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A Computer-Based Process Control System for a Target Station in a LINAC Facility

Description: An event-driven, sequential, process control system was designed for International Isotopes, Inc., to automate and remotely control a target station at the company's linear accelerator facility. The designed system consisted of two major sections: a software program (virtual instrument), which was developed by LabVIEW, and a hardware interface (FieldPoint Modular Distributed I/O System by National Instrument), which had to be a pre-developed system that did not require customization. The designed virtual instrument was tested on a simulation model that mimed the target station. The result was a valid design.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Al-Shantaf, Abdulraouf O.

Two-Phase Spray Cooling with HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf for Thermal Management of Automotive Power Electronics using Practical Enhanced Surfaces

Description: The objective of this research was to investigate the performance of two-phase spray cooling with HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf refrigerants using practical enhanced heat transfer surfaces. Results of the study were expected to provide a quantitative spray cooling performance comparison with working fluids representing the current and next-generation mobile air conditioning refrigerants, and demonstrate the feasibility of this approach as an alternative active cooling technology for the thermal management of high heat flux power electronics (i.e., IGBTs) in electric-drive vehicles. Potential benefits of two-phase spray cooling include achieving more efficient and reliable operation, as well as compact and lightweight system design that would lead to cost reduction. The experimental work involved testing of four different enhanced boiling surfaces in comparison to a plain reference surface, using a commercial pressure-atomizing spray nozzle at a range of liquid flow rates for each refrigerant to determine the spray cooling performance with respect to heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and critical heat flux (CHF). The heater surfaces were prepared using dual-stage electroplating, brush coating, sanding, and particle blasting, all featuring "practical" room temperature processes that do not require specialized equipment. Based on the obtained results, HFC-134a provided a better heat transfer performance through higher HTC and CHF values compared to HFO-1234yf at all tested surfaces and flow rates. While majority of the tested surfaces provided comparable HTC and modestly higher CHF values compared to the reference surface, one of the enhanced surfaces offered significant heat transfer enhancement.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Altalidi, Sulaiman Saleh

Linearity and monotonicity of a 10-bit, 125 MHz, segmented current steering digital to analog converter

Description: The purpose of this research is to determine the linearity and monotonicity of the THS5651IDW digital to analog converter (DAC), a prototype of the future Texas Instruments TLV5651, 10-bit, 125 MHz communication DAC. Testing was conducted at the Texas Instruments facility on Forest Lane, Dallas, Texas. Texas Instruments provided test equipment, software and laboratory space to obtain test data. Analysis of the data found the DAC to be monotonic since the magnitude of the differential nonlinearity (DNL) was less than ± 1 least significant bit (LSB) and the integral nonlinearity (INL) was less than ± 0.5 LSB. The study also showed that the DAC has primarily negative DNL although the DNL is well within the desired specification.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Bittle, Charles C.

A Study of Laser Direct Writing for All Polymer Single Mode Passive Optical Channel Waveguide Devices

Description: The objective of this research is to investigate the use of laser direct writing to micro-pattern low loss passive optical channel waveguide devices using a new hybrid organic/inorganic polymer. Review of literature shows previous methods of optical waveguide device patterning as well as application of other non-polymer materials. System setup and design of the waveguide components are discussed. Results show that laser direct writing of the hybrid polymer produce single mode interconnects with a loss of less 1dB/cm.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Borden, Bradley W.

FPGA Prototyping of a Watermarking Algorithm for MPEG-4

Description: In the immediate future, multimedia product distribution through the Internet will become main stream. However, it can also have the side effect of unauthorized duplication and distribution of multimedia products. That effect could be a critical challenge to the legal ownership of copyright and intellectual property. Many schemes have been proposed to address these issues; one is digital watermarking which is appropriate for image and video copyright protection. Videos distributed via the Internet must be processed by compression for low bit rate, due to bandwidth limitations. The most widely adapted video compression standard is MPEG-4. Discrete cosine transform (DCT) domain watermarking is a secure algorithm which could survive video compression procedures and, most importantly, attacks attempting to remove the watermark, with a visibly degraded video quality result after the watermark attacks. For a commercial broadcasting video system, real-time response is always required. For this reason, an FPGA hardware implementation is studied in this work. This thesis deals with video compression, watermarking algorithms and their hardware implementation with FPGAs. A prototyping VLSI architecture will implement video compression and watermarking algorithms with the FPGA. The prototype is evaluated with video and watermarking quality metrics. Finally, it is seen that the video qualities of the watermarking at the uncompressed vs. the compressed domain are only 1dB of PSNR lower. However, the cost of compressed domain watermarking is the complexity of drift compensation for canceling the drifting effect.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Cai, Wei

Susceptibility of a digital turbine control system to IEEE 802.11 compliant emissions.

Description: Within the nuclear industry, there have been numerous instances of radio transmissions interfering with sensitive plant equipment. Instances documented vary from minor instrument fluctuations to major plant transients including reactor trips. With the nuclear power industry moving toward digital technologies for control and reactor protection systems, concern exists regarding their potential susceptibility to contemporary wireless telecommunications technologies. This study evaluates the susceptibility of Comanche Peak's planned turbine controls upgrade to IEEE 802.11 compliant wireless radio emissions. The study includes a review of previous research, industry emissions standards, and technical overview of the various IEEE 802.11 protocols and details the testing methodology utilized to evaluate the digital control system. The results of this study concluded that the subject digital control system was unaffected by IEEE 802.11 compliant emissions even when the transmitter was in direct contact with sensitive components.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Carter, Clinton E.

Cost Savings Realized Through Proper Sizing of an Excessive Instrument Air System.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine if installing a smaller air compressor could reduce the electrical usage of a large semiconductor manufacturing plant. A 200 horsepower Atlas Copco compressor was installed with the existing 500 horsepower Ingersoll-Rand compressors. Testing was conducted during the regular manufacturing process at MEMC Southwest in Sherman, Texas. Analysis of the data found that installing the new compressor could reduce electrical consumption. The study also found there are specific operational setpoints that allow the compressor to operate more efficiently.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Condron, Ewell D.

Using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis to Determine the Mechanical Condition of Vane-Axial Fans

Description: The purpose of this research was a proof of concept using a fan motor stator as transducer to monitor motor rotor and attached axial fan for mechanical motion. The proof was to determine whether bearing faults and fan imbalances could be detected in vane-axial fans using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis (MESA). The data was statistically analyzed to determine if the MESA systems could distinguish between baseline conditions and discrete fault frequencies for the three test conditions: bearing inner race defect, bearing outer race defect, and fan imbalance. The statistical conclusions for these proofs of concept were that MESA could identify all three faulted conditions.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Doan, Donald Scott

Effect of Amines as Corrosion Inhibitors for a Low Carbon Steel in Power Industry

Description: Commonly used amines in power industry, including morpholine, DBU (1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene), and DMA (dimethylallylamine) were evaluated for their effect on AISI 1018 steel at 250oF. Samples were exposed to an autoclave containing amine added aqueous solution at pH of 9.5 for 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 hours. Morphology studies were carried using scanning electron microscope (SEM), phase analysis was done utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and weight loss was performed to assess kinetics of oxidation. Control samples showed the highest metal dissolution rate. DBU showed the best performance in metal protection and SEM indicated the presence of a free-crack layer formed by fine particles in that set. FTIR showed that DBU apparently favored the formation of magnetite. It is believed that fine particles impede intrusion of aggressive ions into the metal surface by forming a barrier layer. FTIR demonstrated that DMA formed more oxyhydroxides, whereas morpholine presented magnetite to hematite transformation as early as 2 hours. SEM revealed that control and DMA produced acicular particles characteristic of oxyhydroxides while morpholine and DBU presented more equiaxed particles.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Díaz, Jorge G.

Sunlight readability and luminance characteristics of light-emitting diode push button switches.

Description: Lighted push button switches and indicators serve many purposes in cockpits, shipboard applications and military ground vehicles. The quality of lighting produced by switches is vital to operators' understanding of the information displayed. Utilizing LED technology in lighted switches has challenges that can adversely affect lighting quality. Incomplete data exists to educate consumers about potential differences in LED switch performance between different manufacturers. LED switches from four different manufacturers were tested for six attributes of lighting quality: average luminance and power consumption at full voltage, sunlight readable contrast, luminance contrast under ambient sunlight, legend uniformity, and dual-color uniformity. Three of the four manufacturers have not developed LED push button switches that meet lighting quality standards established with incandescent technology.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Fitch, Robert J.

