3D Printing with Recycled Plastics: Opportunities and Challenges
Peter Anthony Fabe
Plastic waste is a significant global health and environmental issue. Inefficiencies and lack of regulated disposal have made waste plastics commonplace in every corner of planet Earth. But what if we could turn waste plastics into any object we want? 3D printing technologies utilize the same base plastics that are readily disposed of in single use plastic applications and can make custom product designs that drive innovative and sustainable solutions. However, there are many barriers that need to be overcome in the path of creating circular economies around plastic waste and 3D printing. This presentation will identify explored mechanisms and methodologies for transforming and using plastic waste in 3D printing applications, important factors in retaining performance and mechanical properties of plastics over repeated use, and infrastructural systems that need to be established to form a truly circular economy around 3D printing and plastic waste.
A Numerical Study of Radiative Fin Performance with an Emphasis on Geometry and Spacecraft Applications
Natalie Starr Douglass
Radiative fin technology is used in a wide variety of applications: automotive, electronics, and space. However, radiative fin is generally only analyzed along the thickness profile. This work analyzes radiative fin planar geometry and thickness profile in tandem. From there, the findings are used to investigate a novel dynamic spacecraft radiator system. Fins are analyzed to optimize for a variety of performance criteria, including maximum heat transfer, tip temperature, or fin efficiency. For analysis of both static and dynamic fins, a two-dimensional mathematical heat transfer model is developed. It is found that a triangular thickness profile is most critical for heat rate maximization. A fin with a triangular thickness profile increases heat rate by 38.8% when compared to a fin with identical planar geometry and volume, but with a uniform thickness profile. Planar shape is also found to influence fin performance. A fin with a rectangular planar geometry has a 6.8% increase in heat transfer as compared to a fin with a triangular planar geometry and identical thickness profile and volume. Additionally, it is also found that triangular thickness profiles produce the maximally efficient fins. Following these results, a novel design for a dynamic spacecraft radiator with annular geometry and varied thickness is presented. It is found that turndown ratios of 3.33 are capable with the novel system. Furthermore, it was found that fins with tapered thickness profile have the highest efficiency and turndown ratio. Finally, it is shown that turndown ratio and fin efficiency decrease as operating temperature increase.
Approximate Motion Synthesis by Using the Poles of Planar Displacements
The primary objective of this research work is to reformulate and solve a basic machine design problem called approximate motion synthesis. The need for this reformulation is that prior techniques rely on numerical methods and the need for significant user input. The pole method being proposed herein is a more straightforward approach that is simpler to implement and requires fewer inputs to find a solution. Our research focuses on approximate motion synthesis for the simplest of linkages, a planar four-bar. The reason for this is that a four-bar can produce an approximation solution to a manufacturing or assembly problem, and then modest variation in its components can be added to create an exact solution to the problem. The variation in its components is essentially the mingling of the four-bar with robotic components, which generates a new class of low DOF machines called metamachines. Hence, the four-bar is the approximate solution, and the metamachine is the mixture of the four-bar with the robotic components having the capacity to produce an exact solution.
Assessing and Improving the Biocompatibility and Usability of Composite Additively Manufactured Organ-On-Chip Devices
Fluidic organ-on-chip (OOC) devices are powerful tools in biomedical research, allowing for the set-up, control, and monitoring of complex biological scenarios that better mimic in vivo conditions. Currently, the adoption of OOC devices for biological research is limited due to low yields and high-cost stemming from the engineering expertise and manual skill required to design and fabricate them. Additive manufacturing techniques making use of digital modularity can reduce the expertise and skill required while increasing functionality with multi-material components. We report on our work evaluating the biocompatibility of 3D-printed cell culture devices with various materials and surface modifications. OOC devices were fabricated from Cyclic Olefin Co-polymer (COC) using fused filament fabrication. Additional components were fabricated from silicone and chitosan with extrude and cure printing and electrospinning to provide cell-culture substrates that better mimic native tissues. To further enhance the material biocompatibility and promote cell adhesion, we treated surfaces with corona plasma and polydopamine surface coating.To evaluate the biocompatibility of the materials and surface modifications used in our composite devices, we employ and optimize live/dead viability assay procedures using a combination of highly sensitive fluorescent dyes (Calcein Blue AM and 7-AAD) in 3D-printed COC cell culture devices in vitro. These experiments and the resulting protocols provide a comprehensive method to assess novel materials and cell culture device configurations. The work also provided research-level feedback on the usability of the devices which led to iterative redesign which will be reported. Both outcomes set the foundation for the future construction of affordable, biocompatible, and functional organ-on-chip (OOC) systems manufactured using COC. The successful fabrication of biocompatible 3D-printed cell culture devices using COC and additional materials presented by this project may overcome the manufacturing limitations of OOC using bioengineering strategies, which enables for future mass-production of various OOC systems.
