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Reliability of Electronics

Description: The purpose of this research is not to research new technology but how to improve existing technology and understand how the manufacturing process works. Reliability Engineering fall under the category of Quality Control and uses predictions through statistical measurements and life testing to figure out if a specific manufacturing technique will meet customer satisfaction. The research also answers choice of materials and choice of manufacturing process to provide a device that will not only meet but exceed customer demand. Reliability Engineering is one of the final testing phases of any new product development or redesign.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Wickstrom, Larry E.

An Application of Digital Video Recording and Off-grid Technology to Burrowing Owl Conservation Research

Description: Through this research, engineering students and conservation biologists constructed an off-grid video system for observing western burrowing owls in El Paso, Texas. The burrowing owl has a declining population and their range decreasing, driving scientists' interest to see inside the den for observing critical nesting behavior. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists wanted videos from inside the dark, isolated hillside owl burrows. This research yielded a replicable multi-camera prototype, empowering others to explore applications of engineering and wildlife monitoring. The remote station used an off-the-shelf video recording system, solar panels, charge controller, and lead acid batteries. Four local K-12 science educators participated in system testing at Lake Ray Roberts State Park through the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET, NSF #1132585) program, as well as four undergraduate engineering students as senior design research.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Williams, Jennifer M.

Design Space Exploration of Domain Specific CGRAs Using Crowd-sourcing

Description: CGRAs (coarse grained reconfigurable array architectures) try to fill the gap between FPGAs and ASICs. Over three decades, the research towards CGRA design has produced number of architectures. Each of these designs lie at different points on a line drawn between FPGAs and ASICs, depending on the tradeoffs and design choices made during the design of architectures. Thus, design space exploration (DSE) takes a very important role in the circuit design process. In this work I propose the design space exploration of CGRAs can be done quickly and efficiently through crowd-sourcing and a game driven approach based on an interactive mapping game UNTANGLED and a design environment called SmartBricks. Both UNTANGLED and SmartBricks have been developed by our research team at Reconfigurable Computing Lab, UNT. I present the results of design space exploration of domain-specific reconfigurable architectures and compare the results comparing stripe vs mesh style, heterogeneous vs homogeneous. I also compare the results obtained from different interconnection topologies in mesh. These results show that this approach offers quick DSE for designers and also provides low power architectures for a suite of benchmarks. All results were obtained using standard cell ASICs with 90 nm process.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Sistla, Anil Kumar

Dynamic WIFI Fingerprinting Indoor Positioning System

Description: A technique is proposed to improve the accuracy of indoor positioning systems based on WIFI radio-frequency signals by using dynamic access points and fingerprints (DAFs). Moreover, an indoor position system that relies solely in DAFs is proposed. The walking pattern of indoor users is classified as dynamic or static for indoor positioning purposes. I demonstrate that the performance of a conventional indoor positioning system that uses static fingerprints can be enhanced by considering dynamic fingerprints and access points. The accuracy of the system is evaluated using four positioning algorithms and two random access point selection strategies. The system facilitates the location of people where there is no wireless local area network (WLAN) infrastructure deployed or where the WLAN infrastructure has been drastically affected, for example by natural disasters. The system can be used for search and rescue operations and for expanding the coverage of an indoor positioning system.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Reyes, Omar Costilla

The Effect of Mobility on Wireless Sensor Networks

Description: Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have gained attention in recent years with the proliferation of the micro-electro-mechanical systems, which has led to the development of smart sensors. Smart sensors has brought WSNs under the spotlight and has created numerous different areas of research such as; energy consumption, convergence, network structures, deployment methods, time delay, and communication protocols. Convergence rates associated with information propagations of the networks will be questioned in this thesis. Mobility is an expensive process in terms of the associated energy costs. In a sensor network, mobility has significant overhead in terms of closing old connections and creating new connections as mobile sensor nodes move from one location to another. Despite these drawbacks, mobility helps a sensor network reach an agreement more quickly. Adding few mobile nodes to an otherwise static network will significantly improve the network’s ability to reach consensus. This paper shows the effect of the mobility on convergence rate of the wireless sensor networks, through Eigenvalue analysis, modeling and simulation.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Hasir, Ibrahim

An Interactive Framework for Teaching Fundamentals of Digital Logic Design and VLSI Design

