FHA/1 Space Diversity: Modelling and Performance Study.doc
MSc Projects offered for 2006/2007
Individual Projects for MSc students in :
• Embedded Digital Systems
• Modern Communication Technologies with Business
• Modern Digital Communications Systems
• Satellite Communications & Space Systems
Dr Falah H ALI
FHA/1 Space Diversity: Modelling and Performance Study
Space diversity is one of the most effective techniques to combat multipath fading in mobile
wireless communication systems by providing redundancy in the spatial domain. The aim of this
project is to study simple transmit and receive space diversity techniques using MATLAB simulation
tools. The student is expected to make use of the large research literature on this topic and exploit
the latest techniques for further performance improvement and applications.
FHA/2 DSP Implementation of Multicarrier Transmission System
Multcarrier also called OFDM is orthogonal frequency division multiplexing technique which employ
more than one carrier frequency for the parallel transmission of data to provide superior
performance in mobile wireless communication systems. It is the core modulation technique in
many systems such as digital video broadcasting (DVB), wireless local area networks (WLAN),
WiMAX Broadband Wireless Access, and more. The aim of this project is to design and implement
a flexible OFDM transmission system on Texas Instrument DSP development board.
FHA/3 Video Analysis Framework
The aim of the project is to create a general purpose integrated platform for performance measure
and analysis of video coding and transmission systems. This project will use the available Microsoft
DirectShow media framework for software development as the platform for the implementation of
different operations and functionalities. The student would benefit from the large database and
information available within the communications research group for MPEG4 video codec. Good
programming skills with C/C++ would be useful for the project.
FHA/4 Multi User Detection for CDMA Systems
CDMA is a code division multiple access technique employed in 3rd generation of wireless
communication systems such as the W-CDMA for UMTS cellular mobile systems. It uses the code
to provide the multiple access function with increased capacity and superior performance compared
with other techniques such as FDMA & TDMA. However one of the main limitations of CDMA is the
multiple access interference created by the use of non-orthogonal code sequences between the
users. The aim of this project is to study multiuser detection techniques and exploit the use of
channel coding for further performance improvement with the aid of MATLAB software package
FHA/5 Wireless Control
Wireless communications are currently widely used in many applications as a cable replacement
technology and networking capabilities. There are many applications in industrial environment and
control that could benefit greatly from wireless technology if the real time and deterministic
requirements essential for these systems are met. The aim of this project is to research the
application of wireless technologies in different control applications, identify the practical limitations
and conduct practical/simulation performance study with the aid of WLAN and Bluetooth
development boards available within the communications research group lab.
FHA/6 Collaborative Transmission for Multiuser Wireless Systems
Collaborative transmission are one of the proposed strategies in multiuser wireless communication
systems to provide more efficient way of utilizing the available resources and providing higher
capacity systems. The aim of this project is to research the main techniques of collaborative
transmission in mobile cellular systems and Adhoc networks and to perform simulation study of
simple schemes using MATLAB or NS2.
FHA/7 Cryptosystem for Adhoc Networks
The aim of the project is to study security issues and techniques for WLAN and implement by
software a new secret sharing scheme developed within the Communications Research Group
applicable to Adhoc networks.
FHA/8 & /9 Student Proposed Projects
Dr Rupert C D YOUNG
RY/1 Mobile robot employing artificial vision for route navigation
A mobile robot has been developed on a previous project that employs the images acquired from
an on-board camera and pattern recognition software to steer the robot towards features placed at
locations on a pre-determined route. In this way the robot can attempt to navigate between these
points to a final goal. The algorithms implemented at present are rather limited and require
substantial further work to enhance the robustness and flexibility of the robot’s navigation. The work
will involve implementing further machine vision techniques to enhance the performance of the
RY/2 Object orientation independent pattern recognition
The project will develop frequency domain based correlation filters for the orientation independent
recognition and discrimination of three dimensional objects such as road vehicles in a cluttered
environment. The work will involve the development and implementation of filtering algorithms for
this pattern recognition task and their comparative performance assessment on an existing image
database of test imagery. The simulation code will be written in Matlab or C.
