Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 16

Studying the Dynamical Response of Nano-Microelectromechanical Devices for Nanomechanical Testing of Nanostructures

Characterizing the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures is one of the most challenging tasks in nanoscience and nanotechnology due to lack of a MEMS/NEMS device for generating uniform cyclic loadings at high frequencies. Here, the dynamic response of a recently proposed MEMS/NEMS device under different inputs signals is completely investigated. This MEMS/NEMS device is designed and modeled based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents, known as Ampere’s Force Law (AFL). Since this MEMS/NEMS device only uses two paired wires for actuation part and sensing part, it represents highly sensitive and linear response for nanostructures with any stiffness and shapes (single or arrays of nanowires, nanotubes, nanosheets or nanowalls). In addition to studying the maximum gains at different resonance frequencies of the MEMS/NEMS device, its dynamical responses are investigated for different inputs and nanostructure properties to demonstrate the capability, usability, and reliability of the device for wide range of nanostructures. This MEMS/NEMS device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures as well as their softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and/or propagation of nanocracks in them.

Designing and Analyzing Sensor and Actuator of a Nano/Micro-System for Fatigue and Fracture Characterization of Nanomaterials

This paper presents a MEMS/NEMS device for fatigue and fracture characterization of nanomaterials. This device can apply static loads, cyclic loads, and their combinations in nanomechanical experiments. It is based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents. Using this concept, the actuator and sensor parts of the device were designed and analyzed while considering the practical limitations. Since the PWCC device only uses two wires for actuation part and sensing part, its fabrication process is extremely easier than the available MEMS/NEMS devices. The total gain and phase shift of the MEMS/NEMS device were calculated and investigated. Furthermore, the maximum gain and sensitivity of the MEMS/NEMS device were studied to demonstrate the capability and usability of the device for wide range of nanomaterials samples. This device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials as well as their fatigue and fracture properties, softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and propagation of nanocracks.

Characteristics of Ozone Generated from Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuators
Dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators (DBD-PAs) have been developed for active flow control devices. However, it is necessary to reduce ozone produced by DBD toward practical applications using DBD-PAs. In this study, variations of ozone concentration, flow velocity, power consumption were investigated by changing exposed electrodes of DBD-PAs. Two exposed electrode prototypes were prepared: span-type with exposed electrode width of 0.1 mm, and normal-type with width of 5 mm. It was found that span-type shows lower power consumption and higher flow velocity than that of normal-type at Vp-p = 4.0-6.0 kV. Ozone concentration of span-type higher than normal-type at Vp-p = 4.0-8.0 kV. In addition, it was confirmed that catalyst located in downstream from the exposed electrode can reduce ozone concentration between 18 and 42% without affecting the induced flow.
Fractional Order Controller Design for Vibration Attenuation in an Airplane Wing

The wing is one of the most important parts of an airplane because it ensures stability, sustenance and maneuverability of the airplane. Because of its shape, the airplane wing can be simplified to a smart beam. Active vibration suppression is realized using piezoelectric actuators that are mounted on the surface of the beam. This work presents a tuning procedure of fractional order controllers based on a graphical approach of the frequency domain representation. The efficacy of the method is proven by practically testing the controller on a laboratory scale experimental stand.

F-IVT Actuation System to Power Artificial Knee Joint
The efficiency of the actuation system of exoskeletons and active orthoses for lower limbs is a significant aspect of the design of such devices because it affects their efficacy. The F-IVT is an innovative actuation system to power artificial knee joint with energy recovery capabilities. Its key and non-conventional elements are a flywheel that acts as a mechanical energy storage system, and an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). The design of the F-IVT can be optimized for a certain walking condition, resulting in a heavy reduction of both the electric energy consumption and of the electric peak power. In this work, by means of simulations of level ground walking at different speeds, it is demonstrated that the F-IVT is still an advantageous actuator which permits to save energy consumption and to downsize the electric motor even when it does not work in nominal conditions.
Improving the Design of Blood Pressure and Blood Saturation Monitors

A blood pressure monitor or sphygmomanometer can be either manual or automatic, employing respectively either the auscultatory method or the oscillometric method. The manual version of the sphygmomanometer involves an inflatable cuff with a stethoscope adopted to detect the sounds generated by the arterial walls to measure blood pressure in an artery. An automatic sphygmomanometer can be effectively used to monitor blood pressure through a pressure sensor, which detects vibrations provoked by oscillations of the arterial walls. The pressure sensor implemented in this device improves the accuracy of the measurements taken.

