Precision temperature control for the Simulink Student Challenge

Miracle Israel Nazarious, PhD student from the Group of Atmospheric Science (GAS), has submitted a project to the MathWorks’ Simulink Student Challenge, consisting of the application of a Peltier cell to the accurate controlling of thermal conditions for the calibration of HABIT instrument’s Ground Temperature Sensor (GTS).

The Simulink Student Challenge is an annual international competition that started in 2011, convened by MathWorks corporation. This challenge is aimed to promote the creativity of students in the development of innovative ideas by using Simulink for different applications. Every year, students from all around the world participate on this challenge by submitting short YouTube videos that showcase their projects. One of the advantages of this student challenge is that the information is shared openly, in a very educative way, and it is communicated in an informal way through videos which can be used for inspiration for other future projects.

Simulink is a visual tool