RY/3 Neural Network for Object orientation independent pattern recognition
The project will employ neural network methods to design filter banks for the orientation
independent recognition and discrimination of three dimensional objects, such as road vehicles, in
a cluttered environment. The work will involve the development and implementation of filtering
algorithms for this pattern recognition task and their comparative performance assessment on an
existing image database of test imagery. The simulation code will be written in Matlab or C.
RY/4 Wiener filter for watermark detection
If precise knowledge of the background in which a signal is embedded is available, Wiener filtering
provides a powerful method to extract this signal. The difficulty is that generally knowledge of the
background’s full complex spectrum is unavailable. However, in some circumstances this is not the
case and the full form of the Wiener filter can be used to great effect. This project will examine the
use of the Wiener filter in an application of great current importance, namely the digital
watermarking of documents and pictures for authentication purposes during internet transfer. The
simulation code will be written in Matlab or C.
RY/5 Automated Event Detection from video Camera Sequences
It is required to automatically detect certain events from surveillance camera sequences. This
requires the extraction of semantic information from the raw pixel data. In certain simple instances
this is now possible but the techniques require considerable enhancements to allow higher level
extraction of information. This work requires the development of suitable low level, intermediate
level and high level data extraction methods on camera image sequences. The simulation work will
be performed in Matlab or C.
RY/6 Texture Analysis of Medical X-Ray Images
The group collaborates with the Medical School in developing frequency domain image processing
techniques to quantify the texture in the x-ray and Computer Assisted Tomogram images of a
variety of organs including liver, lung and breast. This project will continue the design and
assessment of orientation sensitive texture analysis methods that will provide enhancement of
texture features in the tissue that are related to various forms of tumour. The code will be written in
Matlab to integrate with the existing texture analysis software developed by the group.
RY/7 Texas Instruments C67 DSP Board Development
The project will involve the porting of signal processing algorithms to a Texas Instruments C67-11
development kit and the optimisation of performance. In particular, it is required to implement video
rate pattern recognition techniques based on frequency domain filtering. Thus, central to this
requirement is the realisation of a video-rate 2-D Fourier transform. The hardware and compilers
will be available for this work.
Drs Robert J Prance, Dr Helen Prance, Dr Chris J Harland
Research Group: Centre for Physical Electronics and Quantum Technology (PEQT)
N.B. All PEQT projects are hardware based microwave design and build projects. Attendance at
the Autumn Term optional course RF Electronic Design is a prerequisite for these projects.
PEQT/1 10GHz low noise block.
The performance of a correctly designed microwave receiver is usually limited by the first stage
amplifier. It is therefore crucial that this is optimized. This project involves the design and
construction of a low noise amplifier and mixer to operate at 10 GHz and down-convert the signal to
1GHz. They will be designed using S parameter techniques. The student will gain experience in the
testing of microwave components and operation of simple spectrum analyser equipment as well as
in the use of sophisticated noise measurement techniques. The system will be mounted on a
parabolic dish with a suitable antenna for final testing.
PEQT/2 Time domain reflectometry using picosecond pulses.
Time Domain Reflectometry is an analogous technique to echo sounding and involves the
application of pulses to transmission lines and components. Analysis of the reflected (and
sometimes the transmitted) signals gives information from which we can infer the parameters of
passive components terminating the transmission line. The project will involve the design and
construction of a test setup and measurement probes suitable for this purpose. Initially a
commercial picosecond pulse generator will be used, but if time is available the student may wish
to design and build a fast pulse source. Delay lines will be used to simulate fault conditions at
remote sites and to provide easily measurable time delays.
PEQT/3 1GHz receiver.
