Promising Projects: ITMO to Fund Innovative Ideas by Young Scientist (Part 2)

  In late September, the public sessions of selection panel of R&TD projects were held at ITMO University. Over the two days, young scientists presented more than 20 projects; the winners will receive financing from ITMO University. ITMO.NEWS is here to describe the winning projects and their developers’ visions for the future (Part 1).

Lenses for stellar sensors

This is the first lens design project for the stellar sensor in the past 15 years for ITMO University. As the project manager Dmitry Sazonenko, tutor of the Applied and Computer Optics Department notes, it began with realizing current problems associated with assembling the existing models of Astrar family of lenses.

"Within the framework of this topic, literature review and patent search were conducted and the characteristics of the Astrar family of lenses and their competitors were studied. In the near future, we plan to contact representatives of the Space Research Institute to clarify and agree on the technical assignment for the new optical system, "says Dmitry Sazonenko. “To date, ITMO University does not have a team capable of creating new lenses for space. Participation in the project will create a new young R&D team with experience in calculation and design of optical systems for space. "

The project is designed for two years. During this time, it’s expected that the lens will be created from scratch, with consideration for ITMO University’s production capabilities.  The result will be the development of design documentation necessary for the production of new lenses by the University. In the future, it might be possible to create other lenses for space thanks to the new R&D team.

Universal stand to use as a base for control mirrors with a diameter of up to 200 mm

Another project by the Applied and Computer Optics Department, which received support, was a universal stand to be used as a base for control mirrors with a diameter of up to 200 mm. According to Lapkayev, a student at the department and the head of the project, the idea came from manufacturing: when assembling and adjusting the control circuits, a significant shortage of the available stands was revealed. In particular, when the rim with the control mirror was tilted, the top of the control mirror shifted from its original position.

"Therefore it was necessary to perform additional actions to return the peak to its original position. Our design removes this disadvantage by combining the top of the control mirror and the tilt axis of the frame. This way, we are saving time and simplifying the assembly and alignment of the control circuits,” he says. “Work on the project began in June this year. At the moment, the 3D sketch model of the stand is ready and the project is moving to coordination of the technical assignment. Within two years the prototype of the stand will be made, as well as the corresponding sets of design, technological and operational documentation. In the future, we plan to introduce the stand to various production facilities due to its versatility. "

Automated spherical scanner to study the spatial characteristics of antennas

The project is carried out by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Precision Electromechanical Systems at ITMO University. For more than twenty years, its employees have been working on the development of precision electric drives for support and rotary devices that are part of high-precision optical observations for monitoring outer space. In particular, they’re part of the GLONASS system. In 2010, one of these systems was commissioned by Plesetsk Space Center, and this year the optical system was commissioned by Pico dos Dias Observatory in Brazil.

As noted by Pavel Zolov, an engineer at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Precision Electromechanical Systems, the starting point for the project was the proposal of partners specializing in the design of aperture antennas and antenna arrays. They pointed out that the experience accumulated by the department can be used in the development of laboratory measuring systems - spherical scanning devices that allow to measure with high accuracy the radiation parameters of sharp and low-directional antennas operating in the frequency range of 30-110 GHz. These antennas, in particular, are used in cartography, in the high-precision study of weather phenomena.

"The device solves the problem of positioning the object of research - microwave frequencies - in space relative to the measuring probe. At the same time, the measurement methods realized on the basis of a spherical scanner make it possible to study the antennas irrespective of their directional properties and successfully solve the problems of wave diagnostics. This is what’s unique about this project,” says Pavel Zolov. “In addition, it should be noted that we haven’t found any foreign counterparts of the device being developed, which would provide specified requirements to positioning accuracy when scanning antennas of the specified frequency range."

Development of a line of built-in air heat exchangers

The project is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of existing and newly designed ventilation systems. In addition to saving energy resources, it addresses the problem of upgrading existing ventilation systems and reducing the capital costs for equipping them with new facilities. One of its advantages is the possibility of full preservation of the external appearance of the building, which is especially important for cultural heritage sites, private residences, according to project manager Sergei Muraveinikov, a post-graduate student of the Department of Thermophysics and Theoretical Foundations of Heat Refrigeration.

"Currently we have a clear idea of ​​the layout of the device, its components and requirements for them. A lot of work was done to interact with production companies, aimed at ensuring the manufacturability of our device and compatibility with existing equipment,” says Sergey Muraveinikov. “Now we are creating a platform for the further development of the project with consideration for many factors. The prototype made on the basis of the developed documentation will be thoroughly examined both to confirm the declared characteristics and to search for new technological solutions that can improve our devices in the future.”

Also support was secured for the project "Hardware and software platform to counter network attacks on denial of service", implemented under the leadership of Ilya Popov, a graduate student of the Department of Security and Computer Systems Design, and a project aimed at developing an anthropomorphic electromechanical gripper with a power-sensing system by Dmitry Bazylev, an engineer of the Department of Control Systems and Informatics at ITMO University).

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