Senior Design 1991-92

Liquid Level and Temperature Control Using A Programmable Logic Controller

By: Aaron Canny, Robert Hattling, and Wayne Lilygren
Advisor: Dr. A. Narayana

The goal of this project is to use a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to control the elements of the liquid level and temperature system and to monitor the systems outputs, namely the level and the temperature. The control system must be capable of maintaining the liquid level at any given value in the range of 0 to 20 cm. The accuracy of this control is limited to the accuracy of the level sensor. The control system must also be able to maintain the temperature of the liquid in the process tank at a given value in the range of 20 to 70 degrees Celsius. The temperature can be maintained within 0.5 degrees of the set point. The user, through a graphical user interface running on a personal computer (PC), defines the set point.

Microcontrolled Brushless DC Motor

By: James Lavrenz, David Peterson, and Robert Kilian
Advisor: Dr. R. A. Higgins

The goal of this project is to design and build a controller for a three phase brushless motor using a microcontroller. The microcontroller will be used to generate a current waveform that gives a desired magnetic flux density in the motor. This will control transient torque-speed characteristics of the motor. The velocity, shaft position, and torque output of the motor will be measured using the feedback to the microcontroller. This project is sponsored in part by FMC. Two main problems are reducing torque ripple and improving transient torque and power characteristics of the system.

Microprogramming Design and Implementation Tools

By: Mike Almquist, Gary Budde, and Doug Kremers
Advisor: Dr. S. Lekhakul

The purpose of this project is to create a simulator for a microprogrammed control, which would be run on personal computer (PC). The simulator would be used for simulating the microprogrammed control for a digital system in the Computer Engineering textbook by M. Morris Mano. This project consists of both a software part and a hardware part. It is our intent to use the existing software design to create a more user friendly simulation package. In order to make the software more accessible to the beginning student; we are working on creating a menu to access the necessary commands of the simulator. The second part of this project will involve the design of the hardware necessary to support and test the digital system in the M. Morris Mano textbook. This will require that the program be capable of downloading the data created with the simulator software to a simulating microprocessing unit. This hardware-processing unit along with the display unit will then allow the student to see exactly what is happening in the hardware.

Multi-Axis Robotic Motion Controller

By: Darin Gachne, Roger Harper, and Greg Kittilson
Advisor: Dr. J. Rankin

The goal of this project is to control six DC motors mounted in a Mentor Robot and be able to load and change motor compensators and the sampling frequency. The completed project will be used in the Electrical Engineering department as a supplemental aid for the introductory controls course. Students will be able to implement different digital compensator designs for each axis of motion, enabling them to better understand the real world digital compensator design. The secondary goals of our project are to familiarize ourselves with the TMS320, its developmental system, assembler and C compiler; to become familiar with the TMS370 design kit and assembler; and to learn Borland C++'s Windows 3.0 Application Development including Microsoft Windows 3.0 architecture.

Production Machine Automation

By: Jon Gamble, Rob Irwin, Brian Johnson, and Ross Wilhelm
Advisor: Dr. J. Rankin

This automation project originated with an increased need in production speed, quality, and efficiency by our sponsoring company SCIMED Life Systems of Maple Grove, MN. To meet the increased production demands and FDA quality control requirements, the engineers of SCIMED realized that new automated production equipment would be needed to replace the older labor-intensive equipment. The design project consists of four main parts: system layout, wiring design and PLC program; programmable communications interface controller; twenty point digital to analog current controller; and system interface, touch screen, and co-processor software.

Stellar Photometer Interface

By: Andy Jude, Brad Popelka, and Glen Backes
Advisor: Dr. B. W. Ellis

The stellar photometer is a common device used by astronomers. This instrument provides the user a means of obtaining light intensity readings from stars and other extra-terrestrial objects. Unfortunately, recording this information can be cumbersome and tedious in an observatory environment. The Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science Department at St. Cloud State University would like an improved means of light intensity data collection with their stellar photometer. The objectives and goals of this project were to perform research, design, and construction of a remote interface between the photometer and a personal computer (PC). The interface was to provide more flexibility in the light-intensity data collection process. This interface accepts a coordinated universal time from the PC and displays it on the liquid crystal display (LCD) enabling the user to start data collection at the desired time.

Vmebus Video Digitizer

By: Mark Epland, Jon Thissen, and Taher Sharabati
Advisor: Dr. Y. Zheng

The goal of this project is to construct a VMEbus video digitizer with the possibility of Digital Processing (DSPs). This card will digitize and process a video signal, which will be compatible with computer systems operating with a VMEbus. The use of the video digitizer is to digitize a video signal with an aspect ratio of 1:1. A reason for using an aspect ratio of 1:1 is that it gives a complete image reproduction of the source; while a traditional aspect ratio of 4:3 gives a distorted reproduction of the source. Lastly, the option of preprocessing the digitized video signal using DSPs may also be included on the card to compress the data and do other signal processing. The application for this project is to create the digitized data needed to create a four dimensional representation. The Ultra-Sound Imaging Lab will use this at the Mayo Clinic.

Weather Satellite Interface

By: Kelly Linnell, Mark Mulvehill, and John Owens
Advisor: Dr. J. M. Heneghan

The purpose of this project is to interface a personal computer (PC) with weather satellites through radio signals allowing the PC to display weather images. The weather satellites are in polar orbits that transmit signals containing infrared and visible light information in real time. The signals will be received through an antenna and FM receiver specifically designed for this purpose. The interface will consist of real time data acquisition, conversion to digital data, and audio signal compression. Through a control line from the PC, the receiver will be controlled to correct for the Doppler effect, and the antenna will be controlled to track the satellite.

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