This project will involve the design and construction of two of the key elements in any receiver
system; a low noise amplifier and a mixer. They will be designed using S parameter techniques for
an operating frequency of ~1GHz. The mixer will be used to provide demodulation and to give the
lowest noise performance. The student will gain experience in the testing of microwave
components and operation of simple spectrum analyser equipment as well as in the use of
sophisticated noise measurement techniques. The final system will be tested with a simple antenna
to determine the sensitivity. This frequency range is of particular interest to the mobile
PEQT/4 Characterisation of components using microwave bursts.
The next generation of computing machines will operate according to the rules of quantum
mechanics. Current research on such semiconducting and superconducting systems requires them
to operate at very low temperatures (<1K = -172C), close to absolute zero. It seems likely that
these exotic systems will interact with the outside world through very fast microwave bursts. This
project is concerned with setting up a test setup to transmit these short microwave bursts through a
long (~1m) cable and analyse the reflected pulse through another 1m length of cable. A stripline
circuit will be designed to terminate the cables and the properties of the termination will be deduced
from the analysis of the reflected pulse.
PEQT/5 Amplifier characterization and specification
The performance of low noise receiver systems depends critically on the behavior of the pre-
amplifier stage. This includes not only the noise performance, but the impedance match, centre
frequency, bandwidth, linearity, dynamic range and overload margin. This project will involve
gaining an understanding of the process of specifying an amplifier and characterizing an amplifier
to determine whether it meets its specification. This will include drawing up a procedure for testing
amplifiers and the use of sophisticated radio frequency spectrum analyzer equipment. The student
will gain experience in an area of interest to the communications industry.
PEQT/6 Mixer characterization and specification
A vital component in any receiver systems is the mixer stage. This changes the frequency of the
received signal and down-converts it to the intermediate frequency, where the majority of the
amplification takes place. It is important that the performance is well characterized. This includes
not only the conversion loss, but the impedance match, port to port isolation, bandwidth, linearity,
dynamic range (1dB compression) and intermodulation products. This project will involve gaining
an understanding of the process of testing a mixer to determine whether it meets its specification.
This will include testing and comparing the performance of a number of mixers using sophisticated
radio frequency spectrum analyzer equipment.
Dr William J WANG
WJW/7 Time-frequency and wavelet analysis for pipe leaking signals
Application of time-frequency and wavelet analysis into signals which represent physical
processes, such as audio or machine vibration signals. Mathematical derivation,
MATLAB computing with examples. Interest in math and signal analytical analysis is
preferred. The application focus will be on analysis of the steam leaking signals on pipes.
WJW/8 Underwater Communications
Water is conductive and signals can be substantially grounded. Electromagnetic signal
will be difficult to propagate in a river or particularly in the sea. The project is to
understand how different types of radio wave being attenuated in the water and develop
an economic acoustic transmitter and receiver to effectively communicate under the
WJW/9 3D face recognition for Security TV
Development of 3D face recognition methods for more reliable face recognition tasks.
Image processing and Pattern recognition using PC. The technique can be used to
identify suspects while CCTV is operating. The project covers the topic that how this
techniques can be integrated into practical CCTV surveillance systems.
WJW/10 Tele-monitoring system via Internet
Home or office can be monitored by camera via Internet links. The remote end is a digital
video camera with an Internet server. The monitoring end is the ordinary PC. Functions
may also be added via Internet to control remotely. The knowledge of programming,
computer interface, computer networking and internet protocol may be required.
WJW/11 Digital Camera Translator
Added to a digital camera, a word translation system is to be developed to translate from
one language to the other, displayed by sound or image, which is particular useful for
visitors in foreign countries. Interface between digital and optic devices, pattern
recognition, microprocessor will be involved.
Dr Tai C YANG
Detailed project descriptions can be found at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Users/taiyang/
Click on: “MSc Projects”. Please read this before contacting Dr Yang.
