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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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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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Around the Corner Imaging: Developing a Graphical User Interface

Description

This Creative Project was carried out in coordination with the capstone project, Around the Corner Imaging with Terahertz Waves. This capstone project deals with a system designed to implement Around the Corner, or Non Line-of-Sight (NLoS) Imaging. This document discusses

This Creative Project was carried out in coordination with the capstone project, Around the Corner Imaging with Terahertz Waves. This capstone project deals with a system designed to implement Around the Corner, or Non Line-of-Sight (NLoS) Imaging. This document discusses the creation of a GUI using MATLAB to control the Terahertz Imaging system. The GUI was developed in response to a need for synchronization, ease of operation, easy parameter modification, and data management. Along the way, many design decisions were made ranging from choosing a software platform to determining how variables should be passed. These decisions and considerations are discussed in this document. The resulting GUI has measured up to the design criteria and will be able to be used by anyone wishing to use the Terahertz Imaging System for further research in the field of Around the Corner or NLoS Imaging.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Lightning Audio: Plasma Arc Speaker Technology and Marketability

Description

The Lightning Audio capstone group, consisting of Brian Boerhinger, Rahul Nandan, Jaime Ramirez, and Niccolo Magnotto (myself), united in the effort to prove the feasibility of a consumer grade plasma arc speaker. This was achieved in group's prototype design, which

The Lightning Audio capstone group, consisting of Brian Boerhinger, Rahul Nandan, Jaime Ramirez, and Niccolo Magnotto (myself), united in the effort to prove the feasibility of a consumer grade plasma arc speaker. This was achieved in group's prototype design, which demonstrates the potential for a refined product in its conventional interfacing, casing, size, safety, and aesthetics. If the potential for an excellent ionization-based loudspeaker product were realized, it would be highly profitable in its reasonable cost of production, novelty, and place in a large and fitting market.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Phase Recovery and Unimodular Waveform Design

Description

In many systems, it is difficult or impossible to measure the phase of a signal. Direct recovery from magnitude is an ill-posed problem. Nevertheless, with a sufficiently large set of magnitude measurements, it is often possible to reconstruct the original

In many systems, it is difficult or impossible to measure the phase of a signal. Direct recovery from magnitude is an ill-posed problem. Nevertheless, with a sufficiently large set of magnitude measurements, it is often possible to reconstruct the original signal using algorithms that implicitly impose regularization conditions on this ill-posed problem. Two such algorithms were examined: alternating projections, utilizing iterative Fourier transforms with manipulations performed in each domain on every iteration, and phase lifting, converting the problem to that of trace minimization, allowing for the use of convex optimization algorithms to perform the signal recovery. These recovery algorithms were compared on a basis of robustness as a function of signal-to-noise ratio. A second problem examined was that of unimodular polyphase radar waveform design. Under a finite signal energy constraint, the maximal energy return of a scene operator is obtained by transmitting the eigenvector of the scene Gramian associated with the largest eigenvalue. It is shown that if instead the problem is considered under a power constraint, a unimodular signal can be constructed starting from such an eigenvector that will have a greater return.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Passive Radar Signal Generation and Scenario Simulation

Description

Passive radar can be used to reduce the demand for radio frequency spectrum bandwidth. This paper will explain how a MATLAB simulation tool was developed to analyze the feasibility of using passive radar with digitally modulated communication signals. The first

Passive radar can be used to reduce the demand for radio frequency spectrum bandwidth. This paper will explain how a MATLAB simulation tool was developed to analyze the feasibility of using passive radar with digitally modulated communication signals. The first stage of the simulation creates a binary phase-shift keying (BPSK) signal, quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) signal, or digital terrestrial television (DTTV) signal. A scenario is then created using user defined parameters that simulates reception of the original signal on two different channels, a reference channel and a surveillance channel. The signal on the surveillance channel is delayed and Doppler shifted according to a point target scattering profile. An ambiguity function detector is implemented to identify the time delays and Doppler shifts associated with reflections off of the targets created. The results of an example are included in this report to demonstrate the simulation capabilities.

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Date Created
2014-05