Projects Day 2003–2004

Computer Science Clinic

The Aerospace Corporation

Launch Range Countdown Clocks

Liaisons: Joseph Betser, Michael Gorlick, Jorge Seidel Advisor: Ran Libeskind-Hadas
Students: Joshua Smallman (PM, spring), Jonah Cohen (PM, fall), Amanda Parmelee, Alan Strohm

Countdown clocks, a common tool of launch ranges, are used to synchronize and control the numerous and complex series of actions leading to the launch of a space vehicle or guided missile. However, countdown clocks rely on a standard for time distribution and synchronization that, in comparison to modern digital protocols, is anachronistic and needlessly restrictive. The Clinic team will present an entirely new standard for the management of range countdown clocks founded on modern and effective protocols, such as the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and the Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP), which will improve both the accuracy and flexibility of countdown time services.

Cryptek, Inc.

Network Security Controller Scalability Testing

Liaisons: Vipul Lugade ’02, Rick Fujiyama ’03, Mike Kono ’72/73 Advisor: Geoffrey Kuenning
Students: Keith Stevens (PM), Matthew Beaumont-Gay, Victoria Krafft, Alex Popkin

Cryptek, Inc. provides secure communications products for the government and private sectors. Our project is to stress-test a central component of the Cryptek system, the Network Security Controller (NSC), by creating software that mimics the encrypted network traffic from thousands of hardware nodes known as DiamondLinks. We are developing software that will go through an authentication protocol simultaneously for a large number of simulated DiamondLinks, and record the NSC’s performance.

Medtronic MiniMed

Diabetes Data Management Software API Design and Implementation

Liaison: Pam Roller Advisor: Belinda Thom
Students: Jessica Fisher (PM), Mark Fredrickson (CMC), Aja Hammerly, Jon Huang (CMC)

With approximately 17 million people in the US with diabetes, Medtronic MiniMed has produced several distinct lines of diabetes devices to aid in the treatment of the disease. These devices, however, do not utilize a standard communication format. The Clinic team is designing and implementing an extensible interface that will unify communication with Medtronic MiniMed’s current and future insulin pumps, glucose sensors, and related diabetes technology.

CPI Corp.

Developing a Personal Digital Transcriber

Liaison: Richard Leeds Advisor: Elizabeth Sweedyk
Students: Mathew Livianu (PM), Melissa Federowicz, Matthew Ferlo, Colleen Hamilton (SCR)

Computer Product Introductions (CPI) is interested in the development of a portable real-time speaker independent speech-tophoneme system which transcribes, compresses, stores, and plays back sound files. Charged with a subset of these goals, the CPI Clinic team has been asked to research speech-to-text software and phoneme readability, and to modify a batch speech-to-phoneme software in order to produce readable annotated phoneme output.


Scanning Documents With Off-the-Shelf Digital Cameras

Liaisons: Kurt Rapelje, Robert Strickland, Karl Chan, Carl Sykes Advisor: Zachary Dodds
Students: Ed Heaney (PM), Zak Andree, Zachariah Clegg, James Darpinian

The goal of our Clinic project is to develop a software module that converts a digital photo of a document into an image that looks scanned. It finds, straightens, and orients the document while providing confidence values to ensure reliability. Also featured are methods to help reduce the effects of distortion and lighting irregularities introduced by the camera. Inc.

Automated Management of Community Websites

Liaison: David Graves Advisor: Melissa O’Neill
Students: Andrew d’Avis (PM), Brian Merdian, Mark Nelson, Jenny Xu

This project developed tools to analyze posts made to NeonGecko’s on-line discussion forums, classify posts into known topic areas, and identify new topics. The team applied supervised learning techniques (trained with precategorized posts) to determine topics of new posts. The team used clustering techniques to identify groups of posts that are markedly different from existing topics and thus might be new topics. Project work stressed extensive technique testing and delivery of a functional system.