Description: Integrated Circuits (ICs) have a broad range of applications in healthcare, military, consumer electronics etc. The acronym VLSI stands for Very Large Scale Integration and is a process of making ICs by placing millions of transistors on a single chip. Because of advancements in VLSI design technologies, ICs are getting smaller, faster in speed and more efficient, making personal devices handy, and with more features. In this thesis work an interactive framework is designed in which the fundamental concepts of digital logic design and VLSI design such as logic gates, MOS transistors, combinational and sequential logic circuits, and memory are presented in a simple, interactive and user friendly way to create interest in students towards engineering fields, especially Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Most of the concepts are explained in this framework by taking the examples which we see in our daily lives. Some of the critical design concerns such as power and performance are presented in an interactive way to make sure that students can understand these significant concepts in an easy and user friendly way.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Battina, Brahmasree

Teaching Fundamentals of Digital Logic Design and VLSI Design Using Computational Textiles

Description: This thesis presents teaching fundamentals of digital logic design and VLSI design for freshmen and even for high school students using e-textiles. This easily grabs attention of students as it is creative and interesting. Using e-textiles to project these concepts would be easily understood by students at young age. This involves stitching electronic circuits on a fabric using basic components like LEDs, push buttons and so on. The functioning of these circuits is programmed in Lilypad Arduino. By using this method, students get exposed to basic electronic concepts at early stage which eventually develops interest towards engineering field.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Inampudi, Sivateja

Design and Application of a New Planar Balun

Description: The baluns are the key components in balanced circuits such balanced mixers, frequency multipliers, push–pull amplifiers, and antennas. Most of these applications have become more integrated which demands the baluns to be in compact size and low cost. In this thesis, a new approach about the design of planar balun is presented where the 4-port symmetrical network with one port terminated by open circuit is first analyzed by using even- and odd-mode excitations. With full design equations, the proposed balun presents perfect balanced output and good input matching and the measurement results make a good agreement with the simulations. Second, Yagi-Uda antenna is also introduced as an entry to fully understand the quasi-Yagi antenna. Both of the antennas have the same design requirements and present the radiation properties. The arrangement of the antenna’s elements and the end-fire radiation property of the antenna have been presented. Finally, the quasi-Yagi antenna is used as an application of the balun where the proposed balun is employed to feed a quasi-Yagi antenna. The antenna is working in the S-band radio frequency and achieves a measured 36% fractional bandwidth for return loss less than -10 dB. The antenna demonstrates a good agreement between its measurement and simulation results. The impact of the parasitic director on the antenna’s performance is also investigated. The gain and the frequency range of the antenna have been reduced due to the absence of this element. This reduction presents in simulation and measurement results with very close agreement.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Mohamed, Younes

Design of Tunable/Reconfigurable and Compact Microwave Devices

Description: With the rapid development of the modern technology, radio frequency and microwave systems are playing more and more important roles. Since the time the first microwave device was invented, they have been leading not only the military but also our daily life to a new era. In order to make the devices have more practical applications, more and more strict requirements have been imposed. For example, good adaptability, reduced cost and shrank size are highly required. In this thesis, three devices are designed based on this requirement. At first, a symmetric four-port microwave varactor based 90-degree directional coupler with tunable coupling ratios and reconfigurable responses is presented. The proposed coupler is designed based on the modified structure of a crossover, where varactors are loaded. Then, a novel reconfigurable 3-dB directional coupler is presented. Varactors and inductors are loaded to the device to realize the reconfigurable performance. By adjusting the voltage applied to the varactors, the proposed coupler can be reconfigured from a branch-line coupler (90-degree coupler) to a rat-race coupler (180 degree coupler) and vice versa. At last, two types (Type-I and Type-II) of microwave baluns with generalized structures are presented. Different from the conventional transmission-line-based baluns where λ/2 transmission lines or λ/4 coupled lines are used, the proposed baluns are constructed by transmission lines with arbitrary electrical lengths.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Zhou, Mi

Development of a Cost Effective Wireless Sensor System for Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Applications

Description: Poor air quality can greatly affect the public health. Research studies indicate that indoor air can be more polluted than the outdoor air. An indoor air quality monitoring system will help to create an awareness of the quality of air inside which will eventually help in improving it. The objective of this research is to develop a low cost wireless sensor system for indoor air quality monitoring. The major cost reduction of the system is achieved by using low priced sensors. Interface circuits had to be designed to make these sensors more accurate. The system is capable of measuring carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, temperature, humidity and volatile organic compounds. The prototype sensor node modules were developed. The sensor nodes were the connected together by Zigbee network. The nodes were developed in such a way that it is compact in size and wireless connection of sensor nodes enable to collect air quality data from multiple locations simultaneously. The collected data was stored in a computer. We employed linear least-square approach for the calibration of each sensor to derive a conversion formula for converting the sensor readings to engineering units. The system was tested with different pollutants and data collected was compared with a professional grade monitoring system for analyzing its performance. The results indicated that the data from our system matched quite well with the professional grade monitoring system.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Abraham, Sherin

