students should have completed the EEE 435 Microelectronics course. The project is part of our on-going research and you shall work closely with Dr. Thornton's graduate students. The project is largely experimental with you making devices, measuring their electrical properties and analyzing the data.
Micropower circuits, such as those in digital watches, pagers and pacemakers for example, use CMOS circuits operating below threshold i.e. in weak inversion where the drain current varies exponentially with the gate voltage (see figure below). These circuits consume very little power but have a fairly low operating speed, typically less than a few MHz. This project will explore the use of micropower oscillators based on ring-oscillators. You will design both CMOS and bipolar circuits using commercially available chipsets. The results will be compared with those from the integrated ring-oscillators that we are making in the EEE435 class. The aims of the project are to make a comparative demonstration of ring oscillators using CMOS and bipolar technologies and to determine the parameters that limit their operating frequency in the micropower regime.
Richard Coleman,
Essam El-Dardiry,
Nam Huynh,
Ted Lim
Dr. Tsakalis MATLAB-based Control of an Inverted Pendulum
The objective of this project is to stabilize an inverted pendulum in an upright position starting from the stable equilirium. This project will use the MATLAB Real-time Workshop environment and an existing inverted pendulum apparatus. The focus will be on design and implementation of a controller that will be adaptive with a simple on-line parameter estimator.
Prabhat Sherstha,
Mohammad Alhajri,
Jeff Huynh,
Imtiaz Nizami
Dr. Tsakalis Process Emulator for the Evaluation of Embedded Controllers
In the design and implementation of embedded control systems, an important part is to establish that the communication between the controller and the process hardware is smooth and flawless. It is often the case that the sensors and actuators have beenintegrated in the process itself and the controller needs to receive sensor data andtransmit control commands following a specific communication protocol. In the application of interest, the process is a diffusion furnace used in semiconductor manufacturing industries. The process receives inputs from the controller (powers) and sends backoutputs (temperatures and status signals). The process-controller communication takesplace over an RS232 serial connection. The objective of the project is to develop a Simulink-based emulator of the process that can be used to evaluate the embedded controller prior to its actual field implementation. The emulator should behavelike the process under all conditions (start-up, transmission errors, normal operation etc.)
The final demonstration of the project should show that the controller,residing in one computer, can successfully start-up, control, andshut-down the process, a model of which resides in a different computer.Furthermore, the project should also evaluate and suggest procedures toassess the controller sampling rate requirements relative to theavailable communication rates.

