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Data Acquisition and Controls of An Environmental Chamber
Roy C. Fonseca and Matthew F. Rector
Advisors: Drs. I. S. Ahn, K. McConnaughay, D. R. Schertz

The development of computer controlled environment systems has had a strong influence on today's society. Such products as house and car climate controls are becoming more reliable and sophisticated. The environmental chambers of the Bradley University Biology Department are the focus of this project. These chambers facilitate the study of plant growth in various controlled environments, providing the biologists with new techniques for studying plant growth. At the same time electrical engineering students gain applicable design experience in data acquisition and control systems. The design of a centrally controlled computer-based system for multiple environmental chambers required an integration of control, data acquisition, serial communication, local network, and microprocessor systems. Remote 68HC11 microprocessors in each chamber sample sensors and carry out local control, communicating with a central 486-based PC. The PC provides a graphical interface for operators as well as a central location for data collection and display.

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