Undergrad Research Project - Solar Splash Sensors

Spring 2013

Andrew Toth
Philip Koopman
Project description

To create a feedback system for a solar powered boat to operate most efficiently. This will be achieved by taking multiple real-world inputs such as RPM of multiple engines working in tandem to turn a common propeller shaft and matching the respective RPM, running each motor at a voltage most efficient for their operation, and sending real-time sensor data over a serial line or IOIO to an Android Tablet for user data display. Other measurements include current usage to calculate power usage, water speed to calculate total throughput of the system, and utilizing design practices to ensure the system is safe throughout all instances of operation and will fail gracefully when encountered with unexpected input. Success criteria: Minimum: All sensors' (Hall Effect for RPM, ADC, Current Sensor, Water Speed Sensor, temperature) data correctly received by the microcontroller(s) [accommodating for real-time constraints] and coherent data sent to the IOIO. The motor controllers being properly actuated. Acceptable: Minimum criteria met as well as safety features/fail-safe implemented in the event that a sensor fails to report data to the microcontroller, that the boat then warns the user, and appropriately accommodates for failure, allowing the boat to run in a reduced-functionality state if it is safe to do so. Ideal: Acceptable criteria met and appropriate documentation of system and subsystems.

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