Assessing flight task performance of general aviation pilots under varied VR conditions
Nathan A. Brelage
An understanding of how pilots complete their flight tasks is an essential element of preventing aviation incidents. Disorientation or a loss of control of the aircraft are some of the direct causes of such events. This study seeks to assess the impact of environmental factors on the ability of general aviation pilots to complete flight tasks.Certified pilots (n = 8) with experience flying a Cessna 172 or similar aircraft participated. They were tasked with flying a virtual model of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. This was accomplished using X-Plane 11 flight simulation software, Honeycomb Alpha flight controls, and a Saitek throttle quadrant. The software was integrated with an HTC Vive Pro virtual reality headset. Within X-Plane 11, three environmental conditions were created: Clear, Partial Clouds, and Full Clouds. All weather conditions other than cloud cover were the same across the environments with no wind present. No clouds are present in the Clear condition. Roughly 50% of the ground is obscured by clouds in the Partial Clouds condition. The ground is completely obscured by clouds in the Full Clouds condition. In each environment, the pilots were tasked with performing a series of 500 ft ascents, 500 ft descents, 90° turns to the right, and 90° turns to the left. These tasks were completed above the cloud layer.The pilots were assessed based on their altitude error, heading error, heading rate of change, and the amount of motor control effort that was required to complete the task. The duration of the task was also considered when evaluating the impact of the environment. The findings of this study may help to indicate where pilots need additional training or tools to aid them in safely controlling their aircraft.
A systematic review of nursing cognitive workload for improved patient care and reduced Healthcare Acquired Infections
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the limits of healthcare systems worldwide warranting studies to improve preparedness for future outbreaks. This paper’s purpose was to synthesize and identify missing gaps in the literature of nurse cognitive workload and its relation to Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) through the use of a systematic literature review. The results suggest that undesirable outcomes in nursing are due to increases in workload and stress which result from factors such as inadequate staffing, lack of communication, interruptions, and negative attitudes. To understand the effect of environmental factors on nurses’ workload and subsequently the HAI, we need to have a tool for measuring the workload. A literature gap exists in defining nurse workload related to infection, and new measuring methods which can accurately assess nurses’ cognitive workload are required.
Blend Prediction Model for Freezing Point of Jet Fuel Range Hydrocarbons
Allison Ann Coburn
Sustainable aviation fuels are a near-term solution for aviation greenhouse gas emission reduction. To become a sustainable aviation fuel, a synthetic fuel derived from a renewable source must have specifications written into ASTM D7566 as an annex to regulate its quality. However, before a sustainable aviation fuel can be added, it must be thoroughly evaluated and approved by all stakeholders through an time and volume intensive, as well as expensive process described in ASTM D4054. For this reason, the prescreening process is being developed. Prescreening is a process to measure or predict, from very small sample volumes, key fuel properties that are crucial for operability of an aircraft. The intention of the prescreening process is to inform suppliers of possible risks to passing the evaluations of ASTM D4054. Freezing point is one of the critical safety stipulations that require fuel to remain in liquid state under severe weather conditions. Methods to predict the freezing point of hydrocarbon blends are scarce in current literature. These pre-existing blend prediction models are either not validated within the typical temperature range for jet fuel standards, or they contain an interaction coefficient which is only obtained experimentally. The goal of this study is to develop a blending rule to accurately predict the freezing point of combinations of jet fuel range hydrocarbons. To do so, blends of hydrocarbons with freezing points varying from one another were tested. Binary and ternary blends containing bicyclohexyl, cis-1,2-dimethylcyclohexane, and an alternative jet fuel (POSF 12968) were tested along with separate tests including binary and ternary blends of tridecane, cis-1,2-dimethylcyclohexane, and trans-decahydronaphthalene. The experimental values obtained were compared with linear predictive blending model results. A new model based on Gibbs free energy is reliable for neat molecules, however, is currently being developed to predict the freezing point of hydrocarbon blends.
