Course Overview

COVID-19 Instructions for ECE 445 Senior Design

We require everyone who uses the 445 lab in ECEB to adhere to the following lab policies regarding COVID-19.

  • You must wear a mask at all times while in the lab.
  • You must clean and disinfect your workstation when you are finished with it.
  • Welcome!

    Welcome to ECE 445! If you've looked at the course Calendar, you've probably already noticed that this class is quite different from most other classes in the department. The class only meets as a whole for the first few weeks of the semester. During these lectures you will meet the Course Staff, learn about specific assignments, requirements, and resources for the course, and have a chance to meet other students to share ideas and form teams. These are some of the most important weeks for the class since the decisions you make during this time will determine what you'll get out of this class and, in many ways, how much you'll enjoy it.

    Outside of lecture, you are expected to be working on your own to develop ideas and form teams. You are also expected to actively participate on the web board to exchange ideas, receive feedback from course staff, and eventually get your project idea approved. Once your team has a project approved, you will be assigned a TA, with whom you will have weekly meetings. Think of your TA as a project manager. Keep in mind that they are not there to do the work for you. Rather, they are there to keep you on track, point you towards resources (both within and outside of the department), and evaluate the result of your efforts.

    Expectations and Requirements

    We have high expectations for students participating in ECE 445. You are soon to be alumni of one of the top ECE departments of the world. Our alumni hold themselves to high technical and professional standards of conduct. In general, projects are expected to be safe, ethical, and have a level of design complexity commensurate with the rigor of the ECE Illinois curriculum. Requirements for specific assignments due throughout the semester can be found by looking through the Grading Scheme for the course. Please read through this documentation well before each assignment is due. Specific due dates can be found on the course Calendar.

    Below are a few words of wisdom to keep in mind throughout the semester to increase your enjoyment and success in the course:

    Resonant Cavity Field Profiler

    Salaj Ganesh, Max Goin, Furkan Yazici

    Resonant Cavity Field Profiler

    Featured Project

    # Team Members:

    - Max Goin (jgoin2)

    - Furkan Yazici (fyazici2)

    - Salaj Ganesh (salajg2)

    # Problem

    We are interested in completing the project proposal submitted by Starfire for designing a device to tune Resonant Cavity Particle Accelerators. We are working with Tom Houlahan, the engineer responsible for the project, and have met with him to discuss the project already.

    Resonant Cavity Particle Accelerators require fine control and characterization of their electric field to function correctly. This can be accomplished by pulling a metal bead through the cavities displacing empty volume occupied by the field, resulting in measurable changes to its operation. This is typically done manually, which is very time-consuming (can take up to 2 days).

    # Solution

    We intend on massively speeding up this process by designing an apparatus to automate the process using a microcontroller and stepper motor driver. This device will move the bead through all 4 cavities of the accelerator while simultaneously making measurements to estimate the current field conditions in response to the bead. This will help technicians properly tune the cavities to obtain optimum performance.

    # Solution Components

    ## MCU:

    STM32Fxxx (depending on availability)

    Supplies drive signals to a stepper motor to step the metal bead through the 4 quadrants of the RF cavity. Controls a front panel to indicate the current state of the system. Communicates to an external computer to allow the user to set operating conditions and to log position and field intensity data for further analysis.

    An MCU with a decent onboard ADC and DAC would be preferred to keep design complexity minimum. Otherwise, high MIPS performance isn’t critical.

    ## Frequency-Lock Circuitry:

    Maintains a drive frequency that is equal to the resonant frequency. A series of op-amps will filter and form a control loop from output signals from the RF front end before sampling by the ADCs. 2 Op-Amps will be required for this task with no specific performance requirements.

    ## AC/DC Conversion & Regulation:

    Takes an AC voltage(120V, 60Hz) from the wall and supplies a stable DC voltage to power MCU and motor driver. Ripple output must meet minimum specifications as stated in the selected MCU datasheet.

    ## Stepper Drive:

    IC to control a stepper motor. There are many options available, for example, a Trinamic TMC2100. Any stepper driver with a decent resolution will work just fine. The stepper motor will not experience large loading, so the part choice can be very flexible.

    ## ADC/DAC:

    Samples feedback signals from the RF front end and outputs the digital signal to MCU. This component may also be built into the MCU.

    ## Front Panel Indicator:

    Displays the system's current state, most likely a couple of LEDs indicating progress/completion of tuning.

    ## USB Interface:

    Establishes communication between the MCU and computer. This component may also be built into the MCU.

    ## Software:

    Logs the data gathered by the MCU for future use over the USB connection. The position of the metal ball and phase shift will be recorded for analysis.

    ## Test Bed:

    We will have a small (~ 1 foot) proof of concept accelerator for the purposes of testing. It will be supplied by Starfire with the required hardware for testing. This can be left in the lab for us to use as needed. The final demonstration will be with a full-size accelerator.

    # Criterion For Success:

    - Demonstrate successful field characterization within the resonant cavities on a full-sized accelerator.

    - Data will be logged on a PC for later use.

    - Characterization completion will be faster than current methods.

    - The device would not need any input from an operator until completion.

    Project Videos