Hardware-In-the-Loop Simulation

The key feature of rapid-prototyping systems is fast transfer of slow-motion off-line simulation, running on a PC or workstation, to a real-time simulation running on a dedicated processor linked to the physical hardware components. From energy production, to aerospace and aeronautics, to robotics, automotive, naval, and defense, real-time simulation and support for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) modeling are increasingly recognized as essential tools for a design.

Mobile Manipulator

The mobile manipulator consists of a two-wheeled differential-drive platform and a 5 DOF arm with servo joints. An array of 8 sonar sensors covers the full 180 degrees view in front of robot, and the wheels and manipulator joints are equipped with optical encoders. The robot can communicate through radio frequency with a PC that hosts a comprehensive software application for navigating and controlling the robot. An on-board microcontroller handles the real-time control dealing with sensor and actuator signals and radio communications with the host PC.

Smart Structure

A remotely accessible real-time control experiment consisting of a flexible beam clamped at one end while the other end is equipped with a servo motor that drives an eccentric load. The purpose of the experiment is to design a controller in MATLAB® to dampen out the vibrations in the beam.

Strain Gage and Materials Testing

A remotely accessible stress-strain test bed allows students to deterermine the Elastic Modulus, Poisson's Ratio, and the material loss factors for a variety of pre-gaged cantilever beams using surface mounted Constantan alloy strain gages. Comparisons can be made between a variety of materials including several advanced composites. The test bed is a custom experimentation platform developed from the ground up for teleoperation.

Photoelastic Stress Analysis

A remotely accessible photoelastic stress test bed allows students to visual stress gradients in a variety of structure components using polarized light. Stress concentration, distribution and failure criteria are determined using computer-aided image analysis of pictures collected using a digital camera. The test bed is a custom experimentation platform developed from the ground up for teleoperation.

Aerodynamic Subsonic Forces on an Airfoil

A remotely accessible subsonic wind tunnel allows students to obtain the section lift and drag coefficients for a symmetric airfoil by measuring the pressure distributions on the airfoil surface using a variety of pressure sensors. Some dynamic observations can also performed for the airfoil pitching with various amplitudes and speeds. The wind tunnel was adapted for teleoperation using an integrated data-acquisition hardware control system.

Supersonic Flow and Shockwaves

A remotely accessible supersonic wind tunnel allows students to characterize a supersonic flow using static and impact pressure probes to monitor velocities in the tunnel at various points along the flow. A Schlieren camera system is used to visualize shock waves from objects placed in the tunnel test section. The wind tunnel was adapted for teleoperation using an integrated data-acquisition hardware control system.

Design Laboratory

The design laboratory is a learning space for second year students in AER201 - Engineering Students. The laboratory is equipped with 34 workstations each with a design computer, function generator, oscilloscope, and Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) simulation platform.