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Space Systems Division

Anomaly Detection in Health and Status Telemetry Data

Liaison: Craig Snow
Advisor: Robert Keller
Students: Erika Rice (PM), Daniel Marley, Gabriel Neer, Jesse Ruderman

Detection of anomalies in satellite health and status data requires real-time processing capabilities in order to reduce the ill effects of equipment malfunctions and other undesirable events. The team designed and implemented an extensible software architecture that enables anomalies to be detected and displayed in visual form. In addition to preset monitoring capabilities, our system provides learning capabilities based upon techniques from adaptive signal processing and adaptive resonance theory.

Raytheon Company and The BioSTAR Group

Intrusion Detection Using Biological Immune System Techniques

Liaisons: Ben De Vera (Raytheon), Brian Hull (Raytheon), Alex Pranger ’92/93 (BioSTAR Group)
Advisor: Mike Erlinger
Students: Robert Bailey (PM), Ian Ferrel, Kevin Pang, Jeff Scherpelz

The goals of this Clinic project are to research, design, and develop a host-based Artificial Immune System (AIS) for intrusion detection based on the biological immune system. The main areas of focus for the project are to investigate and improve the idea of “self” in an AIS for more accurate anomaly detection, and to allow for a dynamic concept of “self” without compromising security.

Computer Science/Engineering Joint Clinic

Optivus Technology, Inc.

Patient Alignment Through X-Ray Imaging

Liaison: James Jones Advisors: Patrick Little, Elizabeth Sweedyk
Students: Michael Tuck-Lee (PM), Mjumbe Poe, Anand Vemuri, Knut Strom-Jensen

The goal of this Clinic project is to upgrade the alignment system on Optivus Technology’s Proton Beam Therapy System (PBTS) Eye-Beam Line by replacing the obsolete components with digital imaging devices and an accompanying software package. This involves both mechanical and electrical engineering to implement the hardware requirements, and software development to create the supporting software.

Raytheon Company Summer 2003

Investigating Artificial Immune Systems

Liaison: Brian Hull
Advisor: Michael Erlinger
Students: George Kuan (PM), Andrew Yip (PM), Brandt Erickson, Michael Terkowitz

Conventional methods of computer security have many shortcomings. The team focused on the application of biological immune system paradigms to computer security. After assessing the various aspects of the biological immune system, as well as the current state of artificial immune system research, the team designed and implemented an extension to an existing artificial immune system.

SnapTrack/QUALCOMM Inc.

Cellphone Location-Based Services

Liaison: Kelly Johnson Advisor: Christopher Stone
Students: Corey O’Connor (PM), Alice Liu, Tatsuya Oiye, Stuart Mershon (Fall)

The SnapTrack Clinic team developed two cell-phone applications, Direction Finder and Friendar, which demonstrate SnapTrack’s Assisted-GPS technology. Direction Finder demonstrates the utility of a cell phone user being able to quickly acquire driving directions from their current location. Friendar demonstrates the fast update speed and high accuracy of A-GPS by allowing users quickly to pinpoint their friends’ locations.

Computer Science/Mathematics Joint Clinic

Fair Isaac Corporation

Develop a Prototype Excel Tool for Expert Decision Modeling

Liaison: Julie Zhu Advisor: Michael Raugh
Students: Katherine Todd-Brown (PM), Aaron Becker, Daniel Cicio, Para Thomas (fall), Lisa Wice

Fair Isaac specializes in software for making high volume business decisions and is currently looking to expand their mid-level decision modeling program. To support this objective the Clinic team has developed an Excel based tool to facilitate implementing and visualizing a variety of expert decision models of mid-level complexity.

Engineering Clinic

The Aerospace Corporation

An Imaging and Positioning Platform for the Picosat Satellites

Liaisons: Samuel Osofsky ’85, Nelson Ho Advisor: John Molinder
Students: Andrew Cole (PM), Nathan Mitchell, Brian Putnam, Gabriel Takacs, Philip Vegdahl

The Picosat platform was developed by The Aerospace Corporation as an experimental small-form-factor (4 inches on a side) satellite for use in space. The Clinic team has developed low-power add-on digital camera and GPS receiver circuit boards. These will allow the Picosat to take pictures of its surroundings or the launch vehicle, and to find and report its position in space.

Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology

Design and Production of a Prototype System Capable of Assessing the Remote Diagnosis of Stroke

Liaisons: Adrian Urias ’00, William Wiesmann
Advisor: Patrick Little
Students: Janet Lui (PM), Angie Cho, Calvin Curtis, Joseluis Espinosa, Chris Wottawa

Stroke treatment requires immediate attention. The Video Stroke Assessment (VSA) System enables a neurological specialist to remotely perform the stroke exam via the Internet by controlling a video camera and its movements along a mobility track in front of the patient. VSA also performs a partially-autonomous examination based on the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) that provides unbiased quantitative results along with the video and audio playback to assist in accurate diagnosis. The whole exam and its results are then archived.

Federal Aviation Administration/Tower

Versatile Frangible Tower Design

Liaison: Rachel Preston
Advisor: Lori Bassman
Students: Deborah Meduna (PM), Alyssa Caridis, Su Hyun Jeun, Joe Laubach, Stephanie Svetlik (POM)

Because the wind data at airports is currently collected by sensors at a safe but significant distance from runways, it is desirable to move sensor towers closer to runways to increase data accuracy. The team has designed a frangible structure, meaning the tower fails upon impact with a plane without causing catastrophic damage, which meets the new international design specifications and allows one person to easily access sensors for maintenance.

Bourns, Inc.

Development of Lead and Cadmium Free Thick-Film Resistors

Liaisons: Wayne Bosze, Farhad Adib
Advisor: Erik Spjut
Students: Greg Pomrehn (PM), Warren Katzenstein, John Onuminya, Michelle Sakai, Min Shim

In order to make more environmentally friendly electronic components, Bourns is developing lead and cadmium free resistors for high resistance potentiometers. The team is investigating new cermet materials (a composite of both ceramic and metallic ingredients) to replace current lead-based materials used in potentiometers. The new materials need to be stable at high resistance values (greater than 100 kOhms).

Federal Aviation Administration/LED

Fuel Cell Powered LED Approach Lighting Systems

Liaison: Calvin Miles ’87 Advisor: Carl Baumgaertner
Students: Brian Humphrey (PM), Allison Auld, Pilun Chen, Karen Lee

Recent developments in high-power LED technology have made LED airport approach lighting systems feasible. Implementation would dramatically reduce costs associated with energy consumption and maintenance. Through the use of pulse width modulation, the team has created different light intensity levels and conducted flight tests at Brackett Airfield to evaluate the performance of the prototype light bar versus an incandescene standard. The prototype’s closed loop controller eliminates variations in LED light output due to age and temperature.

Federal Aviation Administration/VOR

VOR Integral Monitoring System

Liaison: Nelson Spohnheimer
Advisor: John Molinder
Students: Jordan Taggart (PM), Alex Cohan, Gabriel Kwofie, Evan Porter

VHF OmniRange (VOR) facilities use transmitters and antenna systems to radiate signals for aircraft navigation. Sixteen external dipoles currently monitor the signal parameters, and shut the station down if they exceed certain tolerances. In this setup, environmental effects such as snow or ice are known to cause errors in the monitoring dipoles without effecting the signal that the plane receives. Our task was to design and test an integral monitoring system that would catch all failure modes without being prone to these environmental effects.

Grobecker Associates & The Center for Environmental Studies

Design of an Organic Waste Bioreactor

Liaisons: Doug Grobecker
Advisor: Erik Spjut, Tad Beckman
Students: Jason Komadina (PM), Rose Hakim, Stephanie Wong, Daphne Park, John Silny

The goal of this project is to design an innovative experimental bioreactor system. The reactor will take in organic wastes (for example, lawn clippings, food waste, manure) and utilize bacterial digestion processes to produce biogas and fertilizer that can be sold or used on-site.

