In addition to experiments in the instructional lab courses, senior design projects as well as CAPE and robotics labs call for design and conduct of experiments and analysis of data. Determination of satellite center of gravity and calibration of robot sensors are examples.
Senior design teams are occasionally multi-disciplinary, examples being CAPE (with mechanical engineering and computer science students), Beau Soleil solar home (with architecture students), and several joint projects recently with Civil Engineering.
The second mission goal emphasizes excellence in research. This reflects the department’s firm belief that research and teaching complement each other and that our graduates gain enormously by the research involvement of our faculty. It gives them a strong affirmation that they are receiving a top-notch education from highly qualified faculty, exposes them to emerging technologies and new trends, motivates them to attainment of advanced degrees later in their careers, and provides them with an objective lesson in globalization of technologies by watching the faculty interact with their colleagues across the globe in research collaborations.
The Home Energy Monitoring Project followed the CDMA2000 (Code Division Multiple Access 2000) wireless standard of the Cellular Telecommunication Industries Association (CTIA) for its cellular telemetry link. The USB 1.1 (universal serial bus) standard was used for the link from cell phone card to the Arduino microcontroller, and the de facto 1-wire digital standard for its temperature sensor to microcontroller interconnection. It also required adherence to the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Lafayette Metro Code in addition.
The IEEE Robot project utilized Bluetooth as its telemetry link for real-time robot diagnostics, initially standardized as IEEE 802.15.1, and now maintained by the Bluetooth SIG (special interest group).
The CAPE satellite project followed the NASA CubeSat standard for size, weight, and vibration levels, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and licensing requirements pertaining to its ultra-high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) wireless links. Also for CAPE it was required by NASA that compliance to "LSP-REQ-317.01, Rev A, be maintained. This document references other applicable standards, in particular those listed in Section 2.1 and Table 1, on pages 5 & 11 respectively in NASA documentation found at www.nasa.gov/pdf/627972main_LSP-REQ-317_01A.pdf.
The Pharmaceutical Robot upgrade project required its communications board be compatible with USB and RS-232, as well as 10/100 MHz twisted pair. The Residential Solar Project - required compliance with building codes and NEC and Metro code for Lafayette.