Applied Actuator Fault Accommodation in Flight Control Systems Using Fault Reconstruction Based FDD and SMC Reconfiguration

Historically, actuators’ redundancy was used to deal with faults occurring suddenly in flight systems. This technique was generally expensive, time consuming and involves increased weight and space in the system. Therefore, nowadays, the on-line fault diagnosis of actuators and accommodation plays a major role in the design of avionic systems. These approaches, known as Fault Tolerant Flight Control systems (FTFCs) are able to adapt to such sudden faults while keeping avionics systems lighter and less expensive. In this paper, a (FTFC) system based on the Geometric Approach and a Reconfigurable Flight Control (RFC) are presented. The Geometric approach is used for cosmic ray fault reconstruction, while Sliding Mode Control (SMC) based on Lyapunov stability theory is designed for the reconfiguration of the controller in order to compensate the fault effect. Matlab®/Simulink® simulations are performed to illustrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed flight control system against actuators’ faulty signal caused by cosmic rays. The results demonstrate the successful real-time implementation of the proposed FTFC system on a non-linear 6 DOF aircraft model.

Control of an Asymmetrical Design of a Pneumatically Actuated Ambidextrous Robot Hand

The Ambidextrous Robot Hand is a robotic device with the purpose to mimic either the gestures of a right or a left hand. The symmetrical behavior of its fingers allows them to bend in one way or another keeping a compliant and anthropomorphic shape. However, in addition to gestures they can reproduce on both sides, an asymmetrical mechanical design with a three tendons routing has been engineered to reduce the number of actuators. As a consequence, control algorithms must be adapted to drive efficiently the ambidextrous fingers from one position to another and to include grasping features. These movements are controlled by pneumatic muscles, which are nonlinear actuators. As their elasticity constantly varies when they are under actuation, the length of pneumatic muscles and the force they provide may differ for a same value of pressurized air. The control algorithms introduced in this paper take both the fingers asymmetrical design and the pneumatic muscles nonlinearity into account to permit an accurate control of the Ambidextrous Robot Hand. The finger motion is achieved by combining a classic PID controller with a phase plane switching control that turns the gain constants into dynamic values. The grasping ability is made possible because of a sliding mode control that makes the fingers adapt to the shape of an object before strengthening their positions.

MOSFET Based ADC for Accurate Positioning of Control Valves in Industry

This paper presents MOSFET based analog to digital converter which is simple in design, has high resolution, and conversion rate better than dual slope ADC. It has no DAC which will limit the performance, no error in conversion, can operate for wide range of inputs and never become unstable. One of the industrial applications, where the proposed high resolution MOSFET ADC can be used is, for the positioning of control valves in a multi channel data acquisition and control system (DACS), using stepper motors as actuators of control valves. It is observed that in a DACS having ten control valves, 0.02% of positional accuracy of control valves can be achieved with the data update period of 250ms and with stepper motors of maximum pulse rate 20 Kpulses per sec. and minimum pulse width of 2.5 μsec. The reported accuracy so far by other authors is 0.2%, with update period of 255 ms and with 8 bit DAC. The accuracy in the proposed configuration is limited by the available precision stepper motor and not by the MOSFET based ADC.