Intel Corporation, Strategic CAD Labs

Microprocessor On-Chip Power Distribution Network Modeling

Liaison: Eli Chiprout
Advisor: David Harris
Students: Shamit Grover (PM), Kyle Kelley, Quan Quach, Kim Shultz

On-chip inductance is becoming increasingly significant as microprocessors get faster. To test whether self and mutual inductance need to be included in a power distribution network (PDN) model, the Clinic team has developed a full RLCM model of a chip’s PDN and has used this model to determine the effects of removing circuit elements on the accuracy of predicted voltages and on the frequency response of the model.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Laser Speckle Interferometry for Measuring Mesoscopic Spatial Dynamics

Liaisons: Aaron Koskelo, Scott Greenfield
Advisor: Lori Bassman
Students: Zamir Lalji (PM), Sean Cramer, Tommy Leung, Timothy Smith

Until now computational models were the primary means of characterizing energy flow through polycrystalline materials on the spatial and temporal scales of interest. Using electronic speckle pattern interferometric (ESPI) techniques, the team designed a device with the ability to characterize mesoscopic spatial dynamics of polycrystalline materials in response to excitation with micron resolution and nanometer sensitivity. The resulting optical system enables simultaneous independent measurements of in-plane and out-of-plane deformations, adaptable to the nanosecond temporal regime.

Honeywell, Honeywell Engines, Systems and Devices

Water Removal and Droplet Characterization From Air Downstream of a Heat Exchanger

Liaison: Bon Calayag
Advisor: Anthony Bright
Students: Elizabeth Lee-Su (PM), Leonardo DelCampo, Lai Lao, Elliott Temkin

The Clinic team has been asked to further the understanding of the physics of entrained water separation devices. To do so, the team designed a device to remove entrained water from the exit air stream of a heat exchanger. In order to better understand its impact on separator design, the characterization of the entrained liquid flow was also carried out via optical drop-sizing.

Irvine Ranch Water District

Real-Time Monitoring of Ammonia/Nitrates at IRWD Potable Water Reservoirs

Liaison: Arseny Kalinsky
Advisor: Donald Remer
Students: Stephen MacVicar (PM), Alison Burce, Nick Carbone, Abram Kim

The team obtained and tested an online nitrite and ammonia analyzer at a potable water reservoir and interfaced the analyzers with the existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system used by IRWD. These analyzers are being considered for use by IRWD for early detection of nitrification of chloraminated water in the reservoirs, which can lead to rapid bacterial growth and potential coliform outbreaks. Online nitrite and ammonia analysis is a new approach to enhance water quality monitoring and improve reservoir management practices to prevent and reverse nitrification.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Engineering Sciences and Applications Division

Vibration Characterization of a Constrained Layer Viscoelastic Ring Assembly

Liaisons: Jennifer Wait ’99, Mandy Rutherford
Advisor: Ziyad Duron
Students: Gene Lee (PM), Jeremiah McCoy, Daniel Sutoyo, Gwen Yoshinaga

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Engineering Sciences and Applications Division is interested in the vibration characterization of two concentric aluminum rings with a constrained layer of rubber sandwiched in between. The project is divided into three stages: 1) material properties testing of the rubber, 2) finite element modeling of the assembly, and 3) validation and verification of the models through dynamic testing.

Medtronic MiniMed

Development of “Smart” Insulin Infusion Set

Liaisons: Mark Holt, Fred Houghton
Advisor: Clive Dym
Students: Heather Lane (PM), Ming-Jay Chow, Don Lee, Esther Lee, Franck Luu (Exch.)

Insulin pump therapy, a growing market in diabetes treatment, utilizes a pager size pump to continuously deliver small amounts of insulin. One particular concern in this system is an inadvertent under-delivery of insulin to the user. The Clinic team researched and prototyped a system to detect the cessation of insulin delivery by identifying occlusions in the infusion set connecting the pump to the user.

NASA Ames Research Center Exobiology

Rock Grinding on Mars With the USDC

Liaison: David Blake
Advisor: Joseph King
Students: Diana Warden (PM), Nick Reddy, Lisa Jacobs, Emily Ross, Koji Tatsuta (exch.)

The Clinic team has been asked to develop a device that may be included on the Mars 2009 rover. The device receives a sample of rocks with a maximum diameter of 2 mm, and must reduce the size of the rock particles to 0.05 mm in diameter or smaller while controlling contamination. At the request of NASA Ames Research Center, particle size reduction has been accomplished using the Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer.

