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Increasing the Dynamic Range of Audio THD Measurements Using a Novel Noise and Distortion Canceling Methodology

Description: The objective of this study was to determine how a new experimental methodology for measuring Total-Harmonic-Distortion (THD) of operational amplifiers functioned when compared with two standard methodologies, and whether the new methodology offers any improvement in noise floor and dynamic range along with distortion canceling of the sine-wave source used in the testing. The new methodology (THD) is being tested against two standard methodologies: Spectral Analysis using a tuned receiver type Spectrum Analyzer with Notch Filter pre-processing, and a digitized Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) using Notch Filter pre-processing. The THD results appear to agree across all methodologies, and across all items of the sample within all methodologies, to within a percent or less. The distortion and noise canceling feature of the new methodology appeared to function as expected and in accordance with theory. The sample tested in the study consisted of thirty-five NE5534 operational amplifiers produced by Texas Instruments, Inc. and purchased from a local store. The NE5534 is a low-noise, low-distortion, operational amplifier that is widely used in industry and is representative of today's best audio amplifiers.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dunipace, Richard Alan

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

Development of a Hybrid Molecular Ultraviolet Photodetector based on Guanosine Derivatives

Description: Modern studies on charge transfer reaction and conductivity measurements of DNA have shown that the electrical behavior of DNA ranges from that of an insulator to that of a wide bandgap semiconductor. Based on this property of DNA, a metal-semiconductor-metal photodetector is fabricated using a self-assembled layer of deoxyguanosine derivative (DNA base) deposited between gold electrodes. The electrodes are lithographically designed on a GaN substrate separated by a distance L (50nm < L < 100nm). This work examines the electrical and optical properties of such wide-bandgap semiconductor based biomaterial systems for their potential application as photodetectors in the UV region wherein most of the biological agents emit. The objective of this study was to develop a biomolecular electronic device and design an experimental setup for electrical and optical characterization of a novel hybrid molecular optoelectronic material system. AFM results proved the usage of Ga-Polar substrate in conjugation with DG molecules to be used as a potential electronic based sensor. A two-terminal nanoscale biomolectronic diode has been fabricated showing efficient rectification ratio. A nanoscale integrated ultraviolet photodetector (of dimensions less than 100 nm) has been fabricated with a cut-off wavelength at ~ 320 nm.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Liddar, Harsheetal

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)

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

Design of Power Amplifier Test Signals with a User-Defined Multisine

Description: Cellular radio communication involves wireless transmission and reception of signals at radio frequencies (RF). Base stations house equipment critical to the transmission and reception of signals. Power amplifier (PA) is a crucial element in base station assembly. PAs are expensive, take up space and dissipate heat. Of all the elements in the base station, it is difficult to design and operate a power amplifier. New designs of power amplifiers are constantly tested. One of the most important components required to perform this test successfully is a circuit simulator model of an entire communication system that generates a standard test signal. Standard test signals 524,288 data points in length require 1080 hours to complete one test of a PA model. In order to reduce the time taken to complete one test, a 'simulated test signal,' was generated. The objective of this study is to develop an algorithm to generate this 'simulated' test signal such that its characteristics match that of the 'standard' test signal.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Nagarajan, Preeti

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

Characterization of Iron Oxide Deposits Formed at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: The presence of deposits leading to corrosion of the steam generator (SG) systems is a major contributor to operation and maintenance cost of pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metallic oxides and cations in the secondary side of the SG units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with the characterization of deposit samples collected from the two SG units (unit 1 and unit 2) at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques have been used for studying the compositional and structural properties of iron oxides formed in the secondary side of unit 1 and unit 2. Magnetite (Fe3O4) was found to be predominant in samples from unit 1 and maghemite (g-Fe2O3) was found to be the dominant phase in case of unit 2. An attempt has been made to customize FTIR technique for analyzing different iron oxide phases present in the deposits of PWR-SG systems.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Namduri, Haritha

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.

Effects of Thickness and Indenter Tip Geometry in Nanoindentation of Nickel Films

Description: Nanoindentation has become a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of materials. Due to its capability to deform materials in micro- and nano-scale, nanoindentation has found more applications in characterizing the deformation behavior and determining the mechanical properties of thin films and coatings. This research deals with the characterization of samples received from Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) and Integran Technologies Inc., Toronto, Canada and the objective of this investigation was to utilize the experimental data obtained from nanoindentation to determine the deformation behavior, mechanical properties of thin films on substrates and bulk materials, and the effect of geometrically different indenters (Berkovich, cubecorner, and conical). X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis were performed on these materials to determine the crystal orientation, grain size of the material, and also to measure any substrate effects like pile-up or sin-in respectively. The results indicate that indentation size effect (ISE) strongly depends on shape of the indenter and less sensitive to penetration depth where as the hardness measurements depends on shape of indenter and depth of penetration. There is a negligible strain rate dependency of hardness at deeper depths and a significant increase in the hardness due to the decrease in grain size and results also indicate that there is no significant substrate effect on thin films for 10% and 20% of film thicknesses. Nanocrystalline material could not validate a dislocation based mechanisms deformation for indentation made by cubecorner and conical indenters in depths less than 1mm.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Parakala, Padma

Effect of Engineered Surfaces on Valve Performance

Description: Performance of air operated valves is a major maintenance concern in process industries. Anecdotal information indicates that reliability of some high maintenance valves has been improved by using an ion deposition process to achieve engineered surfaces on selected components. This project compared friction for various surface treatments of selected valve components. Results indicate valve performance may be slightly more consistent when an engineered surface is applied in the valve packing area; however surface treatment in this area does not appear to have a dominant affect on reducing valve friction. Results indicate a linear relation between stem friction and torque applied to packing flange nuts, and even after a valve is in service, controlled packing adjustments can be made without significantly changing valve stroke time.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Pope, Larry G.