Design of a Monitoring System for a Plasma Cleaning Machine

Description: Plasma cleaning is the most effective dry process to remove surface contaminates from a SAW (Surface Acoustical Wave) device. Consistent gas pressures, flows, and good electrical connections between the chamber shelves are necessary for the process to function predictably. In addition, operation of the monitoring system must be transparent to the plasma cleaning unit. This thesis describes a simple solution to the complex problem of monitoring a plasma cleaning system. The monitoring system uses the LabVIEW® G programming language and hardware, both products of National Instruments, Inc.®, to monitor critical parameters necessary to achieve a consistent process when cleaning these devices.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Fooks, Terry M. (Terry Max)

A Study of the Synthesis and Surface Modification of UV Emitting Zinc Oxide for Bio-Medical Applications

Description: This thesis presents a novel ZnO-hydrogel based fluorescent colloidal semiconductor nanomaterial system for potential bio-medical applications such as bio-imaging, cancer detection and therapy. The preparation of ZnO nanoparticles and their surface modification to make a biocompatible material with enhanced optical properties is discussed. High quality ZnO nanoparticles with UV band edge emission are prepared using gas evaporation method. Semiconductor materials including ZnO are insoluble in water. Since biological applications require water soluble nanomaterials, ZnO nanoparticles are first dispersed in water by ball milling method, and their aqueous stability and fluorescence properties are enhanced by incorporating them in bio-compatible poly N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) based hydrogel polymer matrix. The optical properties of ZnO-hydrogel colloidal dispersion versus ZnO-Water dispersion were analyzed. The optical characterization using photoluminescence spectroscopy indicates approximately 10 times enhancement of fluorescence in ZnO-hydrogel colloidal system compared to ZnO-water system. Ultrafast time resolved measurement demonstrates dominant exciton recombination process in ZnO-hydrogel system compared to ZnO-water system, confirming the surface modification of ZnO nanoparticles by hydrogel polymer matrix. The surface modification of ZnO nanoparticles by hydrogel induce more scattering centers per unit area of cross-section, and hence increase the luminescence from the ZnO-gel samples due to multiple path excitations. Furthermore, surface modification of ZnO by hydrogel increases the radiative efficiency of this hybrid colloidal material system thereby contributing to enhanced emission.
Date: May 2009
Creator: John, Sween

A Study on the System Reliability of Cold-Formed Steel Roof Trusses

Description: This thesis presents a research project aimed at advancing the treatment of cold-formed steel (CFS) structural reliability in roof trusses. Structural design today relies almost exclusively on component-level design, so structural safety is assured by limiting the probability of failure of individual components. Reliability of the entire system is typically not assessed, so in a worst-case scenario the system reliability may be less than the component reliability, or in a best-case scenario the system reliability may be much greater than the component reliability. A roof truss itself, is a subsystem with several possible failure modes that are being studied in this test program. These trusses are constructed of CFS members that nest with one another at the truss nodes and are connected by drilling fasteners through the mated surfaces, as well as having steel sheathing fastened to the top chords for lateral bracing. Presented in this paper is a series of full-scale static tests on single cold-formed steel roof trusses with a unique experimental setup. The test specimens were carefully monitored to address multiple failure modes: buckling of the top chord, buckling of the truss webs, and any connection failures. This research includes the experimental results, the computed system reliability of the trusses as well as their relationship between the components reliability.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Johnson, Adam

Seismic Performance Evaluation of Novel Cold-Formed Steel Framed Shear Walls Sheathed with Corrugated Steel Sheets

Description: This thesis presents experiments and numerical analysis of a novel cold-formed steel framed shear wall sheathed with corrugated steel sheets. The objective of this newly designed shear wall is to meet the growing demand of mid-rise buildings and the combustibility requirement in the International Building Code. The strength of the novel shear wall is higher than currently code certified shear wall in AISI S400-15 so that it could be more favorable for mid-rise building in areas that are prone to earthquakes and hurricanes. Full-scale monotonic and cyclic tests were conducted on bearing walls and shear walls under combined lateral and gravity loads. Though the gravity loads had negative effects on the strength and stiffness of the shear wall due to the buckling of the chord framing members, it still shows promise to be used in mid-rise buildings. The objective of numerical analysis is to quantify the seismic performance factors of the newly design shear wall lateral-force resisting system by using the recommended methodology in FEMA P695. Two groups of building archetypes, story varied from two to five, were simulated in OpenSees program. Nonlinear static and dynamic analysis were performed in both horizontal directions of each building archetype. Finally, the results of the performance evaluation verified the seismic performance factors(R=Cd=6.5 and Ω =3.0) were appropriate for the novel shear wall system.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lan, Xing

A Data Acquisition System Experiment for Gas Temperature and Pressure Measurements on a Liquid-Nitrogen-Powered Vehicle

Description: A data acquisition system was set up to measure gas temperatures and pressures at various points on a liquid-nitrogen-powered vehicle. The experiment was attempted to develop a data acquisition method for applications on engines that use liquid air as the fuel. Two thermocouples and a pressure transducer were connected using data acquisition instruments interfaced to a laptop computer to acquire data.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Lui, Samson Sze-Sang

Characterization of Boron Nitride Thin Films on Silicon (100) Wafer.

Description: Cubic boron nitride (cBN) thin films offer attractive mechanical and electrical properties. The synthesis of cBN films have been deposited using both physical and chemical vapor deposition methods, which generate internal residual, stresses that result in delamination of the film from substrates. Boron nitride films were deposited using electron beam evaporation without bias voltage and nitrogen bombardment (to reduce stresses) were characterize using FTIR, XRD, SEM, EDS, TEM, and AFM techniques. In addition, a pin-on-disk tribological test was used to measure coefficient of friction. Results indicated that samples deposited at 400°C contained higher cubic phase of BN compared to those films deposited at room temperature. A BN film containing cubic phase deposited at 400°C for 2 hours showed 0.1 friction coefficient.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Maranon, Walter

Investigation of the feasibility of non-invasive carbon dioxide detection using spectroscopy in the visible spectrum.

Description: Pulse oximeters are used in operating rooms and recovery rooms as a monitoring device for oxygen in the respiratory system of the patient. The advantage of pulse oximeters over other methods of oxygen monitoring is that they are easy to use and they are non-invasive, which means it is not necessary break the skin to extract blood for information to be obtained. The standard for the measurement of partial pressure of CO2 and O2 is an arterial blood gas analysis (ABG). However routine monitoring using this method on a continuous basis is impractical since it is slow, painful and invasive. Measuring carbon dioxide is critical to preventing ailments such as carbon dioxide poisoning or hypoxia. The problem is, currently there is no known effective non-invasive method for accurately measuring carbon dioxide in the body to properly assess the adequacy of ventilation. The objective of this study was to experimentally use spectroscopy in the visible spectrum and the principles of operation of a pulse oximeter to incorporate a method of non-invasive real-time carbon dioxide monitoring that is as quick and easy to use.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Marks, Damian

Development of a Simplified Fracture Toughness Tool for Polymers

Description: This thesis presents research toward the development of a simple inexpensive fracture toughness tool for polymeric materials. Experiments were conducted to test the specimen configuration and the fracture toughness tool against an established ASTM standard for polymer fracture toughness, D5045, and a commonly used four-point bend method. The materials used in this study were polycarbonate and high density polyethylene. Reductions in both the production time and the variability resulting from the preparation of the specimens were addressed through the use of specially designed fixtures. The effects from the razor cut depths used in the chevron notch were compared to the fracture toughness values obtained in order to determine the effect upon the validity of the fracture toughness.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Marnock, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph)

Investigation of Immersion Cooled ARM-Based Computer Clusters for Low-Cost, High-Performance Computing

Description: This study aimed to investigate performance of ARM-based computer clusters using two-phase immersion cooling approach, and demonstrate its potential benefits over the air-based natural and forced convection approaches. ARM-based clusters were created using Raspberry Pi model 2 and 3, a commodity-level, single-board computer. Immersion cooling mode utilized two types of dielectric liquids, HFE-7000 and HFE-7100. Experiments involved running benchmarking tests Sysbench high performance linpack (HPL), and the combination of both in order to quantify the key parameters of device junction temperature, frequency, execution time, computing performance, and energy consumption. Results indicated that the device core temperature has direct effects on the computing performance and energy consumption. In the reference, natural convection cooling mode, as the temperature raised, the cluster started to decease its operating frequency to save the internal cores from damage. This resulted in decline of computing performance and increase of execution time, further leading to increase of energy consumption. In more extreme cases, performance of the cluster dropped by 4X, while the energy consumption increased by 220%. This study therefore demonstrated that two-phase immersion cooling method with its near-isothermal, high heat transfer capability would enable fast, energy efficient, and reliable operation, particularly benefiting high performance computing applications where conventional air-based cooling methods would fail.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mohammed, Awaizulla Shareef

Laser Cutting Machine: Justification of initial costs

Description: The Industrial Laser is firmly established in metalcutting as the tool of choice for many applications. The elevator division of Montgomery KONE Inc., in an effort to move towards quality, ontime, complete deliveries and 100% customer satisfaction, decided to invest in new equipment to improve manufacturing processes. A huge investment is proposed for a laser-cutting machine. It is the responsibility of Manufacturing Engineering to direct the management by justifying its benefits, which includes payback time and financial gains. Factors such as common line cutting, automated material handling system and cutting time were involved in justification of the initial cost of a laser-cutting machine. Comparative statistics on appropriate factors accurately determine and justify the initial cost of a laser-cutting machine.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Nagaraja, Dwarakish