Design and Validation of a Liquid-Liquid Extraction Unit Operation Experiment
Zoe R. Boehman, Austin G. Dias, Luke F. Flottman, Katelyn Leigh Petrycki
Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) is a separation technique that transfers a solute between two immiscible solvents. The separation of ethanol through LLE is prevalent in biomass purification, gas additives, and the food safety industries. This research aims to generate a new experiment involving LLE processes in the Unit Operations laboratory at UD. Castor oil served as the organic phase to separate ethanol from water due to their differences in miscibility. The effectiveness of castor oil was measured using a mixer-settler unit (~ 2 L) with a 5 wt.% ethanol/water mixture. Volumetric ratios of castor oil to ethanol, such as 6:4, 5:5, and 7:3, were pumped, mixed, and run in the mixer-settler apparatus. At various time intervals, samples were taken from oil and aqueous phases, centrifuged, and analyzed using gas chromatography or a densitometer. Extracted samples did not reach equilibrium, and a discrepancy existed between the experimental results and the theoretical model found using a ternary diagram. Additional trials involving an extra settling chamber showed that longer mixing-settling times led to enhanced ethanol extraction. Centrifugation, however, was needed to separate the two phases. A second organic solvent, Multitherm heat transfer fluid, separates from the aqueous phase faster than castor oil. We performed small-scale experiments (10 mL) at different ratios of Multitherm to 5 wt.% ethanol/water solutions, such as 1:1, 6:4, 7:3, 8:2, 9:1, and 2:8. The 2:8 mixture showed enhanced separation based on ethanol concentration in the aqueous phase. Conversely, 2:8 mixtures of 5 wt.% ethanol/oil solution to water were mixed and analyzed. Unfortunately, ethanol stayed immiscible with the oil, and the water phase only removed 1.2 wt.% ethanol. The new mixture was targeted for ease of phase separation when running the mixer-settler unit, and the preliminary trials allowed for pursuing experimentation for a closed system mixer-settler unit.
Design of an Investment Ready Solar Energy, Bitcoin Mining, & Water Purification Package for Equity Expansion in the Navajo Nation
Matt Abele, Abin Johny
Although the world lives in the 21st century, inequality, poverty, hunger, and thirst plague many parts of the world. While developing nations receive a vast majority of the attention and aid, there are communities closer to home which should garner greater publicity than they currently receive. In the United States alone, large populations of people live without access to running water, let alone potable water for consumption, cooking, and general hygiene. For centuries, Native American populations have endured hardship and suffering at the hands of the American people and government, who seem to have all but forgotten their existence. In the Navajo Nation, the largest reservation in the United States, as many as 30 percent of residents lack access to running water and many lack sufficient access to potable drinking water. Compounding these issues are the great distances they must travel for food and water, placing even greater economic strain on the people. This project serves to elevate marginalized communities, like the Navajo Nation, by providing for the most essential needs of the community while also providing some monetary benefit – increasing equity and elevating the people. The developed micro-grid design includes a solar array and battery storage sized to provide power year-round to the bitcoin farm while also providing power for a water purification system capable of meeting the needs of the community. This investment-ready package provides community income in the form of bitcoin, while also providing clean drinking water from unregulated wells which otherwise supply the area with contaminated water. Income from the bitcoin mining operation goes to a community fund while also paying back investors in a short time making this an attractive project for investors and communities alike. Further adaptation could be implemented to provide for other community needs such as indoor farms or community electrical loads.
