Honours thesis

I'd be interested in supervising McGill undergraduate honours thesis students or Masters non-Thesis students working on the following projects.

Project 1: Experiments in Characterisation of Internal Friction in Cables

Very little data exists to determine what are the internal damping mechanisms of a cable under load. However, when developing cable models, this information is required if the models are to produce realistic results. This project would involve testing specimens of cables in dynamic situations (impact under load, rapid loading in a tensile testing machine). Once data is collected it would be used to deduce the damping mechanism, and to quantify that behaviour.

Project 2: Modelling the effects of surface waves on an underwater vehicle swimming near the surface

During some phases of the operation of an underwater vehicle (AUV), the vehicle must operate near the surface, and its motion can be substantially affected by surface waves. This includes the orbital motions of the fluid below the surface and possibly also the effect of wave drag created by the vehicle. This project would require the development of the equations governing fluid motion near surface waves, and the incorporation of these equations into an existing simulation of a submerged underwater vehicle (in C).

Project 3: Modelling of a Helicoper-Towed Sonar Towfish

We have previously investigated the dynamics modelling of a sonar towfish towed by a semi-submersible vehicle (see paper above by Buckham/Nahon/Seto). I would like to adapt this simulation to model a towfish towed by a helicopter (such a system has been proposed by Raytheon). This project would require development of simplified equations of motion of a helicopter, followed by adaptation of an existing C code.

Project 4: Pitch Control of Aerostats

We presently have a detailed simulation of a tethered streamlined aerostat. We also have an experimental facility of the same system. We are interested to determine whether adjustment of the flying harness can be performed in real-time to control the pitch attitude of the aerostat. This might permit the aerostat to maintain a constant altitude in different wind speeds, or to maintain a constant tether tension. This project could have aspects of design, experimentation and simulation, and could be tailored to the specific interests of the student.

Project 5: Distance Determination Between Concave Objects

Determining the distance between two objects using optimization methods has been condidered by a number of researchers in the past. If the objects are convex, the problem can be solved using convex programming methods. If the objects are concave, the problem is much more difficult. It can be approached using evolutionary algorithms. On the other hand, exact methods can also be considered. This project would evaluate the performance of different optimization approaches for solving this problem. Extensive use of Matlab, and possibly C, programming would be needed.

Back to top