Student Team: Troy Cosentino, Megan Nickolaus, Kelsey Zaches
Advisor: Dr. Claudio Talarico
Sponsoring Organization: WinchEngineer Group
Liaison: George Moore
This project develops a distributed real-time embedded controller system for the implementation of a tension controlled battery-electric winch and as such is a key component of a larger project that implements a prototype for new method for launching sailplanes. This new method will yield improved performance and increased safety over current internal combustion engine driven winch technology. The system will be comprised of a master controller, a number of sub-system controllers interconnected primarily by CANbus, and a control panel mockup. The master controller will also interface to a host controller that parameterizes winch operations and accepts real time operational data for operator display and logging. The master controller will implement an active tension control algorithm and a state machine based launch operations sequencer. Sub-systems will be emulated on one or more sub-system microcontrollers to simulate full system operation. An opportunity may exist for interface and test with a companion Computer Science senior project .
Tested documented, extensible open tested source firmware package for use in such winches. The firmware must be modular and partitioned to allow this system to be readily adapted to potential variations in the construction of such winches. Open source development tools will be employed.
Project Management and Communication Expectations:
Liaison will provide a high level system design for the project. Project requirements would be established early in the school year and tasks and schedule defined. Liaison will nominally meet weekly with design team for coordination and will be available during interim periods to address arising issues. There will opportunities to interact with other experienced, senior engineers involved in the larger winch development project.
Several papers outlining the basis for the automation of launch operations and servo control laws are available. Project outputs will become publicly available open source code.
Microprocessors boards and necessary hardware components for the control panel mockup will be supplied. (If this link does not work, paste it into your browser)