Design of a Soft Robot Pneumatic Cushion for Bedsore Prevention in Persons with Paraplegia or Tetraplegia
John M. Wischmeyer
The University of Dayton Design of Innovative Machines Lab (DIMLab) is working in the area of soft robot design. In prior work, the DIMLab has investigated accurate CAD modeling of the PneuNet actuator, proposed by the Whitesides Research Group of Harvard University. PneuNet actuators are mainly used as soft robotic grippers capable of readily moving fragile or asymmetrical objects. The DIMLab has started to explore the use of soft robotics in a variety of fields, from medical to manufacturing. One potential novel application of soft robotic technology is in the prevention of pressure ulcers. Persons with para- or tetraplegia, and many of our elderly, are more likely to develop pressure ulcers from being in a seated position for longer periods of time. An assistive device that can safely and automatically mitigate pressure ulcer formation is clearly desirable. This honors thesis will explore the design and prototyping of the “Derri-Air” pneumatic cushion, capable of sensing and altering the pressure distribution applied to the user’s buttocks. Be it noted that the honors thesis will not require human test subjects from outside the University of Dayton. When a functioning model of the Derri-Air cushion is developed, only students working for the DIMLab will test the device for comfort and compatibility. An important step in achieving a working prototype is preliminary research into the continued development of PneuNet-like bending actuators, including their design, simulation, printing, and testing.
Design of Custom Mechanical Test Fixtures for Uniaxial Compression and Pure Shear Testing of Soft Materials
Braeden J. Windham
SURE program work focused on implementing a photo-curable elastomeric resin on commercially available 3d printers, creating an in-situ monitoring system to collect unavailable print data, creating custom fixtures for the characterization of elastomeric materials, characterizing the mechanics of a DLP printed, self healing, elastomeric resin.
Electrically Injected GeSn Lasers towards Room Temperature
Use of group IV materials for semiconductors offers many benefits compared to traditional group III-V materials. Germanium tin (GeSn) in particular has a direct bandgap above 8% Sn composition, making it ideal for use in optoelectronic devices. GeSn is also complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) compatible and has potential applications in infrared imaging and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. However, electrically injected GeSn lasers have not yet been extensively researched. The operating temperatures for such devices are low, with the world record highest temperature at 110 K. Higher operating temperatures are desired to increase use in applications. A PIN-doped GeSn wafer was prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and wet etching. Electrodes were deposited and wire bonded to an Si carrier chip to form a PIN-diode. The sample was electrically injected using a pulsed voltage source. The electroluminescence (EL) spectra and light output versus current (LI) curves were measured. The device successfully lased with a wavelength of 2688 nm at the maximum temperature of 135 K. This beat the previous world record operating temperature by 25 K. The threshold current density was 701 A/cm2 at 77 K and 2813 A/cm2 at 135 K. Alterations in material growth and device structure need to be studied in order to further increase operating temperature to room temperature.
Enabling Renewable Energy Investment with Bitcoin Mining and Community Impact
Food desert, electricity power shortage and climate change are the current global issues we are facing. With cryptocurrency investment craze, Bitcoin is becoming more and more popular among young professionals or investors. Bitcoin mining currently consumes around 117 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production. Renewables account for just 39% of crypto mining's total energy consumption. As Bitcoin market grows, it is essential to insure power for BTC comes from renewable sources. The system we’ve devised for Dayton area includes: 1)Explore the viability of using landfill gas to produce electricity for mobile cryptocurrency mining containers. 2)Evaluate the potential for using waste heat from mining servers to heat mobile container farms. 3)Propose modular and cost effective design for Landfill Gas Generated Electricity -Cryptocurrency Mining-Indoor Farm system. According to Feeding America in 2019, almost 20% of Dayton is food insecure. From the indoor farm we can produce the nutritional crops 2~4 millions pounds. The payback period between 0.7 years and 2.4 years. Annual revenue by system will be $51M.
