Welcome to the laboratory course web page! Print this page

Welcome to the website of the laboratory courses, serving MAE171a, MAE175a and MAE126a. The aim of the laboratory oriented courses is to analyze experiments in the area of mechanical engineering (MAE171a), aerospace engineering (MAE175a) and environmental engineering (MAE126a). The experiments in this laboratory course are tailored towards a specific engineering discipline and include fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, vibration analysis, control of 2DOF mechanical and aerospace systems, linear circuits, heat transfer, thermal plume, photovoltaic and atmospheric turbulence experiments. For the fluid and solid mechanics experiments large facilities such as a wind tunnel, a water channel and a load frame testing machine are used to analyze the behavior of both fluid and solid mechanical systems. The vibration and control experiments are configured around the modeling and experimental verification of the vibrations of a flexible structure, the high-speed and high-accuracy position control of a flexible lumped-mass mechanical system, a moment gyroscope and a small scale helicopter model. The heat transfer, thermal plume, photovoltaic and atmospheric turbulence experiments involve high precision temperature and density measurements in laboratory scale facilities tailored towards environmental engineering aspects.

During the laboratory hours, 3 out of 11 of the following different experiments must be completed:


List of 11 Possible Experiments
Abbreviation
Experiment Title
Used in Course
HT
Heat Transfer Experiment
171a
WC
Water Channel Experiment
171a
MT
Material Testing Experiment
171a
PC
Position Control Experiment
171a
LC
Linear Circuit Experiment
171a
WT
Wind Tunnel Experiment 175a
VA
Vibration Analysis Experiment
175a
GC
Gyroscope Control Experiment
175a
TP
Thermal Plume Experiment
126a
PVPhotoVoltaic Experiment126a
ATAtmospheric Turbulence Experiment126a


The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Laboratory course consists of lectures and 9 weeks of laboratory experiments. During those 9 weeks, students have to complete 3 different experiments that each take 3 laboratory sections (3 weeks) to complete. The lab course is accompanied with lectures to explain the experiments and discuss error analysis and engineering ethics. The lecture discuss the general outline and underlying theory of the experiments, which will be different for the Mechanical, Environmental and Aerospace Engineering students. As a result, the lectures are given in separate lecture rooms and will be taught by different professors, while overlapping lectures are taught in the same lecture room. For more information on the course or download laboratory handouts, please consult the menu displayed on the left. Please press the reload button on your browser to make sure you see the latest version of this web page.


Prerequisites goto top

In order to enroll in the MAE laboratory courses one needs a grade of C or better in MAE101C or CENG103C or CENG101C; MAE160, MAE140, MAE143B, MAE170 and senior standing in engineering major. In general, no exceptions can be made to the listing of these prerequisites, as the basic background knowledge of these courses is required to complete the laboratory experiments safely and succesfully.


 
Course Organisation goto top

The course consists of lectures and laboratory work. Lectures will start during the 1st week of the quarter and are given in CSB 001 (for MAE126a students), PCYNH 106 (for MAE171a students) and CENTR 212 (for MAE175a students) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00pm to 6:50pm. The laboratory work will start during the 2nd week of the quarter takes place in the UnderGraduate Laboratory (UGL) located at Room 107, EBUII and in the UnderGraduate Control Laboratory (UGCL) at Room 121, EBUII.

Students form groups of 4 people that coordinate the work to be done for each specific experiment. Groups of 4 are created during the 1st lecture on Monday January 6, 2014. Each experiment needs to be completed within 3 weeks and the results should be documented in a written laboratory report. Which 3 experiments you need to do, depends on your group number assignment that will be assigned during the 1st week of the quarter after you have signed up in a group of 4 students.

The lectures are used to explain the laboratory work to be done and the different experiments that have to be addressed. Additionally lectures are given that cover the topics of laboratory report writing, statistics and error analysis and engineering ethics. The course material consists of Laboratory and Lecture Notes available via this webpage. Office hours are during laboratory hours and by appointment.

 
 
Course Staff goto top

The course staff consists of Course Instructors, Tutors and Laboratory staff. The Course Instructors for Winter 2013 are Prof. R.A. de Callafon (for MAE175a), Prof. J. Kleissl (for MAE126a), Prof. V. Nesterenko and Prof. K. Seshadri (both for MAE171a) and they can be contacted as follows:

The laboratory staff consists of

For most of the experiments, Tutors or Teaching Assistants (TA's) are available for additional help and guidance during the laboratory hours. The information on the TA's will be updated on this website as soon as this is available:



Writing Lectures goto top

Objectives
Some of the lectures given in this course are specifically designed to assist students in acquiring the technical writing skills necessary to develop a clearly written, coherent laboratory research report.  Instruction will focus on the rhetorical structure and linguistic features of laboratory research reports.  Using the tool of text analysis, students will learn to analyze the features (content, organization, language and format) of the genre and apply this knowledge to the writing of the laboratory reports. Please check the lecture schedule below for the exact time and location of the writing lectures.

