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Title:Internet and virtual nuclear engineering laboratory
Author(s):Wu, Hsingtzu
Advisor(s):Uddin, Rizwan
Department / Program:Nuclear, Plasma, & Rad Engr
Discipline:Nuclear Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):nuclear engineering
distance lab
virtual lab
internet lab
Abstract:This thesis has two parts. First part reports the development of an Internet laboratory. Development of a virtual model of the laboratory is reported in the second part. The difference between an Internet laboratory and a virtual laboratory is that the former involves live webcasting of a real-world laboratory while the latter is simply like a 3D computer game that students can ―play.‖ The game can be used to familiarize the students with the setup of the lab. The Internet and virtual labs are developed for the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory, a lab course offered by the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Six, out of eight, labs offered in the course are modified and upgraded for the Internet lab (two were modified earlier). The Internet lab provides live two-way audio and video link between the students in the remote locations and the local laboratory. The experiments conducted in the local lab can be webcasted. In addition, data acquisition processes are digitized using three LabVIEW applications. They can be controlled from the lab as well as from the remote sites. Local as well as remote students view and record all the experimental data in identical forms. Furthermore, the digitizer and the associated LabVIEW applications simplify the experimental procedures and reduce tedious manual recording tasks. The lab experience for the remote students, though not the same as that for the students in the lab, is fairly realistic. Finally, a lab website is developed to provide lab relevant information. In the second part of this thesis, a 3D and interactive virtual model of the laboratory is developed. Students at remote sites can ―play‖ and make themselves familiar with the laboratory setup before the labs are conducted. The virtual model is built using a software package called Unreal Engine II. Existing features in Unreal Engine II are manipulated to enhance interactivity. 3D models in the virtual lab are made using a software package called Maya 2008. The Internet and virtual labs have not yet been tested with actual students at remote sites. However, it is hoped that features made available for student at remote sites will make it easier to offer the lab course to them. Digitization of the entire lab is however, very useful for students conducting the lab on site.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Hsingtzu Wu
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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