Flow Accelerated Corrosion Experience at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: Flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) is a major concern in the power industry as it causes thinning of the pipes by the dissolution of the passive oxide layer formed on the pipe surface. Present research deals with comparing the protection offered by the magnetite (Fe3O4) versus maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) phases thickness loss measurements. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used in distinguishing these two elusive phases of iron oxides. Representative pipes are collected from high pressure steam extraction line of the secondary cycle of unit 2 of Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) is used for morphological analysis. FTIR and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used for phase analysis. Morphological analysis showed the presence of porous oxide surfaces with octahedral crystals, scallops and "chimney" like vents. FTIR revealed the predominance of maghemite at the most of the pipe sections. Results of thickness measurements indicate severe thickness loss at the bend areas (extrados) of the pipes.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Nakka, Ravi Kumar

Liquid Nitrogen Propulsion Systems for Automotive Applications: Calculation of Mechanical Efficiency of a Dual, Double-acting Piston Propulsion System

Description: A dual, double-acting propulsion system is analyzed to determine how efficiently it can convert the potential energy available from liquid nitrogen into useful work. The two double-acting pistons (high- and low-pressure) were analyzed by using a Matlab-Simulink computer simulation to determine their respective mechanical efficiencies. The flow circuit for the entire system was analyzed by using flow circuit analysis software to determine pressure losses throughout the system at the required mass flow rates. The results of the piston simulation indicate that the two pistons analyzed are very efficient at transferring energy into useful work. The flow circuit analysis shows that the system can adequately maintain the mass flow rate requirements of the pistons but also identifies components that have a significant impact on the performance of the system. The results of the analysis indicate that the nitrogen propulsion system meets the intended goals of its designers.
Date: May 2008
Creator: North, Thomas B.

Design, Modeling, and Experiment of a Piezoelectric Pressure Sensor based on a Thickness-Shear Mode Crystal Resonator

Description: This thesis presents the design, modeling, and experiment of a novel pressure sensor using a dual-mode AT-cut quartz crystal resonator with beat frequency analysis based temperature compensation technique. The proposed sensor can measure pressure and temperature simultaneously by a single AT-cut quartz resonator. Apart from AT-cut quartz crystal, a newly developed Langasite (LGS) crystal resonator is also considered in the proposed pressure sensor design, since LGS can operate in a higher temperature environment than AT-cut quartz crystal. The pressure sensor is designed using CAD (computer aided design) software and CAE software - COMSOL Multiphysics. Finite element analysis (FEA) of the pressure sensor is performed to analyze the stress- strain of the sensor's mechanical structure. A 3D printing prototype of the sensor is fabricated and the proposed sensing principle is verified using a force-frequency analysis apparatus. Next to the 3D printing model verification, the pressure sensor with stainless steel housing has been fabricated with inbuilt crystal oscillator circuit. The oscillator circuit is used to excite the piezo crystal resonator at its fundamental vibrational mode and give the frequency as an output signal. Based on the FEA and experimental results, it has been concluded that the maximum pressure that the sensor can measure is 45 (psi). The pressure test results performed on the stainless steel product shows a highly linear relationship between the input (pressure) and the output (frequency).
Date: May 2017
Creator: Pham, Thanh Tuong

FEM of nanoindentation on micro- and nanocrystalline Ni: Analysis of factors affecting hardness and modulus values.

Description: Nanoindentation is a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of films with thickness ranging from nanometers to micrometers. A much better understanding of the contact mechanics is obtained mostly through finite element modeling. The experiments were modeled using the software package Nano SP1 that is based on COSMOSM™ (Structural Research & Analysis Corp, www.cosmosm.com), a finite element code. The fundamental material properties affecting pile-up are the ratio of the effective modulus to yield stress Eeff/σ and the work hardening behavior. Two separate cases of work hardening rates were considered; one with no work hardening rate and other with a linear work hardening rate. Specifically, it is observed that pile up is large only when hf/hmax is close to one and degree of work hardening rate is small. It should also be noted that when hf/hmax < 0.7 very little pile-up is observed no matter what the work-hardening behavior of the material. When pile-up occurs the contact area is greater than that predicted by the experimental methods and both the hardness and modulus are overestimated. In this report the amount by which these properties are overestimated are studied and got to be around 22% approx. Bluntness of the tip often leads to the misinterpretation of the load-displacement data. Further analysis was done in order to find out the amount of deviation from the ideal tip due to tip bluntness. Radius of the tips were also calculated for cubecorner (41.35 nm) and conical indenter (986.05 nm).
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pothapragada, Raja Mahesh