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VIRGINIA MOUNTAIN SECTION NEWSLETTER

IEEE  Region  3,  Council  9,  Section  65                         May 1996
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                                    CONTENTS

[1] May  Meeting - Student Paper Contest - 4 Papers
[2] Reservations
[3] Paper Abstracts
[4] April Meeting Report 
[5] VMS Election Results
[6] Electronic Newsletter
[7] Computer/Control/IES Chapter News 
[8] What Is? Region 3 BBS 
[9] For your information

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[1] 
May Meeting

Four papers will be presented
at the
VMS  Second Annual Mini-Symposium
and
Student Paper Contest

Colt - An Experiment In Wormhole Run 
Time Reconfiguration

Ray Bittner, Mark Cherbaka, Mark Musgrove, 
Peter Athanas - Virginia Tech



Cross-sensitivity of Extrinsic Fabry-Perot 
Interferometer Strain Sensors

Scott Meller  - Virginia Tech


Investigation and Application of the 
Frustrated-Total-Internal-Reflection 
Phenomenon in Optical Fibers

Kambiz Rahnavardy, Vivek Arya, Anbo Wang - 
Virginia Tech.  Joseph M. Weiss - Generation & 
Storage Division Electric Power Research Institute


Design of an Acousto-Optic Image 
Processing System to perform Image Edge 
Enhancement using Bragg Diffraction

Derrek Butler Dunn, Jiangang Xia and Ting-
Chung Poon - Virginia Tech


Abstracts and author biographies, Page 2

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[2] 
Reservations 
for the May Meeting

	Thursday, May 23
	Time:	6:00 to 9:00  PM
	Place:	Marriott  Motel
		Prices Fork Road
		Blacksburg
	Cost:	Member or Guest	$ 12.00
		Student			$   4.50

For reservations, please contact one of the following 
representatives before 5 PM on Monday, May 20.

Roanoke:	Hausila Singh	563-8639

Blacksburg:	Anbo Wang,		231-4355
	Wayne Scales	231-5622

Lexington:	Dick Skutt		464-7236

Radford and 
Christiansburg: 	Russell Churchill	731-0655
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[3] 
Abstracts

(Biographies of Speakers Only)

Colt - An Experiment In Wormhole Run Time 
Reconfiguration

Abstract: The exponential growth of available computing 
power to date can largely be attributed to continuing 
breakthroughs in materials and manufacturing.  In order to 
increase computing capacity beyond these physical bounds, 
new computing paradigms must be developed that make 
more efficient use of existing manufacturing technologies. 
The concept of Wormhole Run Time Reconfiguration 
(RTR) is the core of an attempt to create an improved 
computing paradigm.  The Colt chip, a CMOS integrated 
circuit, is currently being developed as the first device to 
employ Wormhole RTR.  By combining concepts from 
Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technologies with 
Data Flow computing architectures the Colt chip achieves 
superior utilization of hardware resources while still 
attaining high clock speeds. Targeted mainly at DSP type 
operations, the Colt chip compares favorably against 
similar commercial products such as the Analog Devices 
SHARC chip in terms of silicon area consumed and raw 
computing power.  Although emphasis has been placed on 
signal processing applications, general purpose 
computation has not been neglected.  Future research will 
include mapping general purpose algorithms to the Colt 
architecture.  The Colt chip is a prototype that defines an 
architecture not only at the chip level but also in terms of 
an overall system.  As this system is realized the concept 
of Wormhole RTR will be applied to numerical 
computation and DSP applications including those common 
to image processing, communications systems, digital 
filters, acoustic processing, real-time control systems and 
simulation acceleration.

Ray Bittner is the principal architect of the Colt chip and 
will be completing a Ph.D. degree at Virginia Tech.  
Having completed BS CPE and MS EE degrees at Virginia 
Tech, Ray's research interests include VLSI, computer 
architecture, networking and artificial intelligence 
including neural networks.  He is a member of Eta Kappa 
Nu, Tau Beta Pi and is active in Intervarsity Christian 
Fellowship.

