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Student Designs Arduino Controlled Oscillating Flow Tank

andrea seated

Andrea Bonetto

September 2017 | by Dr. Susa Stonedahl

This spring Andrea Bonetto (industrial and mechanical engineering double major) recently worked with Dr. Susa Stonedahl on a research project that involved designing an apparatus which can be used to study unsteady flow through sand.  

Variations in flow occur in natural river systems due to storm events, snow melting, tidal effects, etc., but most experimental studies have focused on constant flow systems.  

Andrea programmed an Arduino to turn a custom electrical outlet on and off based on sensor input.  She plans to use pressure transducer readings to determine the water level in the system.  When the water level needs to be higher, a water pump will turn on and when it gets too high it will turn off providing controlled flow.  This summer as part of the summer research institute three students (including mechanical engineering major Ethan Zeller) will continue constructing Andrea's design and hopefully run some experiments visualizing unsteady flow.  

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