At the start of the project, each student will get a CD-ROM with all required background materials and
other useful information. During the “full-time” project period of May to August, weekly project
meetings will be arranged for each group of students. Below are the titles of proposed projects.
Group A: Simulation Study of Networked and Embedded Control Systems.
Introduction: Today, computerised and networked control systems are being used in almost all application sectors to perform
non-safety and, increasingly, also safety-related functions for reasons of their inherent efficiency and flexibility. The significance
of these embedded systems in everyone’s life is rapidly growing.
TCY/1 Networked and embedded control under the FDMA protocol
TCY/2 Networked and embedded control under the TDMA protocol
TCY/3 Networked and embedded control under the CAN protocol
TCY/4 Networked and embedded control under the Ethernet protocol
TCY/5 Networked and embedded control under the Round Robin protocol
TCY/6 Networked and embedded control under the IEEE 802.11 protocol
TCY/7 Networked and embedded control under the Switched Ethernet protocol
TCY/8 Sampling period scheduling in embedded control systems
Group B: Wireless and Ad-Hoc Networks: Challenges and Applications
TCY/9 Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols for ad hoc wireless networks
TCY/10 Quality of service provisioning in ad hoc wireless networks
TCY/11 Mobile IP in cellular and Mobile Ad-Hoc Network environments
TCY/12 Routing protocols for wireless sensor networks
TCY/13 Clock synchronization for wireless sensor networks
TCY/14 Security of 802.11 wireless LAN
TCY/15 Security of Bluetooth wireless networks
TCY/16 Wireless technologies in industrial networks
TCY/17 Wireless actuator networks
Group C: Other Possible Project
See the webpage above for details of additional projects.
TCY/18 Demonstration of Networked Control Systems (See Dr Yang)
Dr John N TORRY
JNT/1 Programmable Parametric Equaliser
The normal graphic equaliser, such as used in a stereo/CD player, gives a variable amount of boost
or cut at a specific frequency so that playback can match the acoustics of the room. In a
reasonable hi-fi systems there will be a bank of 8 graphic equalisers at octave intervals over the
audio frequency range. A parametric equaliser has up to three controls (i) for boost/cut (ii) for
centre frequency and (iii) for variable bandwidth and is usually built into mixer desks.
The parametric equaliser is an analogue circuit with several potentiometers for varying the
parameters. The control needs to be accurate. Digitally programmable potentiometers are
available and using a microcontroller is the best way to achieve accurate control. A PIC would be
suitable, with various outputs for controlling the potentiometers and various inputs for taking
information from analogue sliders or rotating knobs. Optionally a display could be added to
monitor the input details. Requires: Analogue circuit design and calculations, digital interface, PIC
software programming as assembler level (real-time operation and relatively straightforward).
JNT/2 Heart Sound Detection with Noise Cancellation
The traditional stethoscope should be replaced with its electronic equivalent. In fact, many designs
are already on the market but there are not many in general usage. The cost and simplicity of
original rubber tubing, metal diaphragm and ear pieces takes a lot of beating. In the electronic
device when trying to get away with inexpensive electret microphones, background noise becomes
a problem. Mounting a microphone in a stethoscope head enables reasonable heart sound signals
to be detected. The project involves mounting a second microphone close to the first but pointing
out towards the room. Subtracting the signals from both microphones should enable some noise
cancellation to be achieved. The amount of cancellation will probably depend on bandwidth
(wavelength of sound), distance apart of microphone and phase accuracy of any electronic
amplifiers (opposite to stereo effect).