Development of High Gain Ultraviolet Photo Detectors Based on Zinc Oxide Nanowires

Description: Semiconductor nanowires acts as an emerging class of materials with great potential for applications in future electronic devices. Small size, large surface to volume ratio and high carrier mobility of nanowires make them potentially useful for electronic applications with high integration density. In this thesis, the focus was on the growth of high quality ZnO nanowires, fabrication of field effect transistors and UV- photodetectros based on them. Intrinsic nanowire parameters such as carrier concentration, field effect mobility and resistivity were measured by configuring nanowires as field effect transistors. The main contribution of this thesis is the development of a high gain UV photodetector. A single ZnO nanowire functioning as a UV photodetector showed promising results with an extremely high spectral responsivity of 120 kA/W at wavelength of 370 nm. This corresponds to high photoconductive gain of 2150. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest responsivity and gain reported so far, the previous values being responsivity=40 kA/W and gain=450. The enhanced photoconductive behavior is attributed to the presence of surface states that acts as hole traps which increase the life time of photogenerated electrons raising the photocurrent. This work provides the evidence of such solid states and preliminary results to modify the surface of ZnO nanowire is also produced.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Mallampati, Bhargav

Dual-band Microwave Device Design

Description: This thesis presents a brief introduction to microwave components and technology. It also presents two novel dual-band designs, their analysis, topology, simulation and fabrication. In chapter 2, a novel dual-band bandpass filter using asymmetric stub-loaded stepped-impedance resonators (SLSIRs) operating at 1 and 2.6 GHz is shown. This type of design applies suitable arrangements to improve the filter’s performance. Then, in chapter 3, a novel dual-band balun (transforms unbalanced input signals to balanced output signals or vice versa) operating at 1.1 and 2 GHz with flexible frequency ratios is presented, which has more advantages in microwave applications. Then, conclusion and future works are discussed in chapter 4.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Li Shen, Andres E.

An Implementation of Consensus Through Bluetooth Communication

Description: This thesis provides an implementation of consensus of multi-agent networked systems. Consensus problem is an important issue of distributed computing and has various algorithms and applications in the field of electronical and computer science. The consensus requests all nodes of a network reach an agreement over a certain measurement. An algorithm of convergent consensus problem is implemented through a small network of Bluetooth communication in the thesis. The connections of the Bluetooth devices are wireless, and the device nodes of the network are driven by C++ software and Winsock API. The simulation results show that the implementation completes all the requirements of the distributed consensus algorithm.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Wang, Yinan

A Lego Mindstorms Nxt Based Test Bench for Multiagent Exploratory Systems and Distributed Network Partitioning

Description: Networks of communicating agents require distributed algorithms for a variety of tasks in the field of network analysis and control. For applications such as swarms of autonomous vehicles, ad hoc and wireless sensor networks, and such military and civilian applications as exploring and patrolling a robust autonomous system that uses a distributed algorithm for self-partitioning can be significantly helpful. A single team of autonomous vehicles in a field may need to self-dissemble into multiple teams, conducive to completing multiple control tasks. Moreover, because communicating agents are subject to changes, namely, addition or failure of an agent or link, a distributed or decentralized algorithm is favorable over having a central agent. A framework to help with the study of self-partitioning of such multi agent systems that have most basic mobility model not only saves our time in conception but also gives us a cost effective prototype without negotiating the physical realization of the proposed idea. In this thesis I present my work on the implementation of a flexible and distributed stochastic partitioning algorithm on the Lego® Mindstorms’ NXT on a graphical programming platform using National Instruments’ LabVIEW™ forming a team of communicating agents via NXT-Bee radio module. We single out mobility, communication and self-partition as the core elements of the work. The goal is to randomly explore a precinct for reference sites. Agents who have discovered the reference sites announce their target acquisition to form a network formed based upon the distance of each agent with the other wherein the self-partitioning begins to find an optimal partition. Further, to illustrate the work, an experimental test-bench of five Lego NXT robots is presented.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Patil, Riya Raghuvir

A Low-cost Wireless Sensor Network System Using Raspberry Pi and Arduino for Environmental Monitoring Applications