Oregon Medical Laser Center

Endoscopic Application of a Chitosan Bandage

Liaison: Kenton Gregory
Adivisor: Elizabeth Orwin
Students: Rick Bente (PM), Heather Bryan, Jeffrey Lin, Aileen Nuguid

Esophageal varices are dilated veins of the portal systemic system, which pass through the lower area of the esophagus. Patients presenting ruptured esophageal varices have a 40-70% fatality rate, and recurrent bleeding is typical. The Oregon Medical Laser Center has created a chitosan dressing for the Department of Defense to be used on massive hemor-rhages. To extend the application of chitosan bandages for hemorrhage control and tissue repair of esophageal varices, the Clinic team has designed a non-invasive endoscopic delivery system of a chitosan bandage for use under video guidance.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Benchmarking Desalination Costs for Multiple Water Sources

Liaisons: Sun Liang, Christopher Gabelich, Tae Yun
Advisor: Donald Remer
Students: One Kim (PM), Zack Burstein, Keith Miyake, Malia Miyashiro, Aileen Ng

This project (1) provided benchmark cost data for brackish-water desalination technologies,(2) prioritized future research needs based on a cost analysis, and (3) identified areas for cost reduction at various plant sizes. The Clinic team created a database of capital investment and annual operation and maintenance costs through various cost-estimation models and literature data.

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Navigation Systems Division

Fiber Optic Hydrophone Design Model Improvement

Liaison: Michael Tweedy
|Advisor: Philip Cha
Students: Ken Dye (PM), Ryan Carpenter, Joseph Kim, Shane Ouchi

Prototypes for future fiber optic hydrophone models are designed based on an analytical model of a thick-walled cylinder. Northrop Grumman’s current model, however, produces design characteristics inappropriate to the constraints on new designs, necessitating several prototype iterations. Several model adaptations have been implemented by the Clinic team and updated analytical results have been verified by empirical and numerical analyses.

Pacific Scientific

Design and Development of a Joule-Thompson Cryostat

Liaisons: Floyd Fredrickson, Rajiv Rajpurkar, Gilbert Cisneros
Advisor: Joseph King
Students: Eric Swope (PM), Chad Foerster, Dan Lee, Lydia Son, Joshua Webb

The Clinic team has been tasked with the development of a Joule-Thomson Cryostat that will operate in accordance with various specifications. This cryostat will be used to mechanically cool a device from ambient to a temperature of 120K or below within 15 seconds. The team will conduct research on current cryostat methodology, develop an appropriate design, construct, and test a prototype. The team will also provide recommendations regarding appropriate manufacturing methods.

Rain Bird Corporation

System for Measurement of Sprinkler Spray Patterns and Distribution Uniformity

Liaison: Burnett Jones
Advisor: Clive Dym
Students: Alexis Utvich (PM), Jacob Pinheiro, Mike Reynolds, Brent Rojo, Madineh Sedigh-Sarvestani

The Clinic team was asked to develop a system for real-time measurement of the spray pattern distribution of a sprinkler nozzle for quality assurance during their usage. This system will be implemented at the Rain Bird manufacturing facility in Azusa, CA. Information provided by a functional system can be used for design, detecting unacceptable nozzles, tracking trends in nozzle performance, or providing information to marketing groups and customers.

Sandia National Laboratories

Use of HVAC Control System to Model and Limit Spread of Airborne Hazardous Materials in Buildings

Liaisons: Richard Griffith, Marvin Larsen
Advisor: Mary Cardenas
Students: Ethan Bodnaruk(PM), Brian Brenhaug, Shane Hawke, Laura Kanofsky

A proof of concept is needed to determine whether or not real-time HVAC system information can be used to model the airflow within a building. The project involves modeling an appropriate building, validation of the model, and the creation of an automated interface between the model and HVAC system to transfer and utilize available data.

UVP, Inc.

Design, Construction, Testing and Market Analysis of an Automated Polyacrylamide Gel Spot-Picking Device

Liaison: Sean Gallagher
Advisors: Qimin Yang, Deb Chakravarti (KGI), Brian Aufderheide (KGI)
Students: Colin Jemmott (PM), Salvador Carlucci (KGI), Galen Chui, Kyle Kondo, Thomas Lester (KGI)

Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electro-phoresis is an efficient way of analyzing complex mixtures of proteins. Hundreds of separated protein spots are mechanically excised from a single gel and characterized by mass spectrometry. Available instruments that automate the spot-picking process are extremely expensive. The team has been entrusted by UVP, Inc. to research and develop such an instrument that will be more affordable. The team will research current contenders in the field, desired features, areas for possible innovation, and develop a prototype system.

