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Using IR Cameras beyond outreach: motivational projects for engineering students

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

CoED: Embedded Systems and Robotics

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29079

Download Count

62

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Paper Authors

biography

Cameron H. G. Wright P.E. University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6029-1896

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D., P.E., is a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. He was previously Professor and Deputy Department Head in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, and served as an R&D engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. He received the B.S.E.E. (summa cum laude) from Louisiana Tech University in 1983, the M.S.E.E. from Purdue University in 1988, and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. Cam's research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and engineering education. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE, BMES, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. His teaching awards include the University of Wyoming Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award (2012), the Tau Beta Pi WY-A Undergraduate Teaching Award (2011), the IEEE UW Student Branch's Outstanding Professor of the Year (2005 and 2008), the UW Mortar Board "Top Prof" award (2005, 2007, and 2015), the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Rocky Mountain Section (2007), the John A. Curtis Lecture Award from the Computers in Education Division of ASEE (1998, 2005, and 2010), and the Brigadier General Roland E. Thomas Award for outstanding contribution to cadet education (both 1992 and 1993) at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an active ABET evaluator and an NCEES PE exam committee member.

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biography

Thad B. Welch Boise State University

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Thad B. Welch, Ph.D., P.E. received the B.E.E., M.S.E.E., E.E., and Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Postgraduate School, and the University of Colorado in 1979, 1989, 1989, and 1997, respectively. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1979 and has been assigned to three submarines and a submarine repair tender. He has deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the Arctic Ocean.

From 1994-1997 he was an Instructor and Assistant Professor teaching in the Electrical Engineering Department at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. During 1996-1997 he was recognized as the Outstanding Academy Educator for the Electrical Engineering Department.

From 1997-2007 he was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Permanent Military Professor teaching in the Electrical Engineering Department at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. During 2000-2001 he was recognized as the Outstanding Academy Educator for the Electrical Engineering Department. During 2001-2002 he received the Raouf outstanding engineering educator award. During 2002-2003 he was recognized as the Outstanding Researcher for the Electrical Engineering Department. He was an invited scholar at the University of Wyoming, fall 2004, where he was recognized as an eminent engineer and inducted into tau beta pi. In 2006 he co-authored “Real-time Digital Signal Processing, from MATLAB to C with the TMS320C6x DSK” which was translated into Chinese in 2011. The second edition of this text was published in 2012 and the third edition was published in 2017.

From 2007-2010 he was Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boise State University, Boise, ID. From 2011-2012 he was the inaugural Signal Processing Education Network (SPEN) Fellow. From 2012-2014 he and his wife lived with 20 engineering students in the engineering residential college (ERC) on the Boise State campus.

His research interests include real-time digital signal processing (DSP), the implementation of DSP-based systems, and sustainable energy systems.

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Abstract

Title: Using IR Cameras beyond outreach: motivational projects for engineering students

Abstract As a follow-on to our paper at ASEE last year that described the use of infrared (IR) cameras for K-12 outreach, this paper will describe how we are also using IR cameras for projects that better motivate our own engineering students. In particular, we are presenting students in a digital image processing course with a current engineering challenge for IR cameras: how to use images from both an IR sensor and a visible-light sensor on the same unit to provide a greatly enhanced IR image using specific features from the visible-light image. This is a state-of-the-art technique, sometimes called “image fusion,” that is used in certain modern IR cameras, and to make it work an engineer must take into account the different resolutions, field of view (FOV), and other aspects of the two image sensors. Coming up with a workable approach to image fusion is a difficult problem, and it draws upon all of the foundational image processing techniques the students have learned in the course. The students were told about this end-of-semester challenge project at the beginning of the semester, and its direct tie to current industrial practice has both excited and motivated the students. The 30 students involved in this work come from a senior-level section (all EE majors) and a graduate-level section (a mix of EE and ME majors) of the digital image processing course. Student assessment on the effect of this project will be provided, along with a comparison with the previous offerings of this same course (over the past 12 years) that did not include such an end-of-semester challenge project. A summary of IR camera capabilities and examples of student solutions will also be provided.

Wright, C. H. G., & Welch, T. B. (2017, June), Using IR Cameras beyond outreach: motivational projects for engineering students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29079

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