Fall 2000 Projects

End-of-Semester Poster Demonstrations (Dec. 4-5, 2000)
Team Advisor Project
Will Hadden
Shawn Maskell
Mindy McKee
Kevin Parkey
Robert Chavez
Larry Dovala
Casey O'Dell
Dr. Ayyanar Bi-Directional DC-DC Converters for the 42V Architecture of Future Automobiles
The standard bus voltage in present automobiles is 14V (12V battery). With more and more electrical/electronic functions being introduced, and with the traditional mechanical/pneumatic functions being replaced by their electrical equivalents, the current levels with 14V system are becoming unmanageable. Hence the move towards a 42V bus architecture, where for a given power level the current levels are more manageable and existing power semiconductor devices can be used advantageously. Until the conversion of all electronic devices to the 42V system is fully accomplished, the automobiles will operate with a dual 14V/42V system. The objective of this project is to build a bi-directional DC-DC converter to serve as an interface between the 14V and 42V buses. As the cost and size are of utmost importance for automotive application, many topologies will be analyzed, simulated using PSPICE, and finally the most promising configuration will be implemented.
Theodore Bushanam
Yoshimasa Kariya
Adam Trombley
Nam Truong
Dr. Duman Wireless Communication System Design
This project is concerned with the design of a simple wireless communications system including the computer interface. The system will be easily programmable via the computer interface to adopt different modulation techniques. The main objective is to enable and demonstrate the transmission of bits, and evaluate the system performance.
Majid Alghamdi
Atin Kapadia
John Nguyen
Zafar Ahmad
Isaac Almanza
Jeff Burgess
Farrukh Kamal
Dr. Greeneich Voltage-Controlled BandPass Amplifier
Design and build a bandpass amplifier in which the center frequency can be controlled by an external voltage. The nominal center frequency will be 100 kHz.
Peter Schultz
Rowland Tubi
Luis Urena
Dr. Heydt Wind-up Power Supply (SpringPower)
Springs have been used for several centuries as energy storage devices. In a 'wind-up' configuration, a spring can be used to store hand motion as mechanical energy. Through a ratchet mechanism, the spring device can be used to operate a small generator upon demand. This project entails the examination of this idea, the researching of generators and spring mechanisms, and the use of electronic converters to obtain a fixed output voltage during normal operation. The concept is to use a wind-up spring to operate a small generator. The generator will be used as a source for an electronic voltage regulator. The regulator may also regulate frequency, and may change voltage level (i.e., a general converter). The possibilities of AC and DC will be explored. The project also includes construction of a prototype, evaluation of efficiency, evaluation of regulation, and the study of potential applications.
Linda Lockwood
Vance Munson
Eric Rousu
Dr. Heydt Electric Airplane
Electric power has been used for many types of propulsion. However, there has been limited success for this application other than in electric railways. In this proposed project, the concept of an electric airplane is considered -- at least at the small model stage. The objective is to construct a small 'model airplane' that operates with an electric motor as the prime means of propulsion. The design team would need to research light, small motors, ceramic magnets, high torque / low weight motors, alternative motor types, and batteries. The battery supply is critical in this application because of the needed low weight to energy requirement. The concept of a speed controller would need to be studied and either adopted or rejected. Wiring of the small model-sized aircraft is also important. The weight and balance, component weight, moments, and other weight related factors of the aircraft need to be studied.
John James
Jonathan Lutz
Richard Redburn
Melvin Sappington
Dr. Higgins Programmable Logic Chip Microprocessor
Implement and test a simple microprocessor in a programmable logic chip. In particular, the simple microprocessor that is simulated in the EEE 120 lab could be used as the basis for this project. The schematic capture capability of the Xilinx Foundation Software would be used to generate the code to be downloaded into a Xilinx XC4010 field programmable gate array chip that resides on a XESS XS40 logic board. The software and hardware are here to start the project immediately.
David Green
Scott Haskin
Katerina La Giorgia
Glen La Boissiere
Dr. Holbert LabView Data Acquisition System Development
The student design team will utilize LabView software and National Instruments hardware to construct a real-time data acquisition (DAQ) system. The DAQ simultaneous sample several channels of data over a user selectable sampling frequency. The LabView system will be used to process the data, and provide the user with the automated capability of analyzing the data using several signal processing techniques (e.g., auto and cross correlation, auto and cross power spectra, etc.), and plotting the results.
Mark Govoni
Sunil Nair
Pamela Riggs
Dr. Pan Placement and Routing of High-Speed Digital Circuits
Tanya Braden
Kelly Cooper
Steven Lindblom
Billy Rowley
Dr. Rodriguez Development of a Controller for a PUMA Robotic Arm
This project will involve hardware procurement, installation, testing, robot modelling, design, and programming. All work is to be documented in a comprehensive final report.
Michael Grizzaffi
Senad Lomigora
Paul Lee
Dr. Rodriguez Development of an Air Based Testbed for FAME Research
(FAME: Flexible Autonomous Machines operating in an uncertain Environment.) This project will involve the procurement and flight testing of a 20 foot blimp. Storage for the blimp has been arranged at ASU. FAA approval from the Sky Harbor tower is currently being obtained. The blimp’s gondola will be able to carry approximately 40 lbs of equipment. This will include a wireless vision system that will come with the blimp. Specific design issues to be addressed are as follows: (i) addition of a central processing system, (ii) design (or procurement) of an ultrasonic altimeter, (iii) procurement of 3 gyroscopes for attitude measurements, (iv) design (procurement) of a 3 accelerometers for translational motion sensing. All work is to be documented in a comprehensive final report.
Elise Cassidy
Hyong Kim
Art Zamora
Ping Zhang
Dr. Roedel CVD Control
Design and installation of a LabVIEW-based system to control a Chemical Vapor Phase (CVD) deposition reactor.
Mike de Vita
Gerrit Foerstner
Kevin Le
Donald Zedek
Dr. Thornton Micropower Oscillators
Micropower circuits, for example those in digital watches, pagers and pacemakers, use CMOS circuits operating below threshold, i.e., in weak inversion where the drain current varies exponentially with the gate voltage. These circuits consume very little power but have a fairly low operating speed, typically less than a few MHz. This project will explore the use of micropower oscillators based on ring-oscillators. You will design both CMOS and bipolar circuits using commercially available chipsets. The results will be compared with those from the integrated ring-oscillators that we are making in the EEE435 class. The aims of the project are to make a comparative demonstration of ring oscillators using CMOS and bipolar technologies, and to determine the parameters that limit their operating frequency in the micropower regime.
Ephrem Gebreselasie
Mir Hossain
Paul Jaconelli
Dr. Thornton Hybrid Molecular-MOS Transistors
As part of a collaboration between the Departments of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering we are developing polarizable organic molecules that can be bonded as a molecular monolayer to novel MOSFET structures. The threshold voltage of the MOSFET depends on the dipole electric field generated at the surface by the molecular monolayer. When exposed to light the molecule changes its shape and becomes strongly polarized leading to a shift in threshold voltage. Other molecular systems can be designed to be polarized by exposure to particular chemicals. These hybrid molecular-MOS transistors might lead to a new generation of chemical sensors for environmental testing. The aim of the project is to test the sensitivity of the hybrid devices to different ambient conditions.


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