High Tech Tools & Toys Lab
The High-Tech Tools and Toys Laboratory is a discovery-based educational laboratory. The High Tech Tools and Toys (HTT&T) laboratories engage freshmen in hands-on learning activities using state-of-the-art technology products. The laboratory creates an exciting problem-solving environment where generic engineering skills (e.g. data analysis, writing and project planning) are learned.
The ALERT team is creating new modules for the HTT&T laboratories emphasizing homeland security technologies. Detection of hidden explosives depends on two fundamental techniques: spectroscopy and imaging. An undergraduate module developed in Year Two involves the use of spectroscopy to collect spectra to discriminate between samples of corn oil, motor oil and olive oil. While the samples look different to the naked eye, they will have different signatures that can be used to distinguish one type of oil from the other or distinguish adulterated from pure olive oil.
A second module addresses imaging. Using 40kH2 ultrasound tranducers, students observe on an oscilloscope. The change in the arrival time of an ultrasound burst as a function of the distance between the two transducers. Simple mathematical modeling allows the student to find the spread of sound in air. They can also deduce the inverse-square attenuation as a function of distance resulting from the spreading of the ultrasound beam in air. Students then learn to download the oscilloscope trace to their computer over an IEEE4BB bus. They can then write a program to determine the arrival time delay to automate the range deletion function. This can be used to make an intrusion detection system, or to determine the location of an object rotated by a stepper motor behind an opaque curtain.
State-of-the-art components such as digital cameras, global positioning systems, and ultrasound imaging equipment nourish student enthusiasm for the profession, familiarizes students with industry documentation and methods, and motivates them to pursue the engineering details.
Undergraduate research associates use the laboratory facilities for advanced ALERT team-based projects.
Innovation Fast Track
EXCLUSIVE TO CENTER MEMBERS: Log in to explore your Innovation Fast Track, an online portal that gives you one-stop access to center researchers, funding opportunities, exclusive events and more.Learn More
Students, get connected with Industry Partners, find out about research and volunteer opportunities within ALERT, or get advice on how to best showcase your work at Student Central.Learn More
ALERT is led by Northeastern University (NEU) and includes three key academic strategic partners: Boston University, Purdue University, and University of Rhode Island (URI).Learn More