Computer aided engineering in the mechanical engineering laboratory

Oursler, Mark Alan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia
Thacker, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Scott, Timothy, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
White, Edward J., School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia

The solutions to many problems encountered in mechanical engineering laboratories require the acquisition and reduction of large amounts of data. Tabulation or graphical display of results is also usually necessary. Additionally, the task of maintaining proper calibration for the large number of transducers often associated with data acquisition can be formidable.
A microcomputer equipped with an analog to digital conversion (A/D) board can be used to solve the problems of rapid data collection and repetitious data reduction. Furthermore, if the microcomputer is equipped with computer graphics, the problem of display of results can also be solved. Graphical results almost always allow for quicker evaluation.
The testing of automotive engines is one area where the microcomputer can be applied advantageously. This paper reports on the development of a computer aided engine test package which provides the following capabilities:
1) Rapid calibration of transducers for use with an A/D board and storage of calibration information in disk files.
2) Computer aided engine testing including many of the standard tests. Formatted data storage in disk files is provided.
3) Display of results using computer graphics.
4) Tabulated and formatted listing of test results.
Much of the paper is devoted to providing the background information necessary for the reader to develop other applications.

MS (Master of Science)
Automobiles -- Motors, Microcomputers
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