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Electrical Engineering (2nd)

These projects are at the endpoint of a two-semester sequence. They are "functionally complete".


Robotic GPS Mapper

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Sponsor: Sensco

Student Team: Luis Rivero Jr., Braylon Yarbrough, Francisco Carvalho, Duy Nguyen

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Harold Stern

This design project will create a GPS robot that will map each floor of the engineering building as a prototype for a larger application. The final goal is to create a robot that can produce maps of the San Marcos water pipelines. The layout and location of the pipe system is incomplete and/or has errors. By successfully demonstrating a robot that can map the engineering building, a more advanced robot can be developed to enter the pipe system. The development robot will be able to communicate with the user and map the pipeline system in real time.

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Dual-Use Wideband Microphone System (DWMS)

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Sponsor: NASA / Johnson Space Center

Student Team: Victor Brewer, Jordan Fedorchak, Jason de Jongh, Matthew Swanzy, Hunter Thompson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Harold Stern

The DWMS is a project to determine if a MEMS microphone, or an array of MEMS microphones, could be used to help alert NASA crew members to potential on-board hazards as soon as they emerge and to provide an audio communication channel for the crew. The purpose would be to minimize time between when a potentially dangerous situation emerges, meaning ultrasonic frequencies are detected, and when the crew is notified to respond. In order to accomplish this a MEMS microphone will be utilized to try and differentiate between ultrasonic frequencies (frequencies greater than 20 kHz) and human voice. This system takes advantage of the fact that pressure leaks and other on-board hazards, like worn bearings, create an ultrasonic sound that is outside of the human threshold of hearing.

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Remote Flood Level Sensor

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Sponsor: NXP

Student Team: Lorena Lobrano, Travis Poole, Nicki Rios, Danny Souraphath

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Harold Stern

The team will build a prototype that demonstrates the principal of operation and functionality of a Remote Flood Level Sensor that will be designed to measure flood water levels at low water crossings within the Austin area. In this manner, real time water depth data can be made available to monitoring systems. The team will use Freescale Internet of Things products in order to transmit real-time water level data via the THREAD Network to the Proximetry cloud.

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Implementation of a Demodulator

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Sponsor: FlexRadio Systems

Student Team: Cory Cox, Nicolas Govea and Jonathan Rodriguez

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Semih Aslan

This project is to participate in the addition of a new mode of communication, System Fusion, into FlexRadio's series of software defined radios. System Fusion allows analog and digital radio operators to communicate with each other by having the signal repeater automatically select the proper incoming mode and pass normal analog traffic or digital traffic automatically. An integral part of radio transmission and reception is the modulation and demodulation of the encoded digital information being sent. Our team will be responsible for the implementation of the modulator/demodulator portion of System Fusion, using the C4FM (continuous 4-level frequency modulation) technique. The addition of this communication mode into their Signature series radios will allow them to stay a leading competitor in the software defined radio market.

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Network Object Motion Tracker [NOMoT]

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Sponsor: NXP

Student Team: Joe Castellon, Nigel Dalke, Murphy Granillo, Derek Kostiha

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bill Stapleton

This project is a collaboration with Freescale to improve elements of the Internet of Things (IoT) by analyzing the behavior of the Thread network. The end goal of this project consists of  implementing a design for a self adapting node, which will relay positional data to a thread network using current Freescale technology. This will be done by using 6 axes of a 9-axis sensor. Testing and demonstration of concept will occur in the university’s System Modeling And Renewable Technology (SMART) Lab.

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Plasma Sense Amplifier

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Sponsor: Ingram School of Engineering

Student Team: Daniel Carroll, Guillermo D. Elizondo, Nathan Russell, Justin Tanksley

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Rich Compeau

The Plasma Sense Amplifier is a diagnostic instrument, facilitating the measurement of plasma temperature and density among others by reading the current flowing in a swept Langmuir probe. Such diagnostics have application to research in the areas of fusion power generation and astrophysics. This design improves upon existing schemes by facilitating such measurements without requiring expensive equipment, and does so with high precision and bandwidth. Current approaches either require expensive equipment which is prohibitive to university research, or transformer coupling which suffers nonlinearities at both low and high frequencies. The project consists of the design and fabrication of a discrete analog high voltage, high common-mode rejection ratio difference amplifier along with a high voltage dual linear regulated power supply. The power supply has multiple safety features and indication modes in addition to regulation.

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Remote AC/DC Voltage and Current Sensor Node

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Sponsor: NXP

Student Team: Vinh Diep, Matthew Bringhurst, Francisco Saavedra

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bill Stapleton

Using the installation of solar panels and wind turbines in Freescale's System Modeling And Renewable Technology (SMART) Lab at Texas State University, a system will be developed to collect both AC and DC voltage and current data, including single-phase and three-phase, and transmitting it wirelessly through the THREAD network. The design will be implemented using Freescale's latest development tools and systems to create a low powered product that will be used for demonstration purposes. The product will be implemented using the Kinetis KW24 Tower Board, the THREAD network protocol, the Proximetry cloud server, and the IoT gateway. Having a tool to perform such measurements allow users to manage their clean energy/decentralized/off-grid systems anywhere there is Wifi. This project will culminate in a small scale batch PCB production to demonstrate application in several of Freescale's markets.

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Water Leak Detection Sensor (WLDS) Sonic Spectrogram

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Sponsor: Sensco

Student Team: Anthony Goodson (Project Manager), Ana Amaro, Alexander Diaz, Haleigh Walker

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Harold Stern

According to researchers, approximately 2.1 trillion gallons of fresh water are lost each year in the United States because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters. The Water Leak Detection Sensor Sonic Spectrogram project hopes to help remedy this by creating a visual, graphical representation of the acoustical activity within the pipes it is monitoring. This real time monitoring will be able to provide graphical insight into the current condition of a pipe, through the generation of a spectrogram. The system will also detect any acoustic abnormality in the pipe, likely caused by leaks, and then send an alert to the users, allowing them to make an on the spot assessment of the information. This will dramatically reduce the time between when a leak first happens to when it will get repaired, thereby potentially saving significant quantities of water, time, and money.

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