Sensor Development for Unmanned Vehicles

Sensor Development for Unmanned Vehicles

Smart vehicles heavily depend on sensor systems; proximity, temperature, humidity, motion, gas sensors, etc. With the proper configuration, an un-manned vehicle could potentially be used for dangerous environment conditions that would otherwise be extremely harmful for humans. While collecting the sensed data is very important, processing the information by interpreting and approximating the results is even crucial. In Dr. Tolga Kaya's project, participants will be working on developing a sensor platform using commercial products. The above mentioned sensors will be explored to meet the specifications, which will also be determined by participants. Purchased sensors will be tested individually and a data collection scheme will be developed. Gathered data will be analyzed for different test scenarios and the results will be compared with the theoretical expectations. Basic engineering concepts will be revisited such as units and conversions, data regression and curve fitting, electrical properties of materials, current and voltage laws, and basic circuit topologies. Participants will also have a chance to fabricate their own printed circuit boards where they will place their individual circuit components. This part of the project will also introduce basic chemistry concepts such as solutions and concentration, acids and bases, and waste disposal.
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The Sensors Lab, under the direction of Dr. Tolga Kaya focuses on developing sensor systems for biological and environmental applications. Micro-electro-mechanical System (MEMS) design and fabrication techniques are combined with microelectronic circuit design methods. In particular, we focus on capacitive acceleration and humidity sensors, micro-battery fabrication, energy harvesting techniques, and power conditioning and sensor interface circuits.

Levi Hanson

I am heading into my Junior year at Central Michigan University. I am going into Secondary Education with a major in Integrated Science and minors in Biology, History, and Leadership. I grew up in a rural town called Hemlock, which is near Saginaw. When I’m not at work or being a student I like to spend time with my friends and family, watch movies, be outside, and travel. I can’t wait to be a part of this project and meet all of the other participants!

Jeff Yoder

Jeff is entering his 20th year of teaching at Midland High School where he has primarily taught chemistry, accelerated chemistry, and AP chemistry with occasional side trips into organic chemistry, physics, and earth science. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Michigan Technological University and his Master in Arts degree in Physical Science Education from Michigan State University. A recent convert to the joys of jogging, Jeff also enjoys reading and playing games with his wife and two kids. He is excited to be a part of this research project so that he can share it with his students; even after 20 years he still wants to find new ways to inspire and teach kids.