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Incorporating auditory models in speech/audio applications

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Following the success in incorporating perceptual models in audio coding algorithms, their application in other speech/audio processing systems is expanding. In general, all perceptual speech/audio processing algorithms involve minimization of an objective function that directly/indirectly incorporates properties of human perception.

Following the success in incorporating perceptual models in audio coding algorithms, their application in other speech/audio processing systems is expanding. In general, all perceptual speech/audio processing algorithms involve minimization of an objective function that directly/indirectly incorporates properties of human perception. This dissertation primarily investigates the problems associated with directly embedding an auditory model in the objective function formulation and proposes possible solutions to overcome high complexity issues for use in real-time speech/audio algorithms. Specific problems addressed in this dissertation include: 1) the development of approximate but computationally efficient auditory model implementations that are consistent with the principles of psychoacoustics, 2) the development of a mapping scheme that allows synthesizing a time/frequency domain representation from its equivalent auditory model output. The first problem is aimed at addressing the high computational complexity involved in solving perceptual objective functions that require repeated application of auditory model for evaluation of different candidate solutions. In this dissertation, a frequency pruning and a detector pruning algorithm is developed that efficiently implements the various auditory model stages. The performance of the pruned model is compared to that of the original auditory model for different types of test signals in the SQAM database. Experimental results indicate only a 4-7% relative error in loudness while attaining up to 80-90 % reduction in computational complexity. Similarly, a hybrid algorithm is developed specifically for use with sinusoidal signals and employs the proposed auditory pattern combining technique together with a look-up table to store representative auditory patterns. The second problem obtains an estimate of the auditory representation that minimizes a perceptual objective function and transforms the auditory pattern back to its equivalent time/frequency representation. This avoids the repeated application of auditory model stages to test different candidate time/frequency vectors in minimizing perceptual objective functions. In this dissertation, a constrained mapping scheme is developed by linearizing certain auditory model stages that ensures obtaining a time/frequency mapping corresponding to the estimated auditory representation. This paradigm was successfully incorporated in a perceptual speech enhancement algorithm and a sinusoidal component selection task.

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2011

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Development of models for optical instrument transformers

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Optical Instrument Transformers (OIT) have been developed as an alternative to traditional instrument transformers (IT). The question "Can optical instrument transformers substitute for the traditional transformers?" is the main motivation of this study. Finding the answer for this question and

Optical Instrument Transformers (OIT) have been developed as an alternative to traditional instrument transformers (IT). The question "Can optical instrument transformers substitute for the traditional transformers?" is the main motivation of this study. Finding the answer for this question and developing complete models are the contributions of this work. Dedicated test facilities are developed so that the steady state and transient performances of analog outputs of a magnetic current transformer (CT) and a magnetic voltage transformer (VT) are compared with that of an optical current transformer (OCT) and an optical voltage transformer (OVT) respectively. Frequency response characteristics of OIT outputs are obtained. Comparison results show that OITs have a specified accuracy of 0.3% in all cases. They are linear, and DC offset does not saturate the systems. The OIT output signal has a 40~60 μs time delay, but this is typically less than the equivalent phase difference permitted by the IEEE and IEC standards for protection applications. Analog outputs have significantly higher bandwidths (adjustable to 20 to 40 kHz) than the IT. The digital output signal bandwidth (2.4 kHz) of an OCT is significantly lower than the analog signal bandwidth (20 kHz) due to the sampling rates involved. The OIT analog outputs may have significant white noise of 6%, but the white noise does not affect accuracy or protection performance. Temperatures up to 50oC do not adversely affect the performance of the OITs. Three types of models are developed for analog outputs: analog, digital, and complete models. Well-known mathematical methods, such as network synthesis and Jones calculus methods are applied. The developed models are compared with experiment results and are verified with simulation programs. Results show less than 1.5% for OCT and 2% for OVT difference and that the developed models can be used for power system simulations and the method used for the development can be used to develop models for all other brands of optical systems. The communication and data transfer between the all-digital protection systems is investigated by developing a test facility for all digital protection systems. Test results show that different manufacturers' relays and transformers based on the IEC standard can serve the power system successfully.