Cross-sensitivity of Extrinsic Fabry-Perot Interferometer 
Strain Sensors

Abstract: Optical fiber sensors, because of their small size, 
low weight, immunity to electromagnetic interference, and 
high sensitivity, provide numerous advantages over 
conventional electrically based sensors.  Unfortunately, 
optical fiber sensors are not only highly sensitive to the 
measurand but also to a wide range of ambient variables. 
This additional sensitivity, termed cross-sensitivity, limits 
the accuracy of the sensors. Cross-sensitivity errors need to 
be quantified for realizing accurate, self-calibrated fiber 
sensor configurations.  This paper presents an analysis of 
the extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer strain sensor and 
its cross-sensitivity with non-axial strain and temperature.  
Experimental data is matched with theoretical analysis and 
methods for minimizing the cross-sensitivities are 
developed.

Scott Meller obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering at 
Clemson University in 1989.  He then worked for Naval 
Undersea Warfare Center in Norfolk, VA for 5 years on 
torpedo defense systems life-cycle maintenance and new 
systems development.  He is currently pursuing a masters 
degree in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech and works 
as a Research Assistant at Fiber and Electro-Optics 
Research Center.  He was recently awarded a Virginia 
Space Grant Fellowship for 1996-97 and his current 
research interests are in fiber optic sensors for strain 
measurement and intelligent transportation systems.

Investigation and Application of the Frustrated-Total-
Internal-Reflection Phenomenon in Optical Fibers

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to present a 
detailed investigation of the frustrated-total-internal-
reflection (FTIR) phenomenon in silica-glass-based optical 
fibers and its application to simple intensity-modulated 
strain and pressure sensors. Such sensors may be readily 
fabricated using sapphire fibers and can be extremely 
useful for high temperature (>10000C) industrial 
applications where conventional silica-based fiber sensors 
are not feasible. In this paper we present the all-fiber FTIR 
sensor and show good correlation between theory and 
experiment. We also present results for the design and 
implementation of a prototype FTIR-based fiber pressure 
sensor.

Kambiz Rahnavardy was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. 
He received his BScEE at Sharif University of Technology 
in Tehran. He is currently completing his MS degree in EE 
at Virginia Tech. He joined the Fiber and Electro Optic 
Research Center at Virginia Tech in May of 1995 and has 
been involved in various projects in the field of optical 
sensor design and laser diode controllers. Mr. Rahnavardy 
is a student member of the IEEE. He is also a member of 
Phi Kappa Phi and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies.

Design of an Acousto-Optic Image Processing System to 
perform Image Edge Enhancement using Bragg 
Diffraction

Abstract: We investigate the use of an acousto-optic 
modulator(AOM) to perform picture processing. Edge 
enhancement is achieved by high-pass filtering in our 
system, much like high-pass filtering in Fourier optics but 
without a physical filter. Edge enhancement is 
accomplished due to the variations from the Bragg angle 
for many incident plane waves of light to the AOM as any 
profile incident light can be decomposed into plane waves 
with different angular directions and different amplitudes. 
The system consists of a single imaging lens and an 
acousto-optic modulator. Image edge enhancement is 
achieved by Bragg diffraction. Experimental  and computer 
simulation results are given.

Derrek B. Dunn received the Bachelor of Science in 
Mathematics in 1989 and in Electrical Engineering in 
1990, from North Carolina A&T State University; the 
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, from Virginia 
Tech in 1993. Derrek has recently completed a second 
Master of Science degree in Mathematics, also from Tech, 
where he is presently completing the Doctor of Philosophy 
in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of Institute of 
Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), National 
Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE.), the Optical 
Society of America (OSA) and the International Optical-
Instrumentation Society (SPIE), as well as Alpha Lambda 
Delta, Alpha Chi, and Pi Mu Epsilon, the National 
Mathematics Honor Society. Derrek recently passed the 
Engineers in Training (EIT) Exam, the EIT is first step 
toward becoming a registered professional engineer.

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[4] 
VMS Section Activities

MEETING REPORT

IEEE Virginia Mountain Section, April 18, 1996

	Dr. Konrad Traces History and Future of 	
	Electric Vehicles

Dr. Bud Konrad has worked on just about every GE 
electric car project since the 1960's. His talk to the IEEE  
Section meeting reviewed the early history of electric cars 
and traced their development and competition with the 
internal combustion engine throughout the 20th century.