JNT/3 dB Meter
This is a sound intensity level meter with a logarithmic output. A microphone and preamplifier are
required - then follows a variable gain amplifier to cover the expected wide range of sound intensity
– then follows a detector and hold circuit (diode and capacitor). The analogue level needs to feed
into a PIC, or similar microcontroller, converted to a log scale (look-up table required) and
displayed. The PIC also needs to control the amplifier gain using, say, some range-switching
JNT/4 Digital Theremin
The Theremin is one of the original electronic music instruments. The pitch was changed by
moving ones hand towards or away from a metal dome. The differing stray capacitance varied the
beat frequency from two closely tuned oscillators to produce notes in the audible range. The
performer could “feel” the response rather than playing a keyboard or musical instrument. A
modern digital equivalent requires some spatial detector (e.g. ultrasound) to measure distance and
a means of converting the signal such as digitally-controlled oscillator. Options could include
monitoring the volume (a second hand movement was used in the original), and converting the
signal to give MIDI output for a standard synthesiser.
JNT/5 Oversampling A/D converter with first-order noise shaping
In audio recording most systems now use the oversampling technique i.e. high frequency sampling
with a low bit resolution rather than high number of bits (16) and sampling at the Nyquist rate (twice
the highest frequency). Using one-bit resolution i.e. a comparator and high sampling rate, 10MHz
say, the traditional analogue problems how become digital problems which are then tackled using
digital signal processing. The project is to build a discrete oversampling converter using one
integrator for first-order shaping of the quantisation noise. Switched-capacitor integrators are more
flexible than normal analogue integrators and enable the sample and hold function to be included in
the same circuitry. Requires: Analogue design and build, some digital logic and some maths
background for understanding the overall system. There is an option to extend the post processing
by including some digital filter hardware for the process of “decimation”.
Prof Chris R Chatwin
CRC/1 Low cost Space vehicle launch and Propulsion Systems
Conduct a design study for low cost space vehicle launch systems; investigate the
options for increasing the payload that can be launched into space.
CRC/2 Design of low cost Micro Satellites Systems
Investigate micro-satellite technology with a view to creating a new generation of low cost
CRC/3 Design of Satellite Networking and Satellite Communication Systems
CRC/4 Unsupervised Learning Using Neural Networks
Review the current state of the art and investigate a particular problem.
CRC/5 Biometrics on a Mobile Phone
Integration of biometric security systems onto a mobile phone
CRC/6 Invisible labelling systems for track and trace
Development of an invisible labels for tracking goods in the supply chain. This will use
barcodes to encode product information. It will also conduct an investigation into RFID.
CRC/7 Design of Industrial communication systems
The study will look at the optimisation of price, performance and interoperability
CRC/8a Web based services for the management of business operations
CRC/8b Data processing electronics for a whisker sensing system
CRC/9 Monitoring environmental resources using satellite imagery
CRC/10 Meteorology Systems using Satellite imaging
CRC/11 Space based beam weapons
CRC/12 Planning a mission to a distant planet or moon
CRC/13 Automatic Recognition of Road Signs from cars using low cost cameras and image
processing software – this gathered information will made available to the driver and
alarms will by given if the driver makes an error.
CRC/14 Design of web portal for sensor data
A WSN is based upon hundreds of thousands of tiny sensor devices collectively
monitoring a physical or environmental phenomenon. The applications of WSN fall in a
wide range of categories such as: military surveillance, environmental monitoring, habitat
monitoring, health care, home care/automation, automobile care/traffic control and
industrial automation process monitoring etc. A typical sensor node comprises a sensing
unit, a processing unit (CPU), a communication unit and a power unit (battery). Energy is
a scarce resource of a sensor node. Most of the research work is in progress to find out
energy efficient methods for WSN. There could be thousands of user queries for sensor
data. In response to all these queries a node has to transmit data back to the requester
through a base station or directly. Such frequent transmissions reduce the life of WSN.
One solution to this problem would be to avoid direct queries from sensor nodes rather
publish its data to a portal and all user requests are to be served by the portal. The
sensor node may transmit its data to a base station only when there is significant change
in the state of node data. The base station may query the specific node when it becomes
necessary to refresh the node data.
(More Projects on the next page)
Prof Chris R Chatwin (Projects continued)
CRC/15 Method to avoid Multiple Retransmissions
In a WSN if source and destination nodes are not capable of communicating directly and
source uses in between nodes as relay nodes, this causes excessive transmissions of the
data and results in more energy consumption during a single communication session.