Course Texts
Writing handouts are available on this website. Students are expected to print out and read handouts for relevant lectures and tutorials prior to class.  Please bring handouts to lectures for your convenience.

 
 
Lecture on Statistics and Error Analysis goto top

Objectives
During the laboratory work of this class, experimental data is gathered to verify specific phenomena from an experimental point of view. These phenomena may include fluid, flow or material properties and dynamic or vibration parameters. To analyse the consistency and reliability of the data, some basic statistic analysis is mandatory during the experiments and the analysis of the results in the laboratory reports. In addition, propagation and sources of errors during the experiments has to be analyzed to predict the behavior of the error made during the experiments on the final modeling and validation results.

For this purpose, a lecture is given that reviews the basic sources of errors in indirect measurements during the laboratory experiments. Please check the lecture schedule below for the exact time and location of the statistics and error analysis lecture. Basic statistical analysis based on Normal and t-distributions will be reviewed to enable the construction of confidence intervals for your measurements.

Course Texts
The lecture notes for the statistics and error analysis is available in the form of a handout. Students are expected to print out and read the handout before the error analysis lectures prior to class. Please bring handouts to lectures for your convenience.


 
 
 
Ethics Lectures goto top

As part of this course course, three lectures on engineering ethics will be given. To complete this laboratory course succesfully, please note the following with respect to the ethics lectures:

Please check the lecture schedule below for the exact time and location of the ethics lectures. The lectures consist of a video program discussing the Challenger disaster followed by a open discussion and question session on the engineer ethics and managment decision processes taken place during the Challenger disaster.

Remember: without the ethics lectures or without filling out the ethics lecture handout you will receive an incomplete grade. An attendance list will be maintained to see if you have missed any of the ethics lectures. If you did miss one of the ethics lectures, make-up ethics lectures (reshowing of ethics videos + taking attendance) must be done during Finals Week. 


 
Lecture Schedule goto top

The lectures are used to give an introduction to and explanation of the laboratory experiments and the accompanying theory to analyse your work in the form of a laboratory report. It is important to show up for the the first lecture, as this lecture will be used to organize all students in groups of 4 students to perform the 3 out the available laboratory experiments., Again which 3 out of available experiments you need to do, depends on your group number assignment, which will be determined after the sign-up of students in groups of 4 during the first lecture.

Based on the 3 experiments you will be doing, you know which lectures you should attend to get more information and the background theory on your experiment. You should also attend the writing lectures, the error analysis lectures and it is mandatory to attend the ethics lectures, while in one of the last weeks a special lecture is reserved for the Mechanical Engineering students via a presentation of MAE171b and MAE126b projects.

All lectures are given from 5pm-6:50pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. To speed up the preparation for the laboratory work, most lectures are concentrated in the first three weeks. Additional lectures on error analysis and report writing are done in the subsequent weeks. The lectures are given in different lecture rooms. The lecture room depends on the lecture that will be given so carefully observe the lecture room location in the table below, as lectures are given in parallel.


Week 1 - only lectures, no laboratory yet
01/06/14 Monday Organization Lecture for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko/Seshadri)
Organization Lecture for 126a students in CSB 001 (Kleissl)
Organization Lecture for 175a students in CENTER 212 (de Callafon)
01/08/14 Wednesday Position Control (PC) Experiment for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (de Callafon)
Atmospheric Turbulence (AT) Experiment for 126a students in CSB 00(Kleissl)
Wind Tunnel (WT) Experiment for 175a students in CENTR 212 (Seshadri)
01/10/14 Friday Heat Transfer (HT) Experiment for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko/Seshadri)
PhotoVoltaic (PV) Experiment for 126a students in CSB 001 (Kleissl)
Gyroscope Control (GC) Experiment for 175a students in CENTR 212 (de Callafon)

Week 2 - start of 1st laboratory experiment & laboratory safety training
01/13/14 Monday Linear Circuit (LC) Experiment for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (de Callafon)
Thermal Plume (TP) Experiment for 126a students in CSB 001 (Kleissl)
01/15/14 Wednesday Material Testing (MT) Experiment for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko)
Vibration Analysis (VA) Experiment for 175a students in CENTR 212 (de Callafon)
01/17/14 Friday Water Channel (WC) Experiment for 171a students in PCYNH 106 (Seshadri)
Error Analysis and Statistics for 175a students in CENTR 212 (de Callafon)

