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System Dynamics And Control Take Home Experiments

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

15.1157.1 - 15.1157.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16709

Download Count

92

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Paper Authors

author page

Musa Jouaneh University of Rhode Island

author page

William Palm University of Rhode Island

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

System Dynamics and Control Take-Home Experiments

Abstract

Most Mechanical Engineering curricula include courses in system dynamics, controls, mechatronics, and vibrations. At most schools, these courses do not have a laboratory component. Even at schools that have such a component, laboratory access is often limited, and thus there is a need to increase students’ laboratory experience. This paper addresses the development of instructional material in the form of take-home software and hardware kits that can be used to perform laboratory experiments and measurements at home to illustrate system dynamics and control concepts. Rather than having students perform an experiment in the university laboratory, the students are given a compact, low cost software and hardware kit with which they can perform an experiment at home using only their PC. The kits are designed so that the experiments can be conducted on the provided experimental apparatus. The take-home kit consists of three components. The first is a hardware interface board that is built around a PIC18F4550 microcontroller which interfaces with the student’s PC and with the experiment hardware. The second component is a Windows-based user interface program that is loaded on the student’s PC and is used to run the experiment and collect data. The third component is the actual experimental setup or the sensor system to perform the measurement. Four experimental setups have been developed. These are a DC motor/tachometer system, a heater/temperature sensor system, a vibrating cantilever beam, and a temperature measurement system. The paper focuses on two of these experimental setups and their testing in two different undergraduate mechanical engineering courses.

Introduction

Providing engaging laboratory experience is one of several challenges to effective undergraduate education in STEM disciplines as reported by The National Research Council (NRC) [1]. There is also need for more laboratory experience in system dynamics and control courses. To make the teaching of dynamic systems concepts more engaging and interesting to students, we have developed take-home software and hardware kits that can be used to perform laboratory experiments and measurements at home. Since almost all students have home PC’s (either desktops or laptops) that are suitable for take-home experiments, this makes it possible for students to perform an experiment or obtain measurements outside the lab at their own convenient time, as they would with a homework assignment. Rather than having students perform an experiment in the university laboratory, the students are given a compact, low cost kit with which they can perform an experiment at home using their own PC.

Several educators have developed educational material to perform measurements and experimentation in engineering programs outside of the traditional university laboratory. Scott [2] reported on take-home experiments in fluid mechanics to illustrate basic concepts such as hydrostatics and the Bernoulli equation. Berg and Boughton [3] reported on the use of commercially available attaché cases or electronic trainers that cost in the $200 to $350 range for conducting experiments at home in lower division electronic laboratory courses. Durfee, Li and Waletzko [4] were funded by NSF to develop take home experimental setups. They developed

Jouaneh, M., & Palm, W. (2010, June), System Dynamics And Control Take Home Experiments Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16709

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