Published on May 2nd, 2017 | by editor0
DIY Tech Expo – May 5th
This Spring semester, students used microcontrollers (Raspberry Pis and Arduinos) to control electronics that were used to either take data from sensors or to make a device with a function. These projects were made to demonstrate the types of measurements and devices that could be made with simple do-it-yourself (DIY) electronics. One project was to make a car that avoids walls by using a distance sensor to detect if there is an object in front of it as it drives forward. Another project can tell if a door is open or closed by reading Earth’s magnetic fields with a magnetometer, with a similar project setting off an alarm if the magnetometer was moved from a magnet (similar to home alarm systems). Examples of taking measurements includes a project that demonstrates how to use air pressure to accurately measure the height of a tall building, while another device was used to measure the g-forces your foot experiences when running. There are 13 projects that are going to be demonstrated.
Because of the work our students have been doing, we were invited by researchers at Taylor University and NearSpace Launch to create electronics for a small satellite that will be sent into orbit. The electronics will include high energy particle detectors, light and infrared sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometers. The goals of this project will including comparing the high energy particles to the strength of Earth’s magnetic fields to learn more about their interactions, a comparison of temperatures in urban vs. rural areas, and an analysis of what happens to a small satellite as it comes out of orbit (vibrations, rotation, and temperature). The students will be presenting how they have been calibrating the DIY electronics to take high accuracy measurements for a real science mission.