Experimental Study of Dynamic Characteristics of the Electromagnet Actuators with Linear Movement
An approach for experimental measurement of the dynamic characteristics of linear electromagnet actuators is presented. It uses accelerometer sensor to register the armature acceleration. The velocity and displacement of the moving parts can be obtained by integration of the acceleration results. The armature movement of permanent magnet linear actuator is acquired using this technique. The results are analyzed and the performance of the supposed approach is compared with the most commonly used experimental setup where the displacement of the armature vs. time is measured instead of its acceleration.
Simulation of Dynamics of a Permanent Magnet Linear Actuator
Comparison of two approaches for the simulation of the dynamic behaviour of a permanent magnet linear actuator is presented. These are full coupled model, where the electromagnetic field, electric circuit and mechanical motion problems are solved simultaneously, and decoupled model, where first a set of static magnetic filed analysis is carried out and then the electric circuit and mechanical motion equations are solved employing bi-cubic spline approximations of the field analysis results. The results show that the proposed decoupled model is of satisfactory accuracy and gives more flexibility when the actuator response is required to be estimated for different external conditions, e.g. external circuit parameters or mechanical loads.
Bond Graph Modeling of Mechanical Dynamics of an Excavator for Hydraulic System Analysis and Design
This paper focuses on the development of bond graph dynamic model of the mechanical dynamics of an excavating mechanism previously designed to be used with small tractors, which are fabricated in the Engineering Workshops of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. To develop a mechanical dynamics model of the manipulator, forward recursive equations similar to those applied in iterative Newton-Euler method were used to obtain kinematic relationships between the time rates of joint variables and the generalized cartesian velocities for the centroids of the links. Representing the obtained kinematic relationships in bondgraphic form, while considering the link weights and momenta as the elements led to a detailed bond graph model of the manipulator. The bond graph method was found to reduce significantly the number of recursive computations performed on a 3 DOF manipulator for a mechanical dynamic model to result, hence indicating that bond graph method is more computationally efficient than the Newton-Euler method in developing dynamic models of 3 DOF planar manipulators. The model was verified by comparing the joint torque expressions of a two link planar manipulator to those obtained using Newton- Euler and Lagrangian methods as analyzed in robotic textbooks. The expressions were found to agree indicating that the model captures the aspects of rigid body dynamics of the manipulator. Based on the model developed, actuator sizing and valve sizing methodologies were developed and used to obtain the optimal sizes of the pistons and spool valve ports respectively. It was found that using the pump with the sized flow rate capacity, the engine of the tractor is able to power the excavating mechanism in digging a sandy-loom soil.
Vibration Suppression of Timoshenko Beams with Embedded Piezoelectrics Using POF
This paper deals with the design of a periodic output feedback controller for a flexible beam structure modeled with Timoshenko beam theory, Finite Element Method, State space methods and embedded piezoelectrics concept. The first 3 modes are considered in modeling the beam. The main objective of this work is to control the vibrations of the beam when subjected to an external force. Shear piezoelectric sensors and actuators are embedded into the top and bottom layers of a flexible aluminum beam structure, thus making it intelligent and self-adaptive. The composite beam is divided into 5 finite elements and the control actuator is placed at finite element position 1, whereas the sensor is varied from position 2 to 5, i.e., from the nearby fixed end to the free end. 4 state space SISO models are thus developed. Periodic Output Feedback (POF) Controllers are designed for the 4 SISO models of the same plant to control the flexural vibrations. The effect of placing the sensor at different locations on the beam is observed and the performance of the controller is evaluated for vibration control. Conclusions are finally drawn.
Mechanical Modeling Issues in Optimization of Dynamic Behavior of RF MEMS Switches
This paper details few mechanical modeling and design issues of RF MEMS switches. We concentrate on an electrostatically actuated broad side series switch; surface micromachined with a crab leg membrane. The same results are extended to any complex structure. With available experimental data and fabrication results, we present the variation in dynamic performance and compliance of the switch with reference to few design issues, which we find are critical in deciding the dynamic behavior of the switch, without compromise on the RF characteristics. The optimization of pull in voltage, transient time and resonant frequency with regard to these critical design parameters are also presented.
EHW from Consumer Point of View: Consumer-Triggered Evolution

Evolvable Hardware (EHW) has been regarded as adaptive system acquired by wide application market. Consumer market of any good requires diversity to satisfy consumers- preferences. Adaptation of EHW is a key technology that could provide individual approach to every particular user. This situation raises a question: how to set target for evolutionary algorithm? The existing techniques do not allow consumer to influence evolutionary process. Only designer at the moment is capable to influence the evolution. The proposed consumer-triggered evolution overcomes this problem by introducing new features to EHW that help adaptive system to obtain targets during consumer stage. Classification of EHW is given according to responsiveness, imitation of human behavior and target circuit response. Home intelligent water heating system is considered as an example.

Controller Design for Euler-Bernoulli Smart Structures Using Robust Decentralized POF via Reduced Order Modeling
This paper features the proposed modeling and design of a Robust Decentralized Periodic Output Feedback (RDPOF) control technique for the active vibration control of smart flexible multimodel Euler-Bernoulli cantilever beams for a multivariable (MIMO) case by retaining the first 6 vibratory modes. The beam structure is modeled in state space form using the concept of piezoelectric theory, the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory and the Finite Element Method (FEM) technique by dividing the beam into 4 finite elements and placing the piezoelectric sensor / actuator at two finite element locations (positions 2 and 4) as collocated pairs, i.e., as surface mounted sensor / actuator, thus giving rise to a multivariable model of the smart structure plant with two inputs and two outputs. Five such multivariable models are obtained by varying the dimensions (aspect ratios) of the aluminum beam, thus giving rise to a multimodel of the smart structure system. Using model order reduction technique, the reduced order model of the higher order system is obtained based on dominant eigen value retention and the method of Davison. RDPOF controllers are designed for the above 5 multivariable-multimodel plant. The closed loop responses with the RDPOF feedback gain and the magnitudes of the control input are observed and the performance of the proposed multimodel smart structure system with the controller is evaluated for vibration control.
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