Week 3
01/20/14 Monday Holiday (M.L. King Jr.)
01/22/14 Wednesday no lecture
01/24/14 Friday Error Analysis and Statistics for 171a and 126a students in PCYNH 106 (de Callafon)

Week 4
01/27/14 Monday

Report Writing for 171a and 126a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko)

01/29/14 Wednesday Report Writing for 175a students in CENTR 212 (Nesterenko)
01/31/14 Friday no lecture

Week 5 - start of 2nd experiment and due date of 1st laboratory report
no lectures

Week 6 - ethics lectures
02/10/14 Monday

Engineering Ethics for 171a and 126a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko/Seshadri)
Engineering Ethics for 175a students in CENTR 212 (de Callafon)

02/12/14 Wednesday Engineering Ethics for 171a and 126a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko/Seshadri)
Engineering Ethics for 175a students in CENTR 212 (Kleissl)
02/14/14 Friday No ethics lecture - last ethics lecture moved to Wednesday 02/19/14

Week 7 
02/17/14 Monday Holiday (Presidents)                                                            
02/19/14 WednesdayEngineering Ethics for 171a and 126a students in PCYNH 106 (Nesterenko/Seshadri)
Engineering Ethics for 175a students in CENTR 212 (de Callafon)
02/21/14 Fridayno lecture

Week 8 - start of 3rd experiment and due date of 2nd laboratory report
no lectures, students work on reports due next week

Week 9
no lectures

Week 10
03/10/14 Monday Project Descriptions for MAE171b in PCYNH 106 (Ratnesh Lal)
Project Descriptions for MAE126b in CSB 001 (Kleissl)
This lecture is for MAE171a students that plan to take MAE171b as an elective.
MAE126B is a required course for all Environmental Engineering majors.


Week 11 - finals week and due date of 3rd laboratory report
Hand in your final report with the TA on the day before your lab section started.






 
 
Reports & Final goto top

Reports
The grading is done on the basis of three written laboratory reports, the ethics handout and a final examination. Since you will be receiving feedback on your laboratory reports, the grade for the reports will be weighted heavier towards the last report.The laboratory work will be done in groups of 4 students. Therefore, only one laboratory report per group per experiment needs to be handed in. The ethics handout and the final examination, however, is graded individually. The total grade will be determined as follows:

  1. First report: 15%
  2. Second report: 20%
  3. Third report: 25%
  4. Ethics Handout: 5%
  5. Final examination: 35%

Every laboratory report completes the work on one specific experiments and your report is due with the TA of your experiment at 3pm one day before you start your new laboratory experiment. E.g., if you did your lab experiment on Wednesday (morning or afternoon), your lab report will be due at 3pm on Tuesday the following week. In case your report due date falls on a Monday holiday (M.L. King Jr. or Presidents), your report will be due on the following Tuesday during the start of your regular lab section.

A hard copy of the reports should be handed in with the TA of your experiment as listed under Course Instructors, Tutors or Laboratory staff. A soft copy of your report (in the form of a PDF file) must be emailed to your TA of yoru experiment as listed under Course Instructors, Tutors or Laboratory staff. Reports accepted after the assigned time will receive a significant reduction in grade!

The reports have the following size limitation:

The laboratory report of the third and last experiment is due with the TA of your last experiment during finals week again at 3pm one day before your scheduled laboratory day. Reports should be handed in to the TA listed under Course Instructors, Tutors or Laboratory staff. Reports accepted after the assigned time will receive a significant reduction in grade!


Final

The final examination will be a closed book and closed notes written exam held during finals week. The final exam is held on Monday March 17 from 7pm till 10pm in PCYNH 106 for MAE171A student, Monday March 17 from 7pm till 10pm in CENTER 212 for MAE175A students and on Friday March 21 from 3pm to 6pm in CSB001 for MAE126A students

The material covered in the final consists of:
  1. Theoretical background and laboratory work, based on the lecture notes and laboratory handouts, associated to the 3 experiments in which you participated during the labcourse.
  2. Error analysis and statistics as covered by the Statistics and Error Analysis lectures notes, including the identification of error sources in your experiment, statistical analysis and error propagation.




