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The following document details the research and development of an Automatic Solar radiation tracker. Fossil fuels are a relatively short-term energy source; consequently, the uses of alternative sources such as solar energy are becoming more wide spread. To make solar energy more viable, the efficiency of solar array systems must be maximized. A feasible approach to maximizing the efficiency of solar array systems is sun tracking. Proposed in this report is a system that controls the movement of a solar array so that it is constantly aligned towards the direction of the sun. Solar modules are devices that cleanly convert sunlight into electricity and offer a practical solution to the problem of power generation in remote areas. The solar tracker designed and constructed in this project offers a reliable and affordable method of aligning a solar module with the sun in order to maximize its energy output. Automatic Sun Tracking System is a hybrid hardware/software prototype, which automatically provides best alignment of solar panel with the sun, to get maximum output (electricity).
The problem with motorized wheelchairs is that they are large, clumsy and difficult to control. This is especially true if the driver has severely reduced capabilities. What we want is a wheelchair that can take instructions from the driver and then based on its understanding of the environment, construct a plan that will take the user to the intended destination. The user should be able to sit in a room, tell the wheelchair that he wants to be in another room and the wheelchair should take him there as quickly and smoothly as possible.The planner presented in this thesis uses a randomized bi-directional tree search. It builds two trees, one from the start state and one from the goal state by randomly sampling the control space of the robot. Each node is a state and each edge is a control input to the robot.In order to decrease the execution time and improve path quality, the planner uses several heuristics to guide the planner. The heuristics are based on Rapidly-exploring Random Trees, Probabilistic Road-maps and the gradient method.For a normal household situation, this planner can construct a decent plan in mere seconds on relatively slow hardware. Most times it finishes in a fraction of a second.This means that the planner has the ability to run in real-time. As a consequence, the planner can handle a dynamic environment, inaccurate sensor readings and an inaccurate physical robot model.
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In recent years there was a notable developmental leap in communications systems operating at microwave frequencies. In the dissertation, the goal is to demonstrate the challenges and to propose solutions that enable the successful design and realization of very wide band microwave components, in particular, microwave directional couplers and filters. Directional couplers are an essential part in microwave systems. They are commonly used for dividing or combining signals. For example they are used in the generation of the desired power division in beam-forming networks for spacecraft antennas. In other applications, they are used for power monitoring. In the dissertation, a comprehensive treatment of wide-band ridge waveguide directional couplers is included. Analysis and design of different configurations and arrangement of couplers realized in ridge waveguides are discussed. A new detailed systematic design procedure for ridge waveguide couplers in the two most used configurations “
Electricity generation is both a major contributor to the root causes of environmental unsustainability and an energy source that will likely play an important role in the transition to a sustainable society. Because renewable sources of electricity generation are seen as sustainable as a group, there is a danger that investments will be made in renewable technologies that do not effectively move society towards sustainability. We propose the use of a scientific, principles-based definition of sustainability to compare current and future renewable electricity options on their sustainability potential. This study presents a pilot decision-support comparison tool, Guide for Sustainable Energy Decisions (GSED), designed to give investors, policy makers, and manufacturers strategic guidance on the most effective renewable technologies to invest in for sustainability. The tool is based on a modified version of life cycle assessment (LCA) that allows comparisons of the upstream and downstream effects of generation technologies from a whole-systems sustainability perspective. Early feedback by experts suggests that the tool has strong potential to serve as an effective comparison tool and help decision-makers make strategic investments for sustainability.
Phonocardiographic signals contain bioacoustic information reflecting the operation of the heart. Normally there are two heart sounds, and additional sounds indicate disease. If a third heart sound is present it could be a sign of heart failure whereas a murmur indicates defective valves or an orifice in the septal wall. The primary aim of this thesis is to use signal processing tools to improve the diagnostic value of this information. More specifically, three different methods have been developed.
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