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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Frequency–Modulated Continuous–Wave Millimeter–Band Radar for Volcanic Ash Detection

Description

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus,

The use of conventional weather radar in vulcanology leads to two problems: the radars often use wavelengths which are too long to detect the fine ash particles, and they cannot be field–adjusted to fit the wide variety of eruptions. Thus, to better study these geologic processes, a new radar must be developed that is easily reconfigurable to allow for flexibility and can operate at sufficiently short wavelengths.

This thesis investigates how to design a radar using a field–programmable gate array board to generate the radar signal, and process the returned signal to determine the distance and concentration of objects (in this case, ash). The purpose of using such a board lies in its reconfigurability—a design can (relatively easily) be adjusted, recompiled, and reuploaded to the hardware with none of the cost or time overhead required of a standard weather radar.

The design operates on the principle of frequency–modulated continuous–waves, in which the output signal frequency changes as a function of time. The difference in transmit and echo frequencies determines the distance of an object, while the magnitude of a particular difference frequency corresponds to concentration. Thus, by viewing a spectrum of frequency differences, one is able to see both the concentration and distances of ash from the radar.

The transmit signal data was created in MATLAB®, while the radar was designed with MATLAB® Simulink® using hardware IP blocks and implemented on the ROACH2 signal processing hardware, which utilizes a Xilinx® Virtex®–6 chip. The output is read from a computer linked to the hardware through Ethernet, using a Python™ script. Testing revealed minor flaws due to the usage of lower–grade components in the prototype. However, the functionality of the proposed radar design was proven, making this approach to radar a promising path for modern vulcanology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Development of Frequency Selective Surfaces for RF Interrogator Design

Description

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency of (i.e, frequency of maximum backscatter from) a target resulting from an environmental input. The general idea of this honors project was to design three frequency selective surfaces that would act as surrogate backscattering or reflecting targets that each contains a distinct frequency response. Using 3-D electromagnetic simulation software, three surrogate targets exhibiting bandpass frequency responses at distinct frequencies were designed and presented in this thesis.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Coffee Can Radar Antenna Redesign for SAR Applications

Description

The purpose of this project is to analyze the MIT OpenCourseWare coffee can radar design and modify it to be better suited for drone based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications while maintaining the low-cost aspect of the original design. The

The purpose of this project is to analyze the MIT OpenCourseWare coffee can radar design and modify it to be better suited for drone based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications while maintaining the low-cost aspect of the original design. The MIT coffee can radar can function as a ranged radar, a Doppler radar, or as SAR. Through simulations and research, the suggestions for how to modify the radar resulted in swapping the coffee can monopole antennas for patch antenna arrays or helical ordinary end-fire antennas, adding an Arduino for automatic recording of output pulses, and switching from a breadboard construction to a PCB to shrink form factor and keep costs and construction time low.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-12

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Flexible Fractal-Inspired Metamaterial for Head Imaging at 3 T MRI

Description

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments

The ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image any part of the human body without the effects of harmful radiation such as in CAT and PET scans established MRI as a clinical mainstay for a variety of different ailments and maladies. Short wavelengths accompany the high frequencies present in high-field MRI, and are on the same scale as the human body at a static magnetic field strength of 3 T (128 MHz). As a result of these shorter wavelengths, standing wave effects are produced in the MR bore where the patient is located. These standing waves generate bright and dark spots in the resulting MR image, which correspond to irregular regions of high and low clarity. Coil loading is also an inevitable byproduct of subject positioning inside the bore, which decreases the signal that the region of interest (ROI) receives for the same input power. Several remedies have been proposed in the literature to remedy the standing wave effect, including the placement of high permittivity dielectric pads (HPDPs) near the ROI. Despite the success of HPDPs at smoothing out image brightness, these pads are traditionally bulky and take up a large spatial volume inside the already small MR bore. In recent years, artificial periodic structures known as metamaterials have been designed to exhibit specific electromagnetic effects when placed inside the bore. Although typically thinner than HPDPs, many metamaterials in the literature are rigid and cannot conform to the shape of the patient, and some are still too bulky for practical use in clinical settings. The well-known antenna engineering concept of fractalization, or the introduction of self-similar patterns, may be introduced to the metamaterial to display a specific resonance curve as well as increase the metamaterial’s intrinsic capacitance. Proposed in this paper is a flexible fractal-inspired metamaterial for application in 3 T MR head imaging. To demonstrate the advantages of this flexibility, two different metamaterial configurations are compared to determine which produces a higher localized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and average signal measured in the image: in the first configuration, the metamaterial is kept rigid underneath a human head phantom to represent metamaterials in the literature (single-sided placement); and in the second, the metamaterial is wrapped around the phantom to utilize its flexibility (double-sided placement). The double-sided metamaterial setup was found to produce an increase in normalized SNR of over 5% increase in five of six chosen ROIs when compared to no metamaterial use and showed a 10.14% increase in the total average signal compared to the single-sided configuration.

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Date Created
2022-05