Sandia National Laboratories California

A Hardware Implementation of Fourier Transform Ion Mobility Spectrometry

Liaison: Ed Tarver
Advisor: David Harris
Students: Charles Matlack (PM), Du Nguyen, Waley Tam, Henry Chen, Alex Utter

New research at Sandia National Labs has led to the development of a novel approach to ion mobility spectroscopy that could dramatically increase the sensitivity of such. Similar sensors are currently used to detect and identify explosives or other hazardous materials. Our task is to develop a compact control system to implement this new sensing scheme, controlling and monitoring the sensor to ensure fast and accurate results.

Sun Microsystems

Measuring On-Chip Capacitance

Liaison: Robert Hopkins ’01/02
Advisor: Qimin Yang
Students: Damian Small (PM), Brett Bissinger, Dan Chan, Renee Logan

The Clinic team designed, fabricated, and tested amplification circuits used in conjunction with a measurement circuit to accurately measure very small on-chip capacitances. The on-chip capacitors were simple metal structures with between 1 and 100 femto farads of capacitance, which is too small to be measured off chip with commonly available commercial test equipment.

Engineering/Physics Joint Clinic

University of California Irvine Department of Otolaryngology

Modification of a Laryngoscope for Optical Coherence Tomography

Liaison: Brian Wong Adivisors: Elizabeth Orwin, Robert Wolf
Students: Nikhil Gheewala (PM), River Hutchison, Tonya Icenogle, Rachel Lovec

Currently laryngeal cancer can only be diagnosed with biopsies which are invasive, permanently damaging, and can miss cancerous tissue. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an imaging technique that non-invasively images several millimeters into tissue to seek structural abnormalities, which can indicate cancer. We will design and construct an OCT device for attachment to a laryngoscope that will image two-dimensional cross-sections in the larynx, for the purpose of diagnosing laryngeal cancer in its early stages.

Mathematics Clinic

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Solitons in Shallow Water Waves

Liaison: Darryl Holm Advisor: Alfonso Castro
Students: Lindsay Crowl (PM), Kevin Andrew, Christian Bruun, Jon Goldis

Los Alamos National Laboratory is currently researching various properties of nonlinear shallow water wave equations. With the help of the Clinic’s

Liaison, Dr. Darryl Holm, the team is analyzing the distinct behavior of the Camassa-Holm equation. This research investigation will include both a theoretical and a numerical analysis of soliton-like shallow water waves called peakons. For the numerical investigation, the team has created a numerical integrator for the third order, nonlinear Camassa-Holm equation. The theoretical results will be compared to numerical simulations that visualize various aspects of wave behavior in both the one and two dimensional cases.

Physics Clinic

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Navigation Systems Division

Designing an Inexpensive Vibrating Beam Angular-Rate Sensor Using MEMS Technology

Liaisons: Robert Stewart, Ken Marino Advisor: Peter Saeta
Students: Hubert Nguyen (PM), Brendan Haberle, Mary Peter

The detection of angular motion has immediate applications to guidance and stabilization, and is itself a critical step in controlling such motion. Northrop Grumman Corporation is interested in developing an angular rate sensor through MEMS technology, a method that will greatly reduce costs while allowing the devices to be used in applications previously subject to budget, size, or technology constraints. Our Clinic team, as a continuation of the 2002/03 Clinic project, has designed and characterized the performance of a vibrating beam angular rate sensor which takes advantage of piezoelectric materials as driving and sensing mechanisms.

Sandia National Laboratories

Study of a Geo-Location System

Liaison: Louis Romero
Advisor: Weiqing Gu
Students: Andrew Niedermaier (PM), Todd CadwalladerOlsker (CGU), Luke Finlay (fall),
ElizabethMillan, Josh Padgett

In updating the current search-and-rescue satellite system to a geosynchronous, multi-satellite system, we can now detect a distress beacon instantaneously anywhere on the earth. Our task was to implement an algorithm that takes the data received by multiple satellites and quickly determines the location from which the original message was sent.