June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.927.1 - 24.927.15
NASA Wireless Smart Plug: A Successful ESET Capstone Design ProjectThe Electronic Systems Engineering Technology (ESET) Program curriculum includes a two-semesterexperiential learning Capstone project that all senior-level students must successfully complete. Studentscreate teams that operate as pseudo startup companies that transition a sponsor’s problem statement/needto a fully functional prototype ready for validation testing. Over the past two years, NASA has increasedits sponsorship of Capstone projects based on the exceptional results that Capstone teams have delivered.Recently, a new approach to NASA sponsorship has been attempted. The eXploration Habitat (X-Hab)Academic Innovation Challenge was used to pursue NASA’s interest in technology development for deepspace exploration. ESET faculty members responded to the solicitation, was awarded a contract, andused a portion of the funding to underwrite a Capstone project.NASA’s Deep Space Habitat (DSH) project was in need of sensors that could monitor the powerconsumption of various devices in the habitat with added capability to control the power to these devicesfor load shedding in emergency situations. Furthermore, these sensors needed to be able to detect andfunction with 28 V and/or 120 V DC power, the most common types of power available in spacecraft.Additionally, the sensors needed to be wireless and fit within the current mesh network provided by theDSH testbed to satisfy requirements that the sensors can easily be moved if needed and to reduce mass byeliminating wires._________ University’s ESET Program in conjunction with their Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory(MISL) accepted this challenge, and over the course of 2013, four undergraduate students in a Capstonedesign course developed five wireless DC Smart Plugs for NASA. The solution, designed by the studentsin the newly established ESET Product Innovation Cellar (PIC), encompassed all of the sponsor’srequirements using a low-power microcontroller, current sensing technology and solid state relays. TheNASA hardware was controlled wireless using the ISA 100.11 protocol. The LabView-based GUIallowed the user to: 1) monitor the current of a smart plug in near real-time, 2) set a current threshold foreach device, 3) notify the user when a device has exceeded the current threshold, and 4) provide controlcapability to disconnect a device from power when in an over-current situation.As part of the challenge, _________ completed a System Definition Review, a Preliminary DesignReview, a Critical Design Review, two Progress Checkpoints, acceptance testing, and final review anddemonstration to NASA management. The delivered Smart Plugs successfully passed all functionalrequirements to the prerequisite specification in the validation testing at NASA-JSC Deep Space Habitat.The wireless DC Smart Plugs developed by __________ in conjunction with NASA’s Deep SpaceHabitat team is a first step in developing wireless instrumentation for future flight hardware. This paperwill discuss the X-Hab challenge, the Capstone design and implementation of the Wireless Smart Plug,the integration and validation testing conducted as part of the technology transfer to NASA engineers,challenges faced by the team, lessons learned, and potential future work.
Morgan, J. A., & Porter, J. R., & Rojdev, K., & Carrejo, D., & Colozza, A. J. (2014, June), NASA Wireless Smart Plug: A Successful ESET Capstone Design Project Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22860
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