The remote sensing station
This station is supported by a very advanced state of the art Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) antenna situated on the roof of Shrader. This GPS antenna sends signals out in space in search of 25 GPS satellites in orbit about 22 to 30 thousand kilometers away from the earth's surface. These satellites respond regularly to signals from earth, and at any given time, we can monitor up to 15 of these GPS satellites using our remote sensing station. We use the pseudo-range information provided by the GPS satellites to infer the number of electrons in the ionosphere (about 100 to 1000 kilometers above the earth's surface) along the line of site between the GPS satellites and our GPS antenna on the roof. This information is used in our current research on forecasting pre-seismic activities leading to earthquakes.
The 3D capabilities
We have a 3D scanner and a 3D printer. The 3D scanner can scan a three dimensional object and produce a 3D drawing. The 3D printer can print the drawing generated by the 3D scanner. These 3D capabilities are used in our Introduction to Engineering class for conceptualization and modeling. In this class, students will typically choose an idea/problem to solve for their senior thesis. The problem must be unique. After choosing the problem, they proceed with formulating an abstract architecture for solving the problem, using basic principles of systems engineering. At the end of the semester, the student would have formulated a unique problem and a solution for which they are proposing an architecture solution. 3D capabilities can be quite useful in the conceptualization process. An example is the current iPhone cooling case being designed by one of our seniors Mr. Jonathan Lee
The super computer
The super computer is an advanced computer system with significant computational capabilities used to solve large scale problems. Typical top of the line laptops with large RAM and hard disk capabilities, despite their usefulness, are limited when it comes to solving very large scale and computationally intensive problems. The super computer system can be thought of as 20 state of the art laptops blended together into one single platform. In addition, the super computer provides the capability for clustering, i.e., the ability to borrow RAM and hard disk resources from other computer systems all throughout campus. The ultimate goal is to provide a single point of reference capability for solving very large scale math, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering problems. Examples are: the current research on genome sequencing by Dr. Matthew Waterman from the Biology Department and the senior design on a real time insulin pump, by Mr. Andrew Hudson, etc..
The system simulation platform
Signal and systems is a generic term used to describe the process of partitioning very complex systems into many subsystems. The goal is to make the design process easier and more amenable to the matrix structure used by many large companies. In this matrix structure, subsystems can be assigned to teams and the design process can be compartmentalized until the very end, where all of the subsystems are brought together in a process called integration, to recreate the complex system. For many years, an advanced course in signal and systems has been taught at ENC. This course is very mathematical and abstract in nature, and students often struggle with the process of associating the mathematical models they learn in the classroom with the very complex systems to be designed in the real world. This platform provides unique capabilities and features that allow the students, for the first time, to simulate these subsystems, quite accurately, in the laboratory.