Description: Sensors are used to convert physical quantity into numerical data. Various types of sensors can be coupled together to make a single node. A distributed array of these nodes can be deployed to collect environmental data by using appropriate sensors. Application of low powered short range radio transceivers as a communication medium between spatially distributed sensor nodes is known as wireless sensor network. In this thesis I build such a network by using Arduino, Raspberry Pi and XBee. My goal was to accomplish a prototype system so that the collected data can be stored and managed both from local and remote locations. The system was targeted for both indoor and outdoor environment. As a part of the development a controlling application was developed to manage the sensor nodes, wireless transmission, to collect and store data using a database management service. Raspberry Pi was used as base station and webserver. Few web based application was developed for configuring the network, real time monitoring, and database management. Whole system functions as a single entity. The use of open source hardware and software made it possible to keep the cost of the system low. The successful development of the system can be considered as a prototype which needs to be expanded for large scale environmental monitoring applications.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ferdoush, Sheikh Mohammad

Low Leakage Asymmetric Stacked Sram Cell

Description: Memory is an important part of any digital processing system. On-chip SRAM can be found in various levels of the memory hierarchy in a processor and occupies a considerable area of the chip. Leakage is one of the challenges which shrinking of technology has introduced and the leakage of SRAM constitutes a substantial part of the total leakage power of the chip due to its large area and the fact that many of the cells are idle without any access. In this thesis, we introduce asymmetric SRAM cells using stacked transistors which reduce the leakage up to 26% while increasing the delay of the cell by only 1.2% while reducing the read noise margin of the cell by only 15.7%. We also investigate an asymmetric cell configuration in which increases the delay by 33% while reduces the leakage up to 30% and reducing the read noise margin by only 1.2% compared to a regular SRAM cell.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ahrabi, Nina

A 018μm Cmos Transmitter for Ecg Signals

Description: Electrocardiography (ECG) signal transmitter is the device used to transmit the electrical signals of the heart to the remote machine. These electrical signals are ECG signals caused due to electrical activities in the heart. ECG signals have very low amplitude and frequency; hence amplification of the signals is needed to strengthen the signal. Conversion of the amplified signal into digital information and transmitting that information without losing any data is the key. This information is further used in monitoring the heart.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Kakarna, Tejaswi

A Comprehensive Modeling Framework for Airborne Mobility

Description: Mobility models serve as the foundation for evaluating and designing airborne networks. Due to the significant impact of mobility models on the network performance, mobility models for airborne networks (ANs) must realistically capture the attributes of ANs. In this paper, I develop a comprehensive modeling framework for ANs. The work I have done is concluded as the following three parts. First, I perform a comprehensive and comparative analysis of AN mobility models and evaluate the models based on several metrics: 1) networking performance, 2) ability to capture the mobility attributes of ANs, 3) randomness levels and 4) associated applications. Second, I develop two 3D mobility models and realistic boundary models. The mobility models follow physical laws behind aircraft maneuvering and therefore capture the characteristics of aircraft trajectories. Third, I suggest an estimation procedure to extract parameters in one of the models that I developed from real flight test data. The good match between the estimated trajectories and real flight trajectories also validate the suitability of the model. The mobility models and the estimation procedure lead to the creation of “realistic” simulation and evaluation environment for airborne networks.
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Date: December 2013
Creator: Xie, Junfei

Parameter Estimation Using Consensus Building Strategies with Application to Sensor Networks

Description: Sensor network plays a significant role in determining the performance of network inference tasks. A wireless sensor network with a large number of sensor nodes can be used as an effective tool for gathering data in various situations. One of the major issues in WSN is developing an efficient protocol which has a significant impact on the convergence of the network. Parameter estimation is one of the most important applications of sensor network. In order to model such large and complex networks for estimation, efficient strategies and algorithms which take less time to converge are being developed. To deal with this challenge, an approach of having multilayer network structure to estimate parameter and reach convergence in less time is estimated by comparing it with known gossip distributed algorithm. Approached Multicast multilayer algorithm on a network structure of Gaussian mixture model with two components to estimate parameters were compared and simulated with gossip algorithm. Both the algorithms were compared based on the number of iterations the algorithms took to reach convergence by using Expectation Maximization Algorithm.Finally a series of theoretical and practical results that explicitly showed that Multicast works better than gossip in large and complex networks for estimation in consensus building strategies.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Dasgupta, Kaushani

