Project Plan Rev. 1 Page Project Bluebird

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Project Plan Rev. 0.1 Page

Project Bluebird



University of Portland

School of Engineering Phone 503 943 7314

5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Fax 503 943 7316

Portland, OR 97203-5798

Project Plan

Project Swift Fox: An Automotive Performance Monitor

Peter Brunke (Fall 04 Project Lead)

Sham Alroomi

Wajdi Alshalan

Andrew Robinson






Dr. Lu

Dr. Lillevik

Insert checkmark (√) next to name when approved.

Revision History




Reason for Changes



P. Brunke

Initial draft



S. Alroomi

P. Brunke

A. Robinson

W. Alshalan

Rough Draft for Review



S. Alroomi,

P. Brunke,

A. Robinson

W. Alshalan

Final Approved Copy.

Table of Contents

Summary 1

Introduction 2

Background 3

Product Overview 4

General Description 4

Deliverables 5

Power Supply/Regulator: 6

The 12 volt power supply from the vehicles battery will be used and converted to a 5 volt signal for the system. 6

Digital Components: 6

Analog Front End: 6

Container: 6

Printed Circuit Board: 6

Menu System/Display/Keypad: 6

Spreadsheet Converter/Communications Driver: 6

I/O Driver: 7

Program Microcontroller and components: 7

Development Process 7

General Approach 8

Assumptions 8

Milestones 8

Risks 10

EMI noise from Vehicle: 10

Accelerometer does not Work Correctly: 10

Formula SAE Car not Completed: 10

Environmental Concerns: 11

Schedule 11

Schedule Overview 12

Resources 12

Personnel: 13

Budget: 13

Equipment: 14

Facilities: 14

Automobile Platform: 15

Contingencies 15

EMI Noise from Vehicle: 15

Accelerometer Problems: 15

Formula SAE car not completed: 15

Environmental Concerns: 15

Conclusions 16

Appendices 17

Appendix A: Glossary 17

List of Figures

Figure 1. Swift Fox Block Diagram 5

Figure 2. Swift Fox schedule (Part A) 11

Figure 3. Swift Fox schedule (Part B) 12

List of Tables

Table 1. Swift Fox Deliverables. 5

Table 2. Key Swift Fox milestones. 9

Table 3. Swift Fox project risks. 10

Table 4. Overall Swift Fox Budget 13




This document outlines the project plan for Project Swift Fox. Project Swift Fox, which is an automotive performance monitor, is a data acquisition system that will be installed on a racecar designed by senior mechanical engineers of the University of Portland. This project, Project Swift Fox, is divided into several tasks: designing an analog front end, a power supply, a printed circuit board using IVEX software, the digital components which consist of microcontroller, oscillator, ADC, serial EEPROM, and a control and display system that will act as a terminal to accept keypad button presses and output the right information on a display. Moreover, in order for the data to be transmitted to the RS232 port, an I/O driver needs to be programmed.

This document is divided into sections and chapters. First is the product overview chapter, which consists of general information about Project Swift Fox. Second are the deliverables, where brief information is provided that explains each deliverable.

Second, the development process chapter consists of the following sections: general approach, assumptions, milestones, risks, schedule, resources, and contingencies. In the general approach section, a description of the technical and logical sequences is given. Project Swift Fox’s milestones are included in this chapter where we have provided every particular task starting from forming team to the final report approval. Next is the risks section, where the risks associated with Project Swift Fox are not a big concern to the group members, because the severity of these risks are mostly low such as the possibility that the accelerometer might not work properly. The rest of the concerns are FSAE car might not be completed on time, and other environmental concerns. In the schedule section, we have provided our precise schedule for our project. The next section is the resources section, where the resources of Project Swift Fox are provided, which includes personnel, budget (which is $299.00), equipment, facilities, and automobile platform. The last section in this chapter is contingencies, which describes our plan in preventing and/or dealing with the risks discussed earlier.




The purpose of this document is to provide an explanation of Project Swift Fox’s project plan. This document is written for our instructor Dr. Lillevik, our academic advisor Dr. Lu, our industry representative Mr. Kassel, the mechanical engineering Formula SAE group, and our fellow classmates. The reader of this document will benefit from this document by knowing the process of implementing the project, the deliverables used, risks, and how to prevent these risks from affecting the project.

This document starts with the background section that serves as a refresher to the reader on where we are now. Second is a product overview, which gives the reader an understanding of the product and the project’s deliverables. Third, the development process chapter, which describes the general approach of Project Swift Fox such as: logical and technical sequences that will be followed by the assumptions, milestones, risks, schedule, resources, and risk contingencies.




Project Swift Fox is a data acquisition system that will be installed on a Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) race car which will be built by senior mechanical engineering students. This device is also useful for other drivers who are interested in knowing when their vehicle is being abused and aid in future design of racing vehicles.
The data acquisition system will be measuring both lateral acceleration and engine speed. The components that will be used in this project are digital and analog components. Thus far we have completed the functional spec and starting the design phase of the project. We are also beginning to experiment with the power supply and obtaining raw data using the accelerometer and obtaining engine speed signals from the engine.
Currently the mechanical engineers on the Formula SAE team have been making good progress as well; they are in the midst of their design and have started experimenting with their engine. They also have adequate funding to complete the car.


Product Overview


General Description

The Swift Fox Automotive Performance monitor allows vehicle designers and race car drivers to gather information on the performance of their vehicle under various driving conditions. The monitor will record all information measured when in record mode. The main purpose of the monitor is to measure lateral acceleration as the vehicle takes tight turns and to measure the engine’s rpm which is also proportional to vehicle velocity based on the ratio of the current transmission gear. The monitor will be capable of recording and displaying auxiliary sensors as well, so that vehicle designers will have the option of measuring engine temperature, radiator pressure, spark advance, or other parameters at their discretion by obtaining an appropriate sensor. There are to be a maximum of four data acquisition channels for measuring and recording sensor information.

This combination of sensors may be analyzed after a test run to see how the mechanical design of the vehicle withstood cornering. The information is designed to be analyzed on a separate PC after the test run is finished; extracting general information such as when any wheel broke loose in a corner. Traction loss will likely manifest as a spike in the rpm of the car, and the detection of marginal stability may be seen as a rapid variation in the lateral G force. Any information which is more specific than that obtained with the two primary sensors would be gathered by an optional sensor or sensors. The standard sensor information allows mechanical engineers to vary parameters such as tires and struts to see if an improvement in stability or traction results. Use of the device will allow vehicle designers to improve the performance of their vehicles both for racing purposes and for consumer vehicle safety, or for “black box” type data recording to show the events leading up to an automobile wreck.

The automotive performance monitor also has a real-time display, allowing for the real-time monitoring of sensors which are in use. At present, the usefulness of the display would be for the driver of the vehicle who is trying to judge the proximity of the vehicle to its design limit or a possible passenger who is monitoring the progress of the vehicle. The screen will flash when the vehicle is approaching design limit which is preprogrammed into the unit. In this design, the monitored limits will include lateral acceleration and RPM. In future applications, the real-time information might be used to reduce the vehicle's fuel supply as a safety feature, but that would require external circuitry which is beyond the scope of this project.

Figure 1. Swift Fox Block Diagram

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