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

Nodal Resistance Measurement System

Description: The latest development in the measurement techniques has resulted in fast improvements in the instruments used for measurement of various electrical quantities. A common problem in such instruments is the automation of acquiring, retrieving and controlling the measurements by a computer or a laptop. In this study, nodal resistance measurement (NRM) system is developed to solve the above problem. The purpose of this study is to design and develop a compact electronic board, which measures electrical resistance, and a computer or a laptop controls the board. For the above purpose, surface nodal points are created on the surface of the sample electrically conductive material. The nodal points are connected to the compact electronic board and this board is connected to the computer. The user selects the nodal points, from the computer, between which the NRM system measures the electrical resistance and displays the measured quantity on the computer.
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Date: May 2005
Creator: Putta, Sunil Kumar

Radio frequency propagation differences through various transmissive materials.

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine which of the commonly used wireless telecommunication site concealment materials has the least effect on signal potency. The tested materials were Tuff Span® fiberglass panels manufactured by Enduro Composite Systems, Lexan® XL-1 polycarbonate plastic manufactured by GE Corporation and Styrofoam™ polystyrene board manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company. Testing was conducted in a double electrically isolated copper mesh screen room at the University of North Texas Engineering Technology Building in Denton, Texas. Analysis of the data found no differences exist between the radio frequency transmissiveness of these products at broadband personal communication service frequencies. However, differences in the signal do exist with regards to the angle of incidence between the material and the transmitting antenna.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Ryan, Patrick L.

Preliminary design of a cryogenic thermoelectric generator.

Description: A cryogenic thermoelectric generator is proposed to increase the efficiency of a vehicle propulsion system that uses liquid nitrogen as its fuel. The proposed design captures some of the heat required for vaporizing or initial heating of the liquid nitrogen to produce electricity. The thermoelectric generator uses pressurized liquid nitrogen as its cold reservoir and ambient air as the high-temperature reservoir to generate power. This study concentrated on the selection of thermoelectric materials whose properties would result in the highest efficiency over the operating temperature range and on estimating the initial size of the generator. The preliminary selection of materials is based upon their figure of merit at the operating temperatures. The results of this preliminary design investigation of the cryogenic thermoelectric generator indicate that sufficient additional energy can be used to increase overall efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle of a vehicle propulsion system.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Sivapurapu, Sai Vinay Kumar

MBE Growth and Instrumentation

Description: This thesis mainly aims at application of principles of engineering technology in the field of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). MBE is a versatile technique for growing epitaxial thin films of semiconductors and metals by impinging molecular beams of atoms onto a heated substrate under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Here, a LabVIEW® (laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench) software (National Instruments Corp., http://www.ni.com/legal/termsofuse/unitedstates/usH) program is developed that would form the basis of a real-time control system that would transform MBE into a true-production technology. Growth conditions can be monitored in real-time with the help of reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) technique. The period of one RHEED oscillation corresponds exactly to the growth of one monolayer of atoms of the semiconductor material. The PCI-1409 frame grabber card supplied by National Instruments is used in conjunction with the LabVIEW software to capture the RHEED images and capture the intensity of RHEED oscillations. The intensity values are written to a text file and plotted in the form of a graph. A fast Fourier transform of these oscillations gives the growth rate of the epi-wafer being grown. All the data being captured by the LabVIEW program can be saved to file forming a growth pedigree for future use. Unattended automation can be achieved by designing a control system that monitors the growth in real-time and compares it with the data recorded from the LabVIEW program from the previous growth and adjusts the growth parameters automatically thereby growing accurate device structures.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Tarigopula, Sriteja

Effects of a Surface Engineered Metallic Coating on Elastomeric Valve Stem Seal Leakage

Description: Valve stem seal leakage is a major source of fugitive emissions, and controlling these emissions can result in added expense in leak detection and repair programs. Elastomeric O-rings can be used as valve stem seals, and O-ring manufacturers recommend lubrication of elastomeric seals to prevent damage and to assure proper sealing. In this research, a metallic coating was applied as a lubricant using a vacuum vapor deposition process to the surface of elastomeric valve stem seals. Valve stem leak measurements were taken to determine if the coated O-rings, alone or with the recommended lubrication, reduced valve stem seal leakage. This research determined that the metallic coating did not reduce valve stem leakage.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Taylor, John Abner

Indoor Propagation Modeling at 2.4 GHz for IEEE 802.11 Networks

Description: Indoor use of wireless systems poses one of the biggest design challenges. It is difficult to predict the propagation of a radio frequency wave in an indoor environment. To assist in deploying the above systems, characterization of the indoor radio propagation channel is essential. The contributions of this work are two-folds. First, in order to build a model, extensive field strength measurements are carried out inside two different buildings. Then, path loss exponents from log-distance path loss model and standard deviations from log-normal shadowing, which statistically describe the path loss models for a different transmitter receiver separations and scenarios, are determined. The purpose of this study is to characterize the indoor channel for 802.11 wireless local area networks at 2.4 GHz frequency. This thesis presents a channel model based on measurements conducted in commonly found scenarios in buildings. These scenarios include closed corridor, open corridor, classroom, and computer lab. Path loss equations are determined using log-distance path loss model and log-normal shadowing. The chi-square test statistic values for each access point are calculated to prove that the observed fading is a normal distribution at 5% significance level. Finally, the propagation models from the two buildings are compared to validate the generated equations.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Tummala, Dinesh