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Projects in 1994–1995

AlliedSignal Automotive: Optimization of Blade Thickness Distribution for Turbocharger Wheel

Lisette de Pillis

Working to simplify and improve the process of designing the blades of turbocharger compressor wheels, this clinic team's aim was first to create a software package with an easy to use graphical user interface. The team also set out to explore techniques that have the capability of improving blade designs. The team expanded on the work of the 1993-94 clinic team by increasing the flexibility of the blade designs. This was accomplished using Bezier curves, as opposed to exponential curves, to describe the cross-sectional shape of the blade. Additionally, the cubic polynomial used to describe the thickness at the base of the blade was replaced with a cubic spline.

All of these changes were made in order to find a blade design that could better satisfy the design criteria of achieving low stress, high frequency, and lower mass. The software package developed by this team lets the user easily change the shapes of the blade cross-sections and alter the thickness at the base of the blade. Once this is done, the blade design is then analyzed for stress, frequency and mass, giving the user a measure of how good new blade designs are.

Beckman Instruments, Inc.: Simulation of DNA Array Hybridization

Michael Moody

Molecular sequence information is increasingly important to clinical diagnosis, especially of diseases or conditions that are under some degree of genetic control. Such information can be used to diagnose carriers of genetic diseases, or to infer predisposition to conditions that are correlated to the presence of genetic markers. Beckman Instrument Corporation, as a leader in clinical diagnostics technology, is developing an automated solid-phase DNA hybridization system that will permit the rapid and accurate screening of DNA samples using arrays of artificially-synthesized DNA oglionucleotide probes.

The Clinic team is developing software for predicting the results of solid-phase hybridization experiments, and is writing a software package for optimizing the design of probe sequences. The software package incorporates the most recent thermodynamic theory for DNA-DNA hybridization reactions.

Grumman B-2 Division: Electromagnetic Properties of and Propagation of Electromagnetic Fields within Sphere and Finite Wire Mediums

David Bosley

Grumman Corporation is interested in the electromagnetic properties of materials that are made of a random distribution of spheres. These spheres have varied radii and material constants such as conductivity. The goal of the project is to develop software that will solve the so-called “direct” problem of scattering. This involves the determination of the radiation scattered by a given collection of spheres ranging over a distribution of spacing and material constants.

The clinic will begin in looking at the isolated electrostatic sphere; then evolve into investigation of a periodic lattice of identical spheres. The software developed for this idealized problem will be fundamental to the final goal. Next the problem of random distributions will be tackled and hopefully overcome.