Few of us realize today that the first land speed record over 
60 mph was set by an electric vehicle: 127 kph by Walter 
C Baker in the Baker Torpedo in May 1902.  60% of the 
motor vehicles produced in the US during the first 5 years 
of this century were electric and were especially favored by 
women because there was no need to crank, and no messy 
steam or gasoline. Because there were only 16 miles of 
paved highway outside the limits of large cities at that 
time, limited range was not a factor.

A major blow to the popularity of electrics came when 
Henry Ford introduced his mass produced Model T for 
$265.  A Baker Electric cost $3000 at that time.  But the 
real weakness of electric cars is the cost, weight, and low 
energy density of lead-acid batteries.  A sobering fact is 
that the best lead-acid battery today, after nearly a century 
of development, can store only 12 watt-hours per pound, 
compared to 1500 watt-hours per pound of gasoline. The 
energy content of your 20 gallon gas tank is 240 KWH.  
To fill it in three minutes requires an energy flow of 4.8 
megawatts.  You won't be recharging your electric car at 
your corner gas station without a major investment in 
infrastructure.

Electrical systems have about 5 times the life expectancy of 
conventional internal combustion drive components. In the 
electrical industry we look for MTBFs in the 15,000 hour 
range as opposed to industrial engines where 3,000 hours 
is common.

Engineers are apt to wonder about the trade-offs between 
ac and dc motors, and the number of motors used. Over the 
years, Bud has learned that a single 2 pole AC motor can 
give more energy per pound of weight than a single DC 
motor. He also explained that the torque of a motor is 
linearly dependent on the diameter of the motor's rotor, 
and therefore on a typical family car a single electric motor 
is more efficient than  4 electric motors located at each 
wheel.  This is due to the fact that the motor at each wheel 
would be smaller in diameter due to ground clearance than 
one motor hooked directly to a differential. 

Electric vehicles have been "just around the corner" for the 
last 30 years, but great strides have been made in 
fundamental battery and control technology in that time.  
The combined pressures of air pollution legislation, fuel 
prices, and the desire to utilize off-peak installed electric 
utility capacity may make the 1990's the decade of 
resurgence for the electric car.
...Dave Geer
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[5]
 VMS Election Results

The votes have been tallied and the Officers, Executive 
Committee members, and Chapter Chairmen for the 1996-
1997 year will be as follows:

Chairman:	Anbo Wang

Vice Chairman:	David Livingston

Sec/Treasurer:	Usha Varshney

Executive Committee:
		Russell Churchill
		Daniel Jackson 
		Ira Jacobs
		Scott Midkiff

Chapter Chairs:
Microwave Theory and Technique / Electron Devices
		Hausila Singh

Industrial Electronics/Computer/Control System
		David Geer

Power Engineering
		Subhas Sarkar

Industrial Application
		Walter Hill

Congratulations to all.

Compared to last year, nearly twice as many ballots were 
received.
Thanks to all who participated in this election.

...Hausila

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[6]
 Electronic Newsletter
Almost 15 percent of our members now subscribe. If you 
have not yet signed up, you are strongly encouraged to do 
so.

To Subscribe, see instructions in the For Your 
Information section on the last page.

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[7] 
Computer/Control/IES Chapter

IEEE Computer/Control/Industrial 
Electronics Chapter 

1996 Spring Video Series

Edward A. Feigenbaum
Heuristic Programming Project Stanford University

Tiger in a Cage: Applications
of Knowledge -  Based systems

5:30 - 7:00
Tuesday, May 14
GE Main Plant -- Cafeteria "A"

Introduced by:
Dave Geer Sr. Engineer, Process Models GE Industrial 
Systems

Some pioneers of Artificial Intelligence dreamed of the 
super-intelligent computer with problem-solving 
performance that would rival or exceed human 
performance. The dream was partially realized in expert 
systems, programs that perform super-intelligently for a 
narrow range of human endeavor. The dream transformed 
with the development of knowledge systems, programs that 
provide humans intelligent help for problem solving.

Feigenbaum describes successful applications of these two 
types of knowledge-based computer systems, which offer 
great economic and competitive leverage. He notes that, as 
the technology moved through early stages toward general 
industry adoption, the response has been cautious, slow, 
and "linear" (rather than exponential). The "tiger" is in a 
cage and Feigenbaum sets the challenge of understanding 
the bars.

Distinguished Lecture Series VI. Recorded August 2, 
1993. 66 minutes. To borrow any of the Chapter library 
tapes contact Dave Geer at 540-387-7359. e-mail: geer-
dh@salem.ge.com.

For Reservations Call Dave Geer 540-387-7359 by 5 PM 
Monday, May 13.

About the Speaker: Expert systems pioneer and Stanford 
University Computer Science Professor Edward A. 
Feigenbaum is co-scientific director of the Heuristic 
Programming Project at Stanford.

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[8] 
What Is ?

Region 3 BBS

The Region 3 Bulletin Board  System makes information 
available to our members who have a computer and a 
modem, but not e-mail or internet access. It includes 
Institute and Region information. Items such as awards 
manuals, newsletters, alerts, IEEE-USA/USAB releases, 
etc. are available.

The biggest draw is the employment section. In addition to 
downloading the USAB job postings, there are many other 
Region 3 employment opportunity listings. In the fourth 
quarter of 1995, the Region mailed 2000 letters to 
employers of engineers in the Southeast, inviting them to 
post the job openings on the BBS free of charge.

Use your modem to call 1-800-555-REG3 (1-800-555-
7343). At your first access you will be asked for material 
to verify membership then assigned a password and ID for 
future use. The system is menu driven and can get 
complicated but a (very lengthy and complete) instruction 
manual is available (on-line) and can be found with a little 
persistence and downloaded in whole or part. It runs to 
about 25 pages in a 10 point font.

I found the system to be rather unfriendly and difficult, but 
Vern Powers, project Sysop, indicated I may have had 
some local software problems. In any case, give it a try, 
there is a lot of stuff there.
... editor
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[ 9]
For Your Information

Change of Address 
Mail:	IEEE Service Center
	445 Hoes Lane, PO Box 1331
	Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331
Telephone:  800-678-IEEE
Fax:	      908-981-9667
e-mail:	address.change@ieee.org
Web: 	http://www.ieee.org/i3e_mailer.html 
	 (Changes are forwarded to the Newsletter)

Newsletter Submissions: 
Deadline: September  issue, Wednesday, August 21,1996

Submit Material To:
	Editor:   (See bottom of page)
	Alternate:  Anbo Wang
 	 e-mail: awang@vt.edu

E-MAIL Newsletter subscription
Send the one-line message:
	SUBSCRIBE IEEEVMS your-name 
	(e.g.:	SUBSCRIBE IEEEVMS Jane Doe)
to:	listserv@VTVM1.cc.vt.edu
Do not include an automatic signature.	

IEEE Virginia Mountain Section

Chairman:	Anbo Wang	awang@vt.edu	231-4355

Vice Chairman:	David Livingston 	dllphdpe@roanoke.infi.net	857-6936

Sec./Treasurer:	Usha Varshney 	varshney@nrv.net	731-0655

Executive Committee:
	Russell Churchill	rcova@bev.net	731-0655
	Ira Jacobs	ijacobs@vt.edu	231-5620
	Daniel W. Jackson	d.jackson@ieee.org 	774-0484
	Scott Midkiff	midkiff@vt.edu	231-3362

Virginia Council
Representative:	vacant

Industrial Application Chapter
Chairman:	Walter Hill	hill-wa@salem.ge.com	387-8619

Microwave Theory & Techniques/Electron Devices
Chairman:	Hausila Singh	hsingh@gtc.itt.com	563-8639

Industrial Electronics/Computer/Control Systems Chapter
Chairman:	David Geer	geer-dh@salem.ge.com	387-7359

PE Chapter
Chairman:	Subhas Sarkar	vtc@roanoke.infi.net	345-9892 x-152

Newsletter
Editor:	John Fennick	j.fennick@ieee.org	552-0052
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