Design and Application of Phased Array System

Description: Since its invention, phased array has been extensively applied in both military and civil areas. The applications include target detecting and tracking, space probe communication, broadcasting, human-machine interfaces, and remote sensing. Although the phased array applications show a broad range of potential market, there are some limitations of phased array's development: high cost, complex structure, narrow bandwidth, and high power consumption. Therefore, novel ideas are needed to reduce these constraints. In this thesis, several new approaches about the design and application of phased array are presents. First, the principle of phased array and fundamental design equations are introduced. Second, a new application of phased array antenna for radar respiration measurement is presented. By integrating a 4×4 Butler matrix with four-element antenna array, there will be four distinct main beams in radiation pattern. This new approach can improve the measurement accuracy and realize a high detecting rate. Third, a compact phased array antenna system based on dual-band operations is introduced. Dual-band function can make N-antenna system obtain 2N unique radiation beams (N is an integer) and achieve a significant size reduction compared to the conventional single-band system. To verify the design concept, a four-element phased array antenna working at 5GHz and 8GHz is designed and fabricated. The measurement results make a good agreement with the simulations. Finally, a novel architecture of steering phase feeding network by using bi-directional series-fed topology is presented. This bi-directional series-fed network needs less phase shifters and realizes steering phase function by applying control voltage.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Ren, Han

Synthesis and Design of Microwave Filters and Duplexers with Single and Dual Band Responses

Description: In this thesis the general Chebyshev filter synthesis procedure to generate transfer and reflection polynomials and coupling matrices were described. Key concepts such as coupled resonators, non-resonant nodes have been included. This is followed by microwave duplexer synthesis. Next, a technique to design dual band filter has been described including ways to achieve desired return loss and rejection levels at specific bands by manipulating the stopbands and transmission zeros. The concept of dual band filter synthesis has been applied on the synthesis of microwave duplexer to propose a method to synthesize dual band duplexers. Finally a numerical procedure using Cauchy method has been described to estimate the filter and duplexer polynomials from measured responses. The concepts in this thesis can be used to make microwave filters and duplexers more compact, efficient and cost effective.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Mandal, Iman K.

Data Transmission in Quantized Consensus

Description: In the world of networked system, average consensus is an important dimension of co-ordinate control and cooperation. Since the communication medium is digital, real value cannot be transmitted and we need to perform quantization before data transmission. But for the quantization, error is introduced in exact value and initial average is lost. Based on this limitation, my 16 bit quantization method (sending MSB in 1-4 cycle and MSB+LSB in 5th cycle) reduces error significantly and preserves initial average. Besides, it works on all types of graphs (star, complete, ring, random geometric graph). My other algorithm, distributing averaging algorithm (PQDA) with probabilistic quantization also works on random geometric graph, star, ring and slow co-herency graph. It shows significant reduced error and attain strict consensus.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Parvez, Imtiaz

Design of a Dual Band Gan Pa Utilizing Dual Band Impedance Transformers

Description: This thesis discusses the design, fabrication, and testing of a high efficiency, dual band radio frequency power amplifier. While it is difficult to demonstrate an exact mode of operation for power amplifiers at radio frequencies, based on the characteristics of the transistor itself, the argument can be made that our high efficiency performance is due to an approximation to class E operation. The PA is designed around a CGH40025 transistor manufactured by Cree, Inc, which has developed a very useful nonlinear model of its transistor, which allows use of software load/source pull methods to determine optimum impedances to be presented to the gate and drain (hereafter referred to as source and load) of the transistor at each band of operation. A recent work on dual-band impedance matching is then used to design distributed element networks in order to present conjugate matches of these impedances to the transistor. This is followed by a careful layout, after which the PA is then fabricated on a low-impedance substrate using a LPKF Protomat S63 rapid prototyping machine. Measurements of gain and drain current provide values for power-added-efficiency. Simulated gains were 21 and 18 dB at 800 MHz and 1.85 GHz, respectively, with PAE around 63% for both bands. Measurements taken from the fabricated PA showed gains of 20 and 16 dB at each band, but PAE of 80% at 800 MHz and 43% at 1.85 GHz.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Poe, David R.

Design of a Wideband Class J Power Amplifier

Description: A conventional RF power amplifier will convert the low powered radio frequency signals into high powered signals. Along with the expected ability to increase the communication distance, data transfer rates, RF power amplifiers also have many applications which include military radar system, whether forecasting, etc. The main objective of any power amplifier research is to increase the efficiency while maintaining linearity and broadening the frequency of operation. The main motivation for the renewed interest in PA technology comes from the technical challenges and the economics of modern digital communication systems. Modern communications require high linear power amplifiers and in order to reduce the complete system cost, it is necessary to have a single broadband power amplifier, which can amplify multiple carriers. The improvement in the efficiency of the power amplifier increases the battery life and also reduces the cooling requirements for the same output power. In this thesis, I aim to design and build a wideband class J power amplifier suitable for modern communications. For wideband operation of the GaN technology PA, a bandwidth extension design method is studied and implemented. The simulation results are proved to have a good argument with the theoretical calculations.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Raavi, Srinivasa