ENES 489P Projects, Spring Semester, 2011

[ Projects 1 and 2 ] Border Security Efficiency
[ Projects 3 and 4 ] Solar Decatholon House
[ Project 5 ] Smart Tire
[ Project 6 ] Automobile Collision Avoidance System
[ Project 7 ] Stability and Control of Maglev Trains
[ Project 8 ] Enhancing Security in Wireless Devices for the American Healthcare System
[ Project 9 ] Manufacture of Solar Panels


Title: Border Security Efficiency

Air Team Ground Team
Antonio Busalacchi
Aaron Sassoon
Oluseyi Oni
Dan Flesher
Matthew Marsh
Aaron Olszewski
Senay Tekle
Jessica Jones
Phil Tucci

Abstract: We will develop an efficient system to provide border security by focusing on surveillance and detection techniques.

In order to do this we will split into two sub-groups - one group will be responsible for air surveillance and the other will be responsible for ground surveillance.

The final goal is for both groups to come together to provide a comprehensive strategy for border security that will reduce the need for border security agent involvement on the front line. For the purpose of this study we will be focusing on the U.S. -- Mexico border.

Figure 1: Image source from http://www.wikipedia.org .

Air Team

The goal of the air team is to augment and support the current infrastructures on the ground in detection and tracking of cross border infiltrations. The highly varied terrain on the U.S-Mexico border presents many challenges to the ground patrol. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer superior coverage and support to the ground patrol agents in areas that are otherwise hard to patrol. UAVs are outfitted with an array of sensors which will be used to provide a comprehensive view of the operational environment. This information will then be integrated with the ground system in order to create a more effective and efficient detection system than the one that is currently in place.

Ground Team

The goal of the ground team is to detect, classify, and communicate unauthorized intrusions into the U.S. There are three possible ways to gain entry into the U.S. from the ground:

The ground team will design a multi-layered system consisting of both virtual and physical boundaries to guard against these methods of entry.

The physical boundary will consist of the current fencing already in use by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), augmented by additional physical structures and communications centers. Previous efforts to incorporate sensor technology into the border security, such as Boeing's SBInet, will also be integrated into our design to maximize efficiency and minimize cost. The virtual boundary will consist of multiple sensors networked to provide full ground coverage of areas that cannot be manually patrolled or bounded by a physical structure.

The virtual border will use various types of sensors, including seismic sensors, thermal imaging, vibration detection, cameras etc. Sensor diversity will increase the probability of detecting intruders while minimizing false alarms due to inclement weather, large wildlife, and other natural occurrences.

Most of the sensors in the virtual border will maintain a "low-power" state. Long range sensors, manned patrols, and aerial surveillance will provide the initial detection of an unauthorized incursion. At this point, mid-range and close range sensors will be brought into a fully powered state in order to track and further classify the incursion. The sensor network will provide real time and near-real time data to CBP agents in communications centers along the border. Once the incursion has been confirmed and classified as intruders, the closest CBP agents can respond in manned air or ground vehicles.

Project Resources (Air Team)

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.

PROJECTS 3 and 4

Title: Solar Decathalon House

Energy Sources Team Energy Sinks Team
Iman Malakooti
David Daily
Iain Kierzewski
Daniel Dupree
Zhen Kuang
William Zhao
Will Seeber
Bob Hayes

Abstract: We will attempt to model the temperature and airflow of a room given different technologies.

The two groups work will hopefully be networked to model a full, synchronous system of a living space.

The project and details are based off the work done by The University of Maryland's 2011 Solar Decathlon Team .

Project Resources (Energy Sources Team)

Project Resources (Energy Sinks Team)

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.


Title: Smart Tire
Project Team: David Billet, Zach Panneton and Jason Saeedi

Abstract: Automobile accidents account for 25% of injury-related deaths worldwide. Better safety systems within vehicles would reduce the frequency and severity of accidents. Many current systems provide "passive" safety features, such as air bags and seat belts, which are designed to minimize injury in the case of an accident. Active safety features act to prevent accidents from ever occurring in the first place.

This project focuses on improving active safety systems by utilizing advanced sensor mechanisms within a car's tire. A tire with sensors could provide useful data which would help the vehicle's control systems react to changing conditions and reduce the chance of accidents. An enhanced version of Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), where each corner of the vehicle is analyzed and accounted for separately would increase the ability of safety systems to adapt to changing environments. Such control systems would include:

The challenges of creating these systems include designing sensors that can withstand the harsh environment inside a tire, generate power, and send data without a physical connection to the vehicle. The sensors must also transmit their signals through the tire, wheel, and car body without detrimental noise. Possible technologies will be explored as to how to integrate each part of the system to provide usable data. Additional technologies can be approached using the combination of newer electronic steering racks, fly by wire and electronic brakes, and between-car communications, which could potentially allow future vehicles to be completely autonomous. The primary focus of this project will be on a means to obtain and use valuable safety information which would allow improvements in active safety features of cars.

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.


Title: Automobile Collision Avoidance System
Team Members: Deepa Jonnagadla (EE), Andy Hammond (EE), Alex Atahua (EE) and Adi Lang (EE).

Abstract: The prevention of automobile accidents is one of the most serious problems faced by our society.

An automobile collision avoidance system will reduce human suffering
caused by death or injury and will mitigate the cost
of medical treatment for individuals involved in automobile accidents.

Description: There are two possible types of automobile collision avoidance systems: systems that alert the driver of a possible or impending collision, and systems that take temporary control of the vehicle in order to avoid an impending collision.

Systems that alert the driver

System that takes control

Types of collisions


Project Resources

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.


Title: Stability and Control of Maglev Trains
Team Members: Binaym Abeye, Harsh Mishra, Khai Van, Stephen Wong, and Alan Tang.

Abstract: This systems engineering project will focus on improving the operation of Maglev trains. This type of transportation utilizes powerful electromagnets to develop high speed trains. This system allows much smoother, quieter, and faster mode of transport.

Maglevs do not have a standard engine to power the train. Instead the tracks are lined with interchanging North and South magnets which work in conjunction with north and south magnets that are on either side of the train. These create a push and pull mechanism to drive the train.

The Maglev train is a nice, new and exciting advancement in transportation technology. It creates a much faster method of traveling over long distance, for example from D.C. to New York. However, preliminary designs show issues with stability during acceleration and deceleration. Constant corrections by outside systems create significant vibrations between the vehicle and the guideway.

Our project will work towards improving the stability of the system so we could eliminate the vibrations. We are looking into using more precise magnets to create a smoother interaction and construct an improved control system to relay information about the magnitude of the vibrations so we can counter it.

Project Resources

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.


Title: Enhancing Security in Wireless Devices for the American Healthcare System
Team Members: Charles Nguyen, Rino Rajan, Andrew Baker, Miguel Villasmil, Yuchen Zhou
ISR Advisor: Professor Baras
Industry: Health Care

Abstract: Our project involves improving and analyzing the security mechanisms in wireless devices.

The security mechanisms we are considering include biometric scanners, firewalls and mobile Trusted Platform Modules (mTPM). We will investigate trade-offs in cost of implementation, performance, security, energy consumption and privacy. Our goal will be to find the perfect balance between the listed parameters. These security mechanisms will be used for doctor-patient confidentiality in the American Health Care System and could possibly be extended to the protection of key communications in military and business applications.


Project Resources

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.


Title: Manufacture of Solar Panels
Team Members: Alex Yu and Steven Geng

Abstract: Systems engineering is a valuable tool in the modeling of complex systems through reduction into simpler parts. It can be applied to chemical engineering to model complex chemical processes and plant designs to optimize efficacy and profit.

In the manufacture of solar panels, solar grade polysilicon is commonly produced through a process known as the Siemens process as shown below. Tetrachlorosilane (TET), also known as silicon tetrachloride is a product of the process, as can be seen from the diagram. There is a greater supply of TET than demand and, thus, it is necessary to convert it to something more desireable, such as trichlorosilane or fumed silica.

Figure 2: Seimens Process for the Manufacture of Solar Panels.

The system can be divided into three subcomponents:

Using tools such as MatLAB and ChemCAD, the plant design can be evaluated for performance, functionality, and economics.

Process Economic Targets: Process optimization to produce 0 TET and obtain 10% return on investment.

Project Resources

Class Presentations: ... to be added soon ...
Final Projects: Scheduled for mid May.

Last Modified: August 29, 2012.
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