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Projects in 1978–1979


Aerospace Corporation: Efficient Numerical Methods for Solving Differential Equations of Rocket Flight

Advisor
Tei Ito

The goal of this project was to find the most efficient method for numerically solving a class of initial value problems. Discontinuities in some of the functions involved will make some sort of algorithm for automatically varying the stepsize an essential part of any such method. One such method developed was Runge-Kutta-Simpson; another one considered was a predictor-corrector method. Other, more recently developed methods found through a literature search were also considered.

Chevron Oil Field Research Company: Parameter Studies for a Model of Abnormal Fluid Pressure

Advisor
Dale Larson

The team studied the basic equations in the current Clinic model of non-equilibrium montmorillonite compaction and diagenesis, with the aim of deciding whether these equations adequately represent the physical phenomena. The team also analyzed recent output from the current computer numericalizations of these equations to determine to what extent they are being satisfied; questions of numerical stability were also considered. Simplified models were developed and relevant computer testing carried out.

General Dynamics: Parameter Optimization for Homing-Guidance System

Advisor
Tei Ito
College
CGU

After studying a model for a homing-guidance system, the adjoint method of analysis was investigated in conjunction with an optimal parameter search. The main objective was to develop an efficient search technique which works for a wide range of initial conditions of parameters.

General Dynamics: Team Games: Cooperative Effects

Advisor
Jerren Gould
College
CGU

In this project models of modern combat duels and engagements were constructed and considered with the view of determining the sensitivity of any unit's or team's measure of effectiveness based on its design specifications, operator training, and field manual. Particular attention was focused on engagements between helicopters and ground vehicles.

Interstate Electronics: Automatic Word Recognition

Advisor
Richard Vitale
College
CGU

The team made a detailed investigation of the structure and empirical characteristics of the existing Interstate Electronics word recognition system. Three methodologies were developed to aid the analysis—graphical methods, transition analysis, and distance tables. The second stage of the project was devoted to formulating possible improvements to the system. These range from changing single bits in a coding scheme to implementation of a learning algorithm or improvement of recognition.

Advisor
James Lucke
College
CMC/IDS

"The properties of the mixed exponential model of reliability was investigated with the following goals: a) Develop an approximate lower confidence bound for the reliability from truncated data when both the shape and scale parameters are known. b) Determine a goodness of fit test for the model for all types of test data. c) Compare this model with other reliability models used under a failure rate assumption. This model has been found useful for estimating the reliability of electronic components and the achievement of the goals would broaden its usefulness."

U.S. Forest Service Fire Lab: Computer Algorithms for the Comparison of Chaparral Land Management Alternatives

Advisor
Dale Larson
College
CGU

The team carefully examined the Fire Service management decision-making tools developed during last year's Clinic project with the aim of making tools more practically operational. One particular focus of the team was to try to find methods to overcome the computational difficulties that are expected to be encountered in using the tools due to the largeness of dimension in the model underlying the tools. The development of alternate and/or new decision-making tools was also considered.

U.S. Forest Service Fire Lab: Estimating the Cost of Fires in Chaparral Lands

Advisors
Robert Borrelli
Robert Mifflin

This project identified probability distributions for frequency of fire ignitions and for frequency of different fire sizes. The most usable output was the mean and distribution of simple relative frequency or rate of occurrence of fires by fuel, cause, weather and quarter of the year. Another result was the distribution of different fire sizes stratified by fuel, cause, fire danger and quarter of the year, using forests and years as replications. To make the output more usable, the time unit was quarter of the year and area “millions of acres.”