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2010

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Molecular electronic transducer-based seismometer and accelerometer fabricated with micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques

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This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of an electrochemical cell that senses the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to the output current. MET seismometers have advantages of high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 1μm, which improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 3000 V/(m/s^2) under operating bias of 600 mV and input acceleration of 400 μG (G=9.81m/s^2) at 0.32 Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -127 dB equivalent to 44 nG/√Hz at 1 Hz. An alternative approach to build the sensing element of MEMS MET seismometer using SOI process is also presented in this thesis. The significantly increased number of channels is expected to improve the noise performance. Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is developed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet encapsulated by oil film. The fabrication process does not involve focused ion beam milling which is used in the micro MET seismometer fabrication, thus the cost is lowered. Furthermore, the planar structure and the novel idea of using an oil film as the sealing diaphragm eliminate the complicated three-dimensional packaging of the seismometer. The fabricated device achieves 10.8 V/G sensitivity at 20 Hz with nearly flat response over the frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 75 μG/√Hz at 20 Hz.

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2014

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Design of a low power and delay multi-protocol switching system for I/O and network virtualization

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Data centers connect a larger number of servers requiring IO and switches with low power and delay. Virtualization of IO and network is crucial for these servers, which run virtual processes for computing, storage, and apps. We propose using the

Data centers connect a larger number of servers requiring IO and switches with low power and delay. Virtualization of IO and network is crucial for these servers, which run virtual processes for computing, storage, and apps. We propose using the PCI Express (PCIe) protocol and a new PCIe switch fabric for IO and switch virtualization. The switch fabric has little data buffering, allowing up to 512 physical 10 Gb/s PCIe2.0 lanes to be connected via a switch fabric. The switch is scalable with adapters running multiple adaptation protocols, such as Ethernet over PCIe, PCIe over Internet, or FibreChannel over Ethernet. Such adaptation protocols allow integration of IO often required for disjoint datacenter applications such as storage and networking. The novel switch fabric based on space-time carrier sensing facilitates high bandwidth, low power, and low delay multi-protocol switching. To achieve Terabit switching, both time (high transmission speed) and space (multi-stage interconnection network) technologies are required. In this paper, we present the design of an up to 256 lanes Clos-network of multistage crossbar switch fabric for PCIe system. The switch core consists of 48 16x16 crossbar sub-switches. We also propose a new output contention resolution algorithm utilizing an out-of-band protocol of Request-To-Send (RTS), Clear-To-Send (CTS) before sending PCIe packets through the switch fabric. Preliminary power and delay estimates are provided.

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2013

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Small molecule detection by surface plasmon resonance: improvements in sensitivity and kinetic measurement

Description

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. The efficacy of conventional SPR sensors, whose signals are mass-sensitive, diminishes rapidly with the size of the observed target molecules. The following work advances the current SPR sensor paradigm for the purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components of SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of measured kinetic rate constants, while sensitivity refers to the target molecule mass limitation of conventional SPR measurement. A simple device for high-speed microfluidic delivery of liquid samples to a sensor surface is presented to address the temporal limitations of conventional SPR measurement. The time scale of buffer/sample switching is on the order of milliseconds, thereby minimizing the opportunity for sample plug dispersion. The high rates of mass transport to and from the central microfluidic sensing region allow for SPR-based kinetic analysis of binding events with dissociation rate constants (kd) up to 130 s-1. The required sample volume is only 1 μL, allowing for minimal sample consumption during high-speed kinetic binding measurement. Charge-based detection of small molecules is demonstrated by plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance microscopy (P-EIM). The dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on surface charge density is used to detect small molecules (60-120 Da) printed on a dextran-modified sensor surface. The SPR response to an applied ac potential is a function of the surface charge density. This optical signal is comprised of a dc and an ac component, and is measured with high spatial resolution. The amplitude and phase of local surface impedance is provided by the ac component. The phase signal of the small molecules is a function of their charge status, which is manipulated by the pH of a solution. This technique is used to detect and distinguish small molecules based on their charge status, thereby circumventing the mass limitation (~100 Da) of conventional SPR measurement.