Establishing Soft Robot Modeling and Simulation Fundamentals to Drive Smart Hose Design
Patrick B. Hudak, Kyle Naumann, Bailey A. Reid
Soft robotics is a rapidly growing field with numerous possible applications. In grinding applications, coolant flow must be perfectly directed onto a part to prevent defects. Frequent, manual adjustments must be performed by operators, generally by bending hard tubing. By developing a smart-hose that is controlled by varying the air pressure in a series of internal chambers, machine operators can make fine adjustments to the coolant flow without entering the machine's workspace and interrupting the process. To do so, fundamentals of modeling and simulation in Solidworks using real-world material data must be established. This is done by comparing tensile testing data from physical specimens with results from Solidworks simulations of the same test using a finite element analysis to determine if a correlation is present between the two stress-strain curves. Establishing this correlation is important for determining if Solidworks accurately simulates the behavior of the material used. If a strong correlation is found, simulations in Solidworks can be run with a high degree of confidence that they will reflect the behavior of the physical actuator made out of our researched materials. The design process can be accelerated through accurate simulation by allowing for rapid and frequent iteration and simulation without needing to physically test the actuators. A wider variety of designs can also be tested in parallel, further enabling more rapid design and exploration of different styles of actuators. Ultimately, establishment of modeling and design fundamentals will result in a smart-hose design capable of being manufactured and deployed effectively in real-world applications.
Evaluating Solar Array Positioning Designs for Small Satellites
Mohamed Ali Alsadig Mohamed
CubeSats are standard modular satellites mostly used for scientific research. Each unit (U) is 10 × 10 ×10 cm with a mass of up to 1.33 kg. Due to their reduced launch costs, standardized components, and shorter manufacturing lead time, CubeSats have become an attractive innovation in the space sector. However, the weight and size limitations of CubeSats reduce the available power budget and stored energy reserves, which limit their advanced capabilities and performance. This research studies the energy output from a 3U CubeSat in both Geosynchronous and Sun-synchronous orbits with several solar panel design configurations. The alternatives include rigidly mounted solar panels, deployable panels to optimum positioning angles, along with one and two degrees of freedom actuated panels. Commercially available orbital mechanics software, System Tool Kit, is used to validate the results for orbit parameters and energy generation for the rigid-mounted solar arrays. In addition, this research creates virtual models using SolidWorks software to simulate all the design alternatives to determine the weight penalty for advanced positioning devices and ensure the packaged size remains suitable for standard 3U CubeSat.
Excess energy and cryptocurrency for a local community in Liberia
Rustam Kuzhin, Rishabh Sanjaykumar Shukla
Model for assessing of the viability of using biodiesel generator to produce electricity for mobile cryptocurrency mining containers and to provide electricity for a local community needs in Liberia. Proposed modular and cost effective design for biodiesel generated Electricity and Cryptocurrency Mining. The model considers the features of mining hardware, the price of virtual currency, Operation maintenance cost and fuel cost to produce 1 kWh using biodiesel generator, heat loss of container, cooling system for mining hardware, to predict the payback period of the investment. This work will help the local communities around the world to access the energy and cryptocurrency. Also it will help to improve the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining businesses by reducing their dependence on exhaustible energy resources and their impact on the environment.
Exploration of Data Clustering within a Novel Multi-Scale Topology Optimization Framework
Kevin Robert Lawson
An advanced computational framework is needed to design next-generation aerospace structures capable of performing in increasingly extreme environments. Multi-scale topology optimization (TO) offers a solution in which a macroscale-level optimization conditions further optimizations at the mesoscale level, where designs for constitutive representative volume elements (voxels) are generated based on the properties called for at their location in the macroscale problem. As the desired properties of each macro voxel must be met through a unique, voxel-specific meso lattice architecture, the cost of large-scale design problems can be substantial. Aiming to increase efficiency without a significant loss in predictive fidelity, we explore the use of data clustering to reduce the number of targeted macro voxel properties and thus the number of homogenized meso lattice architectures needed to attain these properties. Four data clustering algorithms k-means, spectral clustering, DBSCAN, and OPTICS were implemented and gauged by their run time and variance from the unfiltered solution. A characterization of their performance reveals the most suitable grouping method and assesses the feasibility of clustering methods in a multi-scale TO framework. Preliminary results are presented for a three-point bend problem, which provides an ideal setting for experimental validation of the proposed computational methodology. With minimal variation from the optimized result, data clustering greatly reduces the computational cost of voxel design generation by lowering the number of unique designs. K-means clustering specifically has the lowest impact on the structural performance for a set number of groups, with a 97% reduction in voxel types with only an approximate 5% increase in compliance. The present work provides insight into how data clustering algorithms can be used to effectively pass data through a multi-scale TO framework, which will be particularly important as the framework evolves from a single anisotropic linear elastic material to multiple materials, inelastic deformations, and multi-physics loadings.
Fabrication and Characterization of PVA/PEO/CB Nanocomposite Films
Birhanu Desta Alemayehu
We report on the fabrication and characterization of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) blended polymer nanocomposite (PNC) films loaded with different weight percentages of carbon black (CB) using stencil printing method. The effect of PVA and PEO weight ratio, and the CB content on the morphological and electrical properties of the PNC films were studied using a surface profilometer, scanning electron microscope, and four-point probe method, respectively. The percolation threshold of the PNC films was determined as 0.2vol%. An electrical conductivity of 0.417 S/m was achieved with 14wt% CB loading. The demonstrated PNC films can find its use in potential humidity sensing applications.
Fabrication and Design of 3D Printed Transparent Tissue Chips
Allison Marie Weekley
In vitro human tissue models and biocompatible microfluidic devices have emerged as powerful research tools and screening platforms for pre-clinical assessments of drug candidates in the pharmaceutical industry. However, there are numerous facets of the current technology that limit its adoption and impact in the industry. The usability, manufacturability, and ability to adequately model the tissues are the challenges that the current engineered tissue models struggle to address. The need for inexpensive and accessible microfluidic devices requires new manufacturing techniques and designs. This research focused on developing a proof of concept and prototype for a transwell insert that was designed to be watertight, biocompatible to culture and view cells under microscope, have the highest optical window transparency and consist of the smallest size channels possible. The device was designed in Autodesk Inventor and 3D printed via Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). FFF was desired for the device as it is inexpensive, effective for iterative design of custom parts and allows for insertion of non-FFF during a pause. The filament used was Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC). COC was the optimal filament to use as it is biocompatible for cell culturing and has a good transmittance between 300-700nm for viewing under the microscope. Achieving the highest optical transparency and smallest channel size was done by optimizing FFF settings and adapting to the limitations of the FFF technology.
Formulation for the Development of Empirical-Based Model for the Cell/Battery:Li(s) / LiFSI in DME electrolyte solution / CF(s)
The overall objective of the formulation (developed by Dr. Sarwan S. Sandhu, professor of chemical and materials engineering) presented here is to employ it for the analysis and explanation of the experimental data being currently acquired on the lithium-based cell: [Li(s), solid lithium anode / LiFSI, lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide in DME-dimethoxyethane (solvent) / CF(s), solid carbon monofluoride, cathode active material]. The formulation links the amount of charge involved during the discharge of the above-mentioned cell with the fractional conversion of the limiting reactant, CF(s). Furthermore, the cell discharge current at any time during its discharge period is related to the overall cell discharge process-activation energy barrier. The overall cell discharge process-activation energy barrier is assumed to be equal to the sum of cell voltage losses associated with the charge transfers at the cell electrode-electrolyte solution interfaces and the transport phenomena involving electrons and ions in the various cell components; for example, electron transport in the cell cathode components and lithium-ion transport in the cell electrolyte solution.
High Flux Solar Simulator
Caleb Alexander Albright
The High Flux Solar Simulator (HFSS) is a technological piece developed for the Dayton Thermal Applications Laboratory that aids in focused thermal research. A High Flux Solar Simulator uses metal halide/ halogen lamps with parabolic and elliptical reflectors to focus light similar to the Sun at a small focal point. A major goal of this Solar Simulator was to construct it inexpensively and have it be a very versatile system that was simple to understand. Since most HFSS designs are not dynamic and are laid out like a wall of lamps, we had to design ours from scratch to match our desired functionality. Specifically, we wanted the lamps to have a full degree range of motion, for it to be a layered structure, and for it to be easily operated and deconstructed. To have these desired characteristics, we have the construct as a system that can be built on piece by piece; if we wanted to take out or add a light, maneuver the lamps to a different position, or adjust the framework it is possible and simple to accomplish. Ultimately, this focused light mechanism is used for research. To study renewable energy applicability in fields such as desalination, granular flow, renewable energy generation, manufacturing, and overall study in replacing this focused energy as the main resource in energy heavy systems.
