|In proceedings ASEE Annual Conf., Montreal, June 2002.
|Killing two birds with one data acquisition system
|James Mayhew and Richard A. Layton
An open-circuit wind tunnel is upgraded by adding a commercially-available data acquisition system
used to teach students some basic concepts of data acquisition, instrumentation, calibration, and assessment of
results. Student teams were given 30-60 minutes of hands-on instruction on how to acquire data using the system.
Eight student teams participated over two quarters, performing calibrations of the load cells and angle-of-attack
indicator, using the results of those calibrations to find the lift and drag of a model wing, and assessing whether
the calibrations and confidence intervals found by the earlier teams were reliable. All teams served as "contractors"
for us, helping us improve the quality of our wind tunnel while they learned. Key results for our students:
learning how to set up and use a simple data acquisition system; making us aware of sources of uncertainty in the
lift and drag measurements of our wind tunnel; learning when collecting more data helps decrease uncertainty and
when it does not; and gaining experience in meeting our needs as customers. In our opinion, the project is readily
implemented by an individual instructor or two and should be considered intermediate-level instruction in instrumentation
and data acquisition, appropriate for implementation at the junior or senior level.
| ©2002 American Society for Engineering Education.
|Link to the full paper (pdf)
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