Current Projects

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Some sample projects from the CSM controls group

Cyber-Enabled Efficient Energy Management of Structures (CEEMS)

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Cyber-Enabled Efficient Energy Management of Structures (CEEMS) concerns the sensing and control of energy flow in buildings, as enabled by cyber infrastructure. Energy is used for many activities in structures, including lighting, heating, cooling, and powering equipment. Coming changes in the way we generate and distribute electric energy will complicate the control of energy usage in buildings, yet hold great promise to enable significant improvements in energy efficiency. These changes include the development of local sources of energy production (solar, fuel cells, or gas turbines), energy storage (hydrogen production, active thermal storage, or hybrid cars in parking lots), and grid interconnections (smart meters and smart grids).

Control of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

An integrated control system is needed to achieve high performance.
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An integrated control system is needed to achieve high performance.

The goal of the Fuel Cell System Control task is the design of a control system to regulate the operation of a complete system based on an SOFC stack. The control system design is based on a dynamic model that can predict system behavior given perturbations in actuator settings, such as air and fuel flows and power loads. Ideally, these models are based on physical first principles, however, physically based models are often very complex, and take considerable computational resources to compute. For some activities, computational complexity can become a limiting factor in the usefulness of the model, and it becomes necessary to capture the dominant behavior in a lower order models that can be run quickly. This is especially true when the models are used with a real-time, or on-line automated activity, such as process monitoring and control, but this can also be useful when building interconnected or hierarchical models that can be run in a reasonable amount of time. As part of this project, we have developed of model reduction that can capture both linear and nonlinear behavior of physics based models. These reduced models are then utilized within a Model Predictive Control (MPC) implementation for integrated control of the fuel cell stack and associated balance of plant components.

Participants

  • Borhan Sanandaji
  • Tomasz Miklis
  • Tyrone Vincent
  • Ian Storz
  • Matthew Kupilik

Augmented Reality

A handheld AR system displaying a three dimensional graph registered to the cones and table.
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A handheld AR system displaying a three dimensional graph registered to the cones and table.

Augmented Reality (AR) is technology for displaying computer graphics overlaid upon the real world. Different mechanisms can be used to displaying the graphics. One option, called optical see through, is to use head mounted transparent displays, where the graphics are projected onto clear lenses using mirrors or other technology, allowing the user to view the world and graphics at the same time. However, accurately registering the graphics with the world requires eye tracking, which can be difficult. Another option is called video see through. In this case, a camera image is digitized, overlaid with graphics, and then displayed to the user. The user display could also be head mounted in this case, but hand held displays are another attractive option. For example, a PDA or tablet PC with integrated camera is a natural hand held AR platform, and a more likely candidate than head mounted displays for future proliferation of this technology.

At CSM we have developed a handheld AR system that uses 3D fiducials (orange cones) for registration, along with a supplementary mems-based gyros that supply rotational velocity information. The fiducials are segmented using color and shape. A fast absolute orientation algorithm determines the camera position relative to the default triangular model of the cones. An Extended Kalman Filter is used to fuse the pose information obtained from fiducials with the gyro data to obtain a final pose estimate that is used to correctly place the virtual object in the scene. The system runs at frame rate (30Hz) on a PC with dual core processor and mid-range graphics card.

See this description with a movie.

Participants

  • Bao Ngyuen, Graduate Student
  • John Steinbis, Graduate Student
  • Bill Hoff, Faculty
  • Tyrone Vincent, Faculty

Key Skills

Interested? Augmented Reality brings together technologies from computer vision, computer graphics, signal processing, and tracking and estimation. Key courses for students interested in AR are:

  • EGGN510 Image Processing
  • EGGN512 Computer Vision
  • EGGN515 Mathematical Methods for Signals and Systems
  • EGGN519 Estimation Theory and Kalman Filtering
  • CSCI441 Computer Graphics

as well as solid C++ programming skills!

Video Aided Navigation

Typical flight trajectory
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Typical flight trajectory

Project Summary

Integration of video data with inertial sensors for aircraft localization during GPS dropouts

Staff

  • Bill Hoff (faculty)
  • Tyrone Vincent (faculty)
  • Sean Gooding (research assistant)
  • Matt Kupilik (research assistant)
  • John Steinbis (research assistant)

Support

Air Force SBIR, subcontract through PercepTek Inc.

Advanced Automated Welding

Fanuc robotic welder in our lab
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Fanuc robotic welder in our lab

Overview

These projects seek to develop advanced methods for process monitoring and control of automated welding. We are particularly interested in utilizing real-time imaging of the weld pool as a sensor.

Staff

  • John Steele (faculty)
  • Tyrone Vincent (faculty)
  • Gunther Schwab (research assistant)

Support

  • NSF grant 01-16753 (MRI)
  • NSF grant 01-34132

CVT Modeling and Control

Project Summary

We are developing a model and controller for a small wind turbine (50kW) with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT allows the generator to operate at a constant frequency while the turbine's rotor changes speed to maintain maximum aerodynamic effciency.

Staff

  • Kathryn Johnson (Principle Investigator)
  • Andrew Rex (Research Assistant)

High rate co-evaporation for photovoltaic manufaturing

Simulation of source design
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Simulation of source design

Project Summary

Design of sources and control systems to deposit CIGS films on a one meter wide flexible substrate.

Staff

  • Robert Kee (faculty)
  • Carsten Merhing (faculty)
  • Tyrone Vincent (faculty)
  • Phi Thanh (research assistant)

Support

Ascent Solar

Electric Vehicle Autonomy Project

Overview

Our customer is developing a robotic version of their second-generation electric ground vehicle. The robotic version will be tele-operated by joystick or computer command and any deployed sensors or payloads can be monitored or controlled remotely. This capability will be provided by actuation of the steering, speed control (throttle), and braking systems. Our initial goal, beyond tele-operation, is to demonstrate rudimentary autonomy capabilities, specifically, the ability to move autonomously from “Point A” to “Point B” using GPS and while avoiding simple obstacles. The R&D effort will then develop technologies that enable higher-levels of autonomy as well as multi-vehicle cooperative autonomous behaviors, in addition to limited volume production of technology developed under the program.

Staff

  • Dr. Kevin Moore (Faculty)
  • Dr. Mark Whitehorn (Postdoc)
  • Alejandro Weinstein (Research assistant)
  • JunJun Xia (Research assistant)

Mine SENTRY

Project Summary

Development of a multiple robot search and rescue team for mine disaster response.

{lets add something from one of Manoja's papers, and ???}

Sago Mine Map
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Sago Mine Map
Bobcat
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Bobcat
Autonomous Mobile Radio (AMR)
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Autonomous Mobile Radio (AMR)



Staff

  • Kevin Moore (faculty)
  • Manoja Weiss (faculty)
  • Mark Kuchta (faculty)
  • John Steele (faculty)
  • Jesse Hulbert (research assistant)
  • Christer Karlsson (research assistant)
  • Eric Larson (research assistant)
  • Song Liu (research assistant)
  • Chris Meehan (research assistant)










Moving Horizon Estimation of Differential Algebraic Equations

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