How to improve our image quality underwater?
Hao Lun Wu
In most cases, our imaging system, light sources and objects, are situated in air which only causes small distortions or absorption of light. However, when a system is placed underwater or in air which contains lots of tiny particles disturbing our environment, images show poor visibility and serious degradation. So it is important to develop some way to overcome this, otherwise we are not able to fully gain information about the object. In this paper, we propose a method using structured light and flood light to enhance underwater images. During our research, we illuminate the object with a stripe of light and flood light, recording it using a CCD camera. After processing the recorded images we can eliminate most of the distortion in our image which gives more detail and an image of higher quality. This technique can be applied in different areas such as underwater photography, submarines, and autonomous underwater vehicles, etc. Our system greatly improves the clarity of the image and highly enhances the safety and accuracy of underwater detection. Additionally, besides the underwater applicability our methods have excellent prospects in extreme weather such as fog, heavy snow, and sandstorm, etc. Compared with other methods such as ranged gated imaging or tiling imaging, structured light imaging not only gains better quality of image but also reduces the costs significantly.
Investigating the role of protein environment on rare-earth metal binding via molecular dynamics simulations
Darcy N. Setter
This project looks into the Lanmodulin protein (LanM) that binds selectively to rare-earth metals in specific binding sites. We look into why this protein is selective to the rare-earth metals if it is depending on the protein environment or the makeup of the individual binding loops in the protein. We approached this question by modifying similar ion binding proteins found in a BLAST search, and replacing the binding sites with the loops found in the LanM protein. After doing so we used molecular dynamic simulations to observe the binding in the modified proteins.
Investment ready Solar+bitcoin mining package for rural communities.
Rohullah Arya, Sayed Besmellah Ehsani, Mohammad Ehsan Naikkhua
Although we are living in the modern-day, global warming and poverty are the main challenges in this world. In this research project, we are targeting to provide a sustainable energy source and income for a rural community in Afghanistan. This will not only provide them with a clean energy source but will also support them financially. In this project, the solar mini-grid system will provide 6 hours of electricity for the community as well as the bitcoin miners installed on the farm. Basically, solar PV systems generate electricity during the daytime and feed it to the miners and battery storage. During the nighttime, the stored energy feed community electricity demand (lighting, TV, and freezer) for 6 hours, and the bitcoin miners load. Interestingly, miners earn money for this community freely by sun energy. Based on our estimation, the payback for this project is around 8 years which is a very interesting period.
Kinematic Synthesis in the Design of Continuum Robots
Continuum robots are a type of robot composed of multiple sections that bend continuously along their elastic structures. Because of this, these robots are typically referred to as “snake-like”. Due to their soft structure, continuum robots have many significant advantages over conventional serial robots: flexibility, compliance, and dexterity. With these capabilities, continuum robots are well-suited for minimally invasive surgery, search and rescue operations, and a variety of inspection tasks. However, the additional complexity of continuum robots introduces a new set of synthesis challenges as compared to their rigid counterparts. In this research, we focus on the inverse kinematics (IK) problem as a first step in addressing the synthesis (or design) challenge for creating a continuum robot. The IK problem seeks to determine how to position a robot given a desired location and/or an orientation for the gripper at the end of the robot. The IK problem for complicated systems like a continuum robot is typically solved with time-consuming and complicated numerical methods. This research approaches a novel and fast method to solve the IK problem by exploiting the snake-like curve, called the backbone, described by a configuration of the robot. Using techniques from spatial rigid-body shape-changing mechanism theory, this research intends to reduce the complexity of calculating an approximate solution to this IK challenge.
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