Having taught EE 40 now for three semesters (Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012), I’ve seen tons of cool projects that students build in their spare time (and for which we give extra credit!)…
Below are noteworthy examples!
- Musical LED table
- Ying Cai in collaboration with Eugene Huang, Christoffer Gonzales, and Jenny Huynh
- Derek Low (Spring 2012)
- Jeff Lievense (Spring 2012)
- Mark Jouppi (Spring 2012)
I’m the project lead for a small team of students developing a tiny satellite, called a CubeSat. The one I’m working on now is just a prototype, but the final CubeSat will be a joint collaboration between my team here and another team at San Jose State University. The overall mission this is part of is called QB50 and it aims to put 50 CubeSats built by various universities around the world in orbit to collect data on the lower thermosphere (would be useful for better understanding spacecraft reentry). The advantage of CubeSats is that instead of having one big, expensive satellite getting data from one point, you can have many cheap, small satellites collecting data over a really wide area. Also, many CubeSats can be packed into rockets as a secondary payload, which reduces costs.
Most of the circuitry is still in the design phase at this point. The link below has a picture of the structure, which was designed in SolidWorks and cut by a CNC waterjet in the machine shop as well as a little prototype electrical system with a microcontroller, camera, SD card port, and temperature sensor. Right now, I’m working on designing the power system, command and data handling system, as well as setting up a communication system using ham radio. QB50 is paying for the CubeSat to be launched in 2015 on an old Russian rocket originally designed to deliver nukes. I expect my team to conduct high altitude balloon tests by the end of the next school year.
If you would like to know more or get involved, you can contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unmanned Solar Drone
- Zach Hargreaves, Brian Kim, Quan Nguyen, Albert Ou (Fall 2o11)
This one made it to the Intel Cornell Cup Finals (we’ll see how much farther soon!). The idea is to build an unmanned micro air vehicle powered by sunlight and running on Intel Atom boards. My (Maharbiz) face shows up in one of the pics, but my entire technical contribution was my smile; these guys built the whole thing on the side on their spare time.
Older (non-autonomous flight) video: