Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.284.1 - 6.284.9
Computer Architecture Design Project using Actual Air Traffic Control Specifications
Joe Hartman Boise State University
Our computer architecture course includes the design of a system to solve a real world problem.
The system requirements and evaluation criteria are provided in a Request for Proposal (RFP). The class is divided into teams of four with equal numbers of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science majors. The problem chosen is to design a specialized, redundant computer to control individual messages sent to commercial aircraft via the radio frequency transponder link to the enroute aircraft in the United States.
Since the actual design involved a team of 175 engineers (managed by the author, when he was in the industry), it would be impractical for a team to do the detailed design. However, it is possible to do a top-level system design in response to a RFP. The RFP included specifications and costs for potential components such as computers, voting circuits, buses, and memory units. The teams are responsible for proposing a system block diagram, performing a reliability analysis, and calculating the projected cost.
The evaluation of the student proposals is similar to actual government evaluations of proposals - 40 % on cost, 50% on technical merit, and 10% on reliability achieved beyond the specified minimum.
The project provides training in the following areas:
Redundancy / Reliability Techniques
Cost -Design tradeoffs
Team Projects Oral and Written Presentation Skills
These areas are required for a high percentage of engineering positions, but often overlooked in many undergraduate engineering curricula.
Many of the student proposals submitted were very similar to the actual design. The benefits of a design problem based on an RFP response to an actual problem will be described.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Hartman, J. (2001, June), Computer Architecture Design Project Using Actual Air Traffic Control Specifications Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9022
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