Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 12-9-2021


Engineering Physics


Military Science and Mathematics

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Gheorghe Bunget, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. James Rogers, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. James Hereford, Committee Member


Our goal is to continue a previous teams project to build a NDE autonomous control and signal acquisition system that is more precise, more customizable with both code and mechanical parts, and cheaper than a similar system bought by the school. This goal has two stages to it. First, to repair the system from considerable damage it received during transportation. Secondly, to continue designing and developing the system to make considerable progress towards the goal of a fully functional NDE system. Along with making progress we must consider the team after us and create an easy stepping off point for the next team to continue. For mechanical we upgraded the slotted aluminum extrusions, upgraded threaded rods to precision ball screw assemblies, replaced unsupported slide rails with supported, and redesigned and printed 3D parts to account for changes. For electrical we rewired the system, replaced, and upgraded the stepper drivers, overhauled the microcontroller to a microprocessor, and made suggestions for a digital encoder. For code we completely reworked it from the ground up with both a GUI and Utility file. We increased the stability and reduced error due to bending and shaking with changes to the aluminum extrusions and supported slide rails. We increased system precision with the precision ball screws. We increased the strength of the system by redesigning and printing 3D parts with stronger plastics on better printers. The stepper motors have been updated and improved for a higher current rating. The microprocessor streamlines code and enables the user with a more robust system to operate with. The code now controls the system in fully autonomous movement with a GUI for easy user control. All this work was done for around $1,000 making it significantly cheaper than a market version. Although there is still plenty of work to do to finish the system, considerable progress has been made towards the goal.