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2013

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Security and privacy in heterogeneous wireless and mobile networks: challenges and solutions

Description

The rapid advances in wireless communications and networking have given rise to a number of emerging heterogeneous wireless and mobile networks along with novel networking paradigms, including wireless sensor networks, mobile crowdsourcing, and mobile social networking. While offering promising solutions

The rapid advances in wireless communications and networking have given rise to a number of emerging heterogeneous wireless and mobile networks along with novel networking paradigms, including wireless sensor networks, mobile crowdsourcing, and mobile social networking. While offering promising solutions to a wide range of new applications, their widespread adoption and large-scale deployment are often hindered by people's concerns about the security, user privacy, or both. In this dissertation, we aim to address a number of challenging security and privacy issues in heterogeneous wireless and mobile networks in an attempt to foster their widespread adoption. Our contributions are mainly fivefold. First, we introduce a novel secure and loss-resilient code dissemination scheme for wireless sensor networks deployed in hostile and harsh environments. Second, we devise a novel scheme to enable mobile users to detect any inauthentic or unsound location-based top-k query result returned by an untrusted location-based service providers. Third, we develop a novel verifiable privacy-preserving aggregation scheme for people-centric mobile sensing systems. Fourth, we present a suite of privacy-preserving profile matching protocols for proximity-based mobile social networking, which can support a wide range of matching metrics with different privacy levels. Last, we present a secure combination scheme for crowdsourcing-based cooperative spectrum sensing systems that can enable robust primary user detection even when malicious cognitive radio users constitute the majority.

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2013

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Re-sonification of objects, events, and environments

Description

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from arbitrary methods of altering recordings to precise simulations of vibrating objects. In this work, methods of sound synthesis by re-sonification are considered. Re-sonification, herein, refers to the general process of analyzing, possibly transforming, and resynthesizing or reusing recorded sounds in meaningful ways, to convey information. Applied to soundscapes, re-sonification is presented as a means of conveying activity within an environment. Applied to the sounds of objects, this work examines modeling the perception of objects as well as their physical properties and the ability to simulate interactive events with such objects. To create soundscapes to re-sonify geographic environments, a method of automated soundscape design is presented. Using recorded sounds that are classified based on acoustic, social, semantic, and geographic information, this method produces stochastically generated soundscapes to re-sonify selected geographic areas. Drawing on prior knowledge, local sounds and those deemed similar comprise a locale's soundscape. In the context of re-sonifying events, this work examines processes for modeling and estimating the excitations of sounding objects. These include plucking, striking, rubbing, and any interaction that imparts energy into a system, affecting the resultant sound. A method of estimating a linear system's input, constrained to a signal-subspace, is presented and applied toward improving the estimation of percussive excitations for re-sonification. To work toward robust recording-based modeling and re-sonification of objects, new implementations of banded waveguide (BWG) models are proposed for object modeling and sound synthesis. Previous implementations of BWGs use arbitrary model parameters and may produce a range of simulations that do not match digital waveguide or modal models of the same design. Subject to linear excitations, some models proposed here behave identically to other equivalently designed physical models. Under nonlinear interactions, such as bowing, many of the proposed implementations exhibit improvements in the attack characteristics of synthesized sounds.