This problem of retransmissions may be reduced to some extent by designing efficient
routing algorithms for WSN, which may select the best path for data transmission, in
which the minimum number of relay nodes are used. An alternative solution to this
problem could be to restrict the nodes from data transmission and set one node as data
collector which collects data directly from sensor nodes. Setting one node as a data
collector has many issues to be resolved like, mobility, data aggregation, and availability
of data at the time of collection and so on.
CRC/16 Efficient data gathering methods in WSN
A WSN comprises thousands of low cost sensor nodes. Typical WSN tasks may be
categorized as information gathering, and information processing for monitoring and
surveillance purposes. Sensor nodes generate a large amount of network data by
sending event data to their base station periodically. Such a huge quantity of data needs
an efficient data collection and management mechanism.
CRC/17 Sensor Node Identification
In traditional IP networks a node is identified by its logical (IP address) and physical (MAC
address) address. There is no logical or physical address identification mechanism in
wireless sensor networks for node identification. Hence the node identification is still an
issue of WSN for communication purposes. One solution to this problem is localization
(determination of locality/position of a sensor node). The research in localization has not
yet produced a satisfactory solution towards the node identification problem and needs
more research in this area. The advantages of efficient node identification are minimal
communication overhead, and energy efficient transmission, which increases the life of
Dr Elias STIPIDIS
ES/1 TTP vectronics testbed
Time Triggered Protocol (TTP) is state of the art technology in the automotive and
avionics. TTP provides a strictly high level of determinism for real time safety critical
systems and the objective of this project is to design a vetronics testbed using an
integrated development environment provided by TTTech to research and evaluate its
performance. Primarily the student will be asked to learn the development environment
(hardware and software) and then implement a simulated vetronic system. It is a project
that can be taken by more than one student.
In co-operation with TTTech.
ES/2 FlexRay testbed
FlexRay is state of the art technology in the automotive and avionics. FlexRay provides a
strictly high level of determinism for real time safety critical systems and the objective of
this project is to design a testbed using an integrated development environment provided
by Decomsys to research and evaluate its performance. Primarily the student will be
asked to learn the development environment (hardware and software) and then
implement a simulated vetronic system.
It is a project that can be taken by more than one student.
In co-operation with Decomsys.
ES/3 MilCAN conformance and interoperability node
It is important to accompany protocol specifications and standards with a robust method
of determining how compatible new and existing products are. This project is concerned
with the design and implementation of a conformance and interoperability node for
MilCAN. A MilCAN core will be provided to be used for the project and the student will be
asked to develop test procedures based on compliance matrices.
ES/4 An army of ants
This project is concerned with the design and development of 4 identical miniature robots,
ants. They should be designed in such a way that they can communicate between them
exchanging information and co-operate when given a group task. Concentrating on the
electronic parts of the system the student should design the hardware and software as
well as the communication protocol between the little robots. It is a project that can be
taken by more than one student.
Controller Area Networks have specific limitations in their utilisation based on the
methodologies they deploy eg bus arbitration. However, some of these limitations such
as speed and fault tolerance can be improved by using a different architecture such as
Star. The objective of this project is to design a CANStar core to be used for FPGAs
where the CAN processes can be embedded into a single active node to form a
“switched” CAN system architecture. Furthermore the student will be asked to implement
a hardware extension to existing FPGA development boards and create a mini testbed.
ES/6 MJPEG video distribution
The student will be asked to do a literature review in compressed video distribution and
then design a distributed video system with multiple inputs (cameras) and outputs
(displays) using MJPEG streams. This involves the investigation of standard software
codecs for MJPEG and streaming protocols and to create a testbed with multiple displays
deploying a selection of the above.
ES/SP Special Project
Students are encouraged also to develop their own ideas for projects