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Teaching Enhancement via Small-Scale Affordable Labs (TESSAL) Center

List of Topics and Labs

Digital Logic

Labs Concepts Goals &Description
Finite State Machine
Design of combinational circuits using a decoder, State transition table and diagram, Pin diagrams The goal of this experiment is to reinforce state machine concepts by having students design and implement a state machine using simple chips and a protoboard. This experiment also introduces students to basic physical components

RC Circuits

Labs Concepts Goals &Description
RC Circuits
Resistive networks, first and second-order circiuts The goal is to introduce physical RLC components and explore how they behave in circuits. Students use DAQ boards connected to their laptops.(Demo, and Sample Test)

Signals and Systems

These experiments all require the LEGO NXT kit (Quick Start Guide and HelloWorld app.).
Additional formats for these labs as well as NXC programs is given here.

Labs Concepts Goals &Description
Light Sensor
Aliasing, Frequency Analysis, Digital Filtering Data is recorded by one or two light sensors while the light in the room is turned on and off. The students are asked to design and implement a lowpass filter to remove noise. The source of the noise is investigated
Shaded Disk
Periodic Signals, Chirp Signals, Aliasing, Highpass and Lowpass Filters A motor turns the disk resulting in a sinusoidal signal measured from the light sensor. Students are asked to design and implement various types of filters.
Sound Sensor Modulation
Amplitude Modulation and Demodulation, and Pulse Code Modulation A signal is generated on a computer, modulated, and transmitted via the computer's speakers. The sound sensor measures sound intensity, and acts as an envelope detector to recover the original signal.
Sound Sensor System ID
Frequency Analysis, System Identification A system is created consisting of a sequence of components: modulator, speakers, air channel, and sound sensor. Though some of the components are nonlinear, the overall system has a linear range. The system is found from input/output data records.
Aliasing, sensor processing Two light sensors are mounted in quadrature with respect to the disk. This experiment is used to show students how to process and merge data. In this case, they would use the light sensor data to implement an encoder.

Control Systems

These experiments all require the LEGO NXT kit (Quick Start Guide and HelloWorld app.).

Labs Concepts Goals &Description
Motor Control Demo
Effect of Feedback Control, Root Locus The experiment is meant to be passed around in class. Students can enter different gains into the processor and run a position control program.
Motor Velocity Control
P, PI, and PID Control, Ziegler-Nichols Tuning Rules, Frequency Response Students are introduced to PID control by using simple design methods for speed control of a motor. They are asked to find the frequency response of the open and closed loop systems experimentally.
Position Control
System Identification, Root Locus, Control Design and Implementation Students are asked to identify a system, design a dynamic controller to achieve time domain specifications, discretize and implement the control, and show the tracking response to sine waves of different

Electric Energy

Labs Concepts Goals &Description
Solar Energy
Current-voltage curves, Maximum power point, Dependence on angle if incidence and distance Performed in class, this experiment demonstrates the current-voltage-power relationships in solar generation. .Students receive a flashlight, solar panel and equipment to record voltage and current. The experiment can be performed using a portable DVM or using a signal measurement device and the student’s laptop.
Power generation, efficiency, effect of load (LED and incandescent bulbs) A generator, a small DC motor, is hooked up to two possible loads: an LED bulb and an incandescent bulb. Students learn about efficiency as they turn the generator shaft and feel the large difference in effort between powering an incandescent and an LED bulb. Both bulbs output approximately the same light. With added instrumentation, the current and voltage waveforms for each load can be viewed and analyzed.


Labs Concepts Goals &Description
Radio Freqency Identification
Basic electromagnetic principles, RF principles, Induction and magnetism
This lab shows students the effects of electromagnetic principles on RFID equipment. Students use an attenna, RF tag, RFID reader, their own laptop, and a ruler. Students examine the sensitivity of the range and orientation of the RF tag to the antenna. They also examine the effects of measurements through a dielectric field (obtained by reading the tag through the desk).

Last revised on Oct 28, 2010. Copyright © 2010 TESSAL