Laboratory Schedule goto top

For the laboratory work of the course, you will have to work in a group of 4 (sometimes 5) students in the UnderGraduate Laboratory (UGL), Room 107, EBUII, or the UnderGraduate Control Laboratory (UGCL), Room 121, EBUII. Each group has to complete 3 out of the available laboratory experiments. Which 3 out of the available experiments you need to do, depends on your group number assignment. The experimental work for each experiment must be completed during 3 laboratory sections over the span of 3 weeks and the following time schedule will be followed:

Before you come to the lab

Keep in mind that the actual labs start the second week of the quarter. Make sure you check which group number you are assigned, so you know with which experiment you start first. Also make sure to print out the laboratory handout before you come to the lab.

Due Dates for Report Writing

Every laboratory report completes the work on one specific experiments and is a hard copy is due at 3pm with the TA of your experiment one day before you start your new laboratory experiment. You also need to send a softcopy in the form of a PDF file to your TA of your experiment. E.g., if you did your lab experiment on Wednesday (morning or afternoon), your lab report will be due at 3pm on Tuesday the following week. In case your report due date falls on a Monday holiday (M.L. King Jr. or Presidents), your report will be due on the following Tuesday during the start of your regular lab section. Reports should be handed in to the TA as listed under Course Instructors, Tutors or Laboratory staff. Reports accepted after the assigned time will receive a significant reduction in grade!


Times of laboratory sections

The laboratory sections do not start until the second week of the course. During the first lecture students have to organized themselves in groups of 4 within the specific Laboratory Section you signed up for. For completing the laboratory work, the following 8 Laboratory Sections (morning and afternoon) are available (there are no labs on Mondays):

  1. Tuesday AM session - Tuesday 9:00am till 11:50am
  2. Tuesday PM session - Tuesday 12:30pm till 3:20pm
  3. Wednesday AM session - Wednesday 9:00am till 11:50am
  4. Wednesday PM session - Wednesday 1:00 pm till 3:50pm
  5. Thursday AM session - Thursday 9:00am - 11:50am
  6. Thursday PM session - Thursday 12:30 pm till 3:20pm
  7. Friday AM session - Friday 9:00 am till 11:50am
  8. Friday PM session - Friday 1:00pm till 3:50pm


Group Number Assignment goto top

During the first lecture, students will be organized in groups of 3-4 (more than 4 students/group is not recommended) within the specific Laboratory Section they have signed up forPlease follow the link to the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment (PDF) to see in what group you will be working. In order to check your group number, you'll need Adobe Acrobat reader. You can use CTRL-F (or any search function of your Acrobat PDF viewer) to find your name in the listing of the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment. A hard copy of the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment will also be posted on the bulletin board in UnderGraduate Control Laboratory (UGCL), Room 121, EBUII. Before emailing the course instructors with questions on the Laboratory schedule and group number assignment, please see answers to the following questions below.

The laboratory work and the report writing must be done by the group of students. Each group is assigned a Group Number and depending on your Group Number and whether you are a Mechanical (MAE171A) or a Aerospace (MAE175A) Engineering or a Environmental (MAE126a) Engineering student, the following sequence of (max. 3) experiments (for abbreviations of experiments see top of page) will have to completed during the last 9 weeks of this course:

Experiments and Group number for Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science Students (MAE171A)

Group #

01/14/14 - 01/31/14

02/04/14 - 02/21/14

02/25/14 - 03/14/14

ME1

WC

HT

MT

ME2

MT

PC

WC

ME3

HT

MT

LC

ME4

PC

LC

HT

ME5

LC

WC

PC

Experiments and Group number for Aerospace Engineering Students (MAE175A)

Group #

01/14/14 - 01/31/14

02/04/14 - 02/21/14

02/25/14 - 03/14/14

AE1

GC

VA

WT

AE2

WT

GC

VA

AE3

VA

WT

GC

Experiments and Group number for Environmental Engineering Students (MAE126A)

Group #

01/14/14 - 01/31/14

02/04/14 - 02/21/14

02/25/14 - 03/14/14

EE1

PV

TP

AT

EE2

TP

AT

PV

EE3

AT

PV

TP

What if your name is NOT on the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment?

If you did not fill out a sign-up sheet during the first lecture, your name may not be listed on the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment. In addition, if you signed up in a group smaller than 3 for a laboratory section, your name will also not be on the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment. No panic, if your name is not on the Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment, please attend the second lecture on Wednesday to have yourself signed-up for a particular group and laboratory section. Before emailing any of the professors, first carefully check if your name is on the list!


What if I am still wait-listed or in a different lab section?

Most important is that your name is on Laboratory Schedule and Group Number Assignment, as you basically have then an assigned group number for the labcourse. If you happen to be on the waitlist on Blink/TritonLink, please bring you add cart to the first lab and have it signed by the instructor.


