Monday, May 5, 2008

Gardening Galore

Matt and I have been on a gardening rampage lately since the garden refuse truck thing is coming around this week. We've managed to completely destroy our front yard (in a good way), and even got rid of our giant tree out the front!

The Front Yard ForrestWell OK we payed someone to do it, but it's gone none the less. I have mixed feelings about that tree - the guy told me it was over 20 years old, so it's very sad to see it taken down, but at the same time I'm so relieved we won't have to clean our gutters anymore!

Tree No MoreWe can't wait to start planting stuff, and getting our garden looking like a garden instead of a jungle. It's still a long way off though, since the next step is to get the ground leveled out the front, but we're slllloooowwwlly getting there!

The Giant Tree

My Final Year Project Trial

I thought I'd finally post a little bit about my final year project for those of you who are interested in one of the reasons why I'm always so stressed out :)

I'm currently in my final year at uni, finishing off my engineering degree. Part of this is completing a final year project, which is how UWA (university of Western Australia) decides whether or not you graduate with honours.

My final year project is an industry partnered one, which means that I'm doing it for the uni, but also for L-3 Nautronix. It's still very research based, but has a practical component to it as well.

L-3 Nautronix does a lot of through water communications, and the problem I'm tackling is that of noisy platforms. The idea of the project is to investigate a noise cancellation system to get rid of the noise introduced by a noisy platform at the receiving end of a communication system. When a signal comes in to a Nautronix receiver (which is a big heavy ball thing usually hanging off the end of a boat) a lot of noise is introduced by the platform (such as a noisy boat motor). After some investigation, we chose to use a signal processing approach involving adaptive interference cancellation.

The Jetty UnitIt's actually very easy to describe the gist of whats going on. Imagine putting a microphone at the receiver, and one at the boat motor. One of the microphones would give you a pure boat noise signal, and the other microphone would give you the incoming information signal plus some boat motor noise too. If we subtract one from the other, we're left with the information signal only! Of course it's not that simple due to things like a time varying underwater channel between the motor and receiver etc. but it's very doable, and the adaptive algorithms take care of most of the mess.

The Bull SharkLast Friday I went out on trial to do the physical version of the microphone analogy. I went out with the HAIL team on their trial, and did my recordings after they had finished. It was actually a really fun day! I saw a dolphin, some little flying fish thingies, and I went on a boat which was very exciting.

Me and the Ball HydrophoneI haven't had a chance to look at all the data I've recorded yet due to my weekend being EXTREMELY busy, but I'm confident that I've got a fair bit to work with! I'm interested to see how strong the effects of the channel were, since I have no idea what to expect. I'm a bit worried that the two "microphones" I used were too different (in terms of response), so hopefully that's OK for what I need.

So there's a short summary of what I've been doing, feel free to ask any questions about the subject :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

If LOST Was a Soapie

So what if LOST was a soap opera? Well, it would probably have a title sequence much like this one...

Made by Matt Comi