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The aim of this project is to develop a web-based control laboratory to serve undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at The University of Auckland.

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Introduction

Interim Report, Final Year Research Project 2011

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Declaration of Originality

This report is my own unaided work and was not copied from or written in collaboration with any other person.


DEVELOPMENT OF A WEB-BASED CONTROL LABORATORY

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


Abstract

During the learning process as an electrical engineering student, it is a requirement for students to participant in different practical laboratory experiments. It is often that students are unable to complete the experiment in a satisfactorily level. This may due to time, locations and resource (equipment and staff) constraints. To solve these issues, it is necessarily to introduce a web-based laboratory that students are able to access anytime in any locations. In this report, a proposed web-based control laboratory will be discussed.

  1. Introduction

Web-based laboratories have already been developed in universities around the world, because of its advantages of being able to conduct the real experiment at any time with unlimited access in any locations. It will also save a lot of equipment being use at a time and laboratory instructors.

     With all these benefits from the web-based laboratory,

...read more.

Middle

The proposed solution of the web-based control laboratory is similar to the other general developed web-based laboratory; except for the control hardware we will be using the Altera DE2 Development and Education board. Figure 2 below shows the block diagram of the proposed solution and the details of each component will be explained in the following subsections.

image01.png

Figure 2: Proposed design of the web-based control laboratory

  1. Client and server

To implement a web-based control laboratory, the most important element is to establish a communication between the user (client) and the host (server). To achieve this task, socket programming for computer network is essential. Socket programming involves designs of computer programs that can communicate with other programs across a computer network [2].

     There are two types of network socket, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol).

     TCP/IP uses acknowledgement format which ensure all data transmissions from a program on one computer to another program on another computer over the network are reliable and in ordered delivery [3].

     UDP does not use acknowledgement format where it focus on speed than reliability, therefore it is unable to provide guarantee of delivery for data transmissions [3].

...read more.

Conclusion

     Although at the current stage, we have only successfully established a TCP/IP connection between a PC to PC. However, a conceptual design plan for the web-based laboratory has been proposed. It is believed that with more research and investigations, a fully functional web-based laboratory will be developed and therefore benefits to the undergraduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my supervisor Assoc. Prof. Sing-Kiong Nguang, second examiner Dr. Nitish Patel and Master student Mr. Yu Sun for providing the support and guidelines throughout the project.

     I would also like to thank my project partner Mr. Rashid Hossain for all the work that he has been contributed throughout the project so far.

  1. References

  1. Mott, R. L., Neff, G. P., Stratton, M. J., and Summers, D. C. S. “Future directions for mechanical manufacturing, and industrial engineering technology programs”, Journal of Engineering Technology., 19(1), pp: 8-15, 2002.
  1. Wikipedia. Computer network programming. Retrieved April 1, 2011 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_programming

  1. Wikipedia. Transmission Control Protocol. Retrieved April 1, 2011 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_Control_Protocol

  1. Sockets Tutorial. LinuxHowtos.org. Retrieved April 5, 2011 from

http://www.linuxhowtos.org/C_C++/socket.htm

  1. Azad, A. K. M., Song, X., Suram, R. S. P., and Nadakuditi., P. “Web-Based Laboratory Experiments: Case Studies”, Department of Technology, Northen Illionios University, 2006.
...read more.

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