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2013

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Modeling and control for microgrids

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Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use

Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use advanced methodologies and suffer from poor performance and limited operating range. In this document a linear model is derived for an inverter connected to the Thevenin equivalent of a microgrid. This model is then compared to a nonlinear simulation model and analyzed using the open and closed loop systems in both the time and frequency domains. The modeling error is quantified with emphasis on its use for controller design purposes. Control design examples are given using a Glover McFarlane controller, gain sched- uled Glover McFarlane controller, and bumpless transfer controller which are compared to the standard droop control approach. These examples serve as a guide to illustrate the use of multi-variable modeling techniques in the context of robust controller design and show that gain scheduled MIMO control techniques can extend the operating range of a microgrid. A hardware implementation is used to compare constant gain droop controllers with Glover McFarlane controllers and shows a clear advantage of the Glover McFarlane approach.

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2013

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Transmission expansion planning for large power systems

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Transmission expansion planning (TEP) is a complex decision making process that requires comprehensive analysis to determine the time, location, and number of electric power transmission facilities that are needed in the future power grid. This dissertation investigates the topic of

Transmission expansion planning (TEP) is a complex decision making process that requires comprehensive analysis to determine the time, location, and number of electric power transmission facilities that are needed in the future power grid. This dissertation investigates the topic of solving TEP problems for large power systems. The dissertation can be divided into two parts. The first part of this dissertation focuses on developing a more accurate network model for TEP study. First, a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) based TEP model is proposed for solving multi-stage TEP problems. Compared with previous work, the proposed approach reduces the number of variables and constraints needed and improves the computational efficiency significantly. Second, the AC power flow model is applied to TEP models. Relaxations and reformulations are proposed to make the AC model based TEP problem solvable. Third, a convexified AC network model is proposed for TEP studies with reactive power and off-nominal bus voltage magnitudes included in the model. A MILP-based loss model and its relaxations are also investigated. The second part of this dissertation investigates the uncertainty modeling issues in the TEP problem. A two-stage stochastic TEP model is proposed and decomposition algorithms based on the L-shaped method and progressive hedging (PH) are developed to solve the stochastic model. Results indicate that the stochastic TEP model can give a more accurate estimation of the annual operating cost as compared to the deterministic TEP model which focuses only on the peak load.

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2013

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Study of charges present in silicon nitride thin films and their effect on silicon solar cell efficiencies

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As crystalline silicon solar cells continue to get thinner, the recombination of carriers at the surfaces of the cell plays an ever-important role in controlling the cell efficiency. One tool to minimize surface recombination is field effect passivation from the

As crystalline silicon solar cells continue to get thinner, the recombination of carriers at the surfaces of the cell plays an ever-important role in controlling the cell efficiency. One tool to minimize surface recombination is field effect passivation from the charges present in the thin films applied on the cell surfaces. The focus of this work is to understand the properties of charges present in the SiNx films and then to develop a mechanism to manipulate the polarity of charges to either negative or positive based on the end-application. Specific silicon-nitrogen dangling bonds (·Si-N), known as K center defects, are the primary charge trapping defects present in the SiNx films. A custom built corona charging tool was used to externally inject positive or negative charges in the SiNx film. Detailed Capacitance-Voltage (C-V) measurements taken on corona charged SiNx samples confirmed the presence of a net positive or negative charge density, as high as +/- 8 x 1012 cm-2, present in the SiNx film. High-energy (~ 4.9 eV) UV radiation was used to control and neutralize the charges in the SiNx films. Electron-Spin-Resonance (ESR) technique was used to detect and quantify the density of neutral K0 defects that are paramagnetically active. The density of the neutral K0 defects increased after UV treatment and decreased after high temperature annealing and charging treatments. Etch-back C-V measurements on SiNx films showed that the K centers are spread throughout the bulk of the SiNx film and not just near the SiNx-Si interface. It was also shown that the negative injected charges in the SiNx film were stable and present even after 1 year under indoor room-temperature conditions. Lastly, a stack of SiO2/SiNx dielectric layers applicable to standard commercial solar cells was developed using a low temperature (< 400 °C) PECVD process. Excellent surface passivation on FZ and CZ Si substrates for both n- and p-type samples was achieved by manipulating and controlling the charge in SiNx films.

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2013