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The New Motors And Controls Laboratory At Howard University

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovative Ideas for Energy Labs

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1313.1 - 10.1313.9



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Paper Authors

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James Johnson

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Donatus Cobbinah

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Ahmed Rubaai

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

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Ahmed Rubaai, James H. Johnson, Jr. and Donatus Cobbinah

Howard University Electrical and Computer Engineering Department 2330 6th Street, Northwest Washington, DC 20059

Abstract A generous equipment donation from Moog Aerospace has enabled the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Howard University to develop a new motor and control laboratory using state-of-the-art industrial motor controls. Accordingly, a laboratory has been renovated and equipped with three-phase power to house the new workstations. The hardware for each of these workstations is mostly complete, but refinements are continuing on the human- machine interface, controls, and data acquisition system. The key hardware element of such capability is an embeddable dSpace digital signal processor (DSP) controller board that can be connected to various sensors and actuators, depending upon the system objectives. The workstations offer many possibilities for experimentation on motors and controls similar to those that students will encounter in the “the real world.” Moreover, laboratory experiments are being developed for the workstations. These experiments will supplement junior-and senior-level undergraduate lecture classes.

1 Background

In recent years there have been enormous financial pressures on engineering departments struggling to deliver to increased enrollments, unchanging budgets, and the need to maintain educational quality. As departments look for ways to cut costs, hands-on instructional laboratories, typically expensive to develop and maintain, are slowly being replaced with simulated experiments [1-3]. While simulations are an important component for teaching students about general system behavior, they cannot always account for all the details that must be considered in designing and analyzing a physical system in an interdisciplinary, team-oriented environment. Furthermore, a laboratory curriculum based on simulations alone would not adequately present problems that students may see in a physical laboratory nor provide adequate hands-on experience necessary for effective learning. The need to control real hardware, and not just simulations, is known to all who design and build real control systems. How this applies to control-systems education is emphasized in [4]. Modeling and simulation rarely capture the “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Johnson, J., & Cobbinah, D., & Rubaai, A. (2005, June), The New Motors And Controls Laboratory At Howard University Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15448

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