 
Laboratory Handouts goto top

Please refresh your browser to upload the lastest version of this webpage. The laboratory handouts contain background information and a laboratory procedure and will help you plan your experiment over the course of the 3 weeks in which you do a specific experiment. Hence, print and read the laboratory handout before you start your experiment and come to the lab. Some of the laboratory handouts are separated in a laboratory procedure for each week separately. Note that the contents of the laboratory handout is part of the final exam in case you are assigned to perform this experiment with your group. The links to the laboratory handouts will be updated regularly as soon as handouts become available.

Laboratory Handouts for the Experiments
Experiment Title
Used in Course
Handouts
Heat Transfer Experiment
171a
Handouts for week 1, week 2 and week 3 and general description of experiment.
Water Channel Experiment
171a
Handout for week 1, 2 and 3 and notes on water channel pressure system.
Material Testing Experiment
171a
Handouts for week 1, 2 and 3, material standards. and ASTM standard
Position Control Experiment
171a
Handout for week 1, 2 and 3 and ECP software manual (copy of ECP software manual will also be in lab).
Linear Circuit Experiment
171a
Handouts for week 1, 2 and 3 and MCP6271 OpAmp tester manual for opamp debugging.
Wind Tunnel Experiment 175a
Handouts for week 1 2 and 3 and detailed derivations.
Vibration Analysis Experiment
175a
Handout for week 1, 2 and 3 and equipment manual (copy of equipment manual will also be in lab).
Gyroscope Control Experiment
175a
Handout for week 1, 2 and 3 and ECP software manual (copy of ECP software manual will also be in lab).
Thermal Plume Experiment
126a
Handout for week 1, week 2 and week 3.
PhotoVoltaic Experiment126a Handout for week 1, week 2 and week 3 and overview of hardware of experiment.
Atmospheric Turbulence Experiment126aHandout for week 1, week 2 and week 3 with overview of hardware of experiment and Data Logger matlab code.
 

Lecture Notes goto top

Please refresh your browser to upload the lastest version of this webpage. For the different experiments conducted during the labcourse, lecture notes will be made available here. The lecture notes will provide background information on your experiment and note that the contents of the lecture notes of a particular experiment is part of the final exam in case you were assigned to perform this experiment with your group. The lecture notes on Statistics and Error Analysis is part of the final exam for everyone taking the MAE171a, MAE175a, MAE126a laboratory course. The links to the lecture notes will be updated regularly as soon as the lecture notes become available.


Lecture Notes for the 12 Experiments + Lecture on Statistics and Error Analysis
Lecture Title
Used in Course
Lecture Notes
Heat Transfer Experiment
171a
Link to lecture notes.
Water Channel Experiment
171a
Link to lecture notes.
Material Testing Experiment
171a
Link to lecture notes.
Position Control Experiment
171a
Link to lecture notes.
Linear Circuit Experiment
171a
Link to lecture notes.
Wind Tunnel Experiment 175a
Link to lecture notes.
Vibration Analysis Experiment
175a
Link to lecture notes and handout on Lagrange's method.
Gyroscope Control Experiment
175a
Link to lecture notes and movie on Gyroscope and experiments.
Thermal Plume Experiment
126a
Link to lecture notes and additional reading on theory can be found in: "Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers" by Roland Stull (available in S&E library and at SIO library), Chapter on plumes.
PhotoVoltaic Experiment126aLink to lecture notes, technical note from NI Developer Zone and additional reading on theory: "Photovoltaic Systems Engineering" by Messenger and Ventre: Chapter 2 (All sections), Chapter 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.8 (Selected Sections) Chapter 4.1, 4.7, 4.8 (Selected Sections).
Atmospheric Turbulence Experiment126aLink to lecture notes.
Statistics and Error Analysis126a/171a/175aLink to lecture notes.
Report writing126a/171a/175aLink to lecture notes (not part of final exam).
Ethics126a/171a/175aLink to lecture 1, lecture 2 and lecture 3. Each student must complete and hand in the Ethics Handout on Wednesday February 19, 2014 (3rd and last ethics lecture).
 

Report Writing goto top

To help you with the report writing, we have posted the following supporting material for you. First of all, the lectures notes on report writing can be found under the lecture notes. In addition, you can find a short 3-page writeup describing the expected report format, based upon the grading sheet that we use to grade your reports. The 3-page writeup also gives a short narrative that describes what each key element of the report should consist of. Finally, several undergraduate research reports that have been published in the American J. of Physics give an idea of how a report might look like and can be used as examples.





Maintained by Prof. R.A. de Callafon, last revision: 10:13 AM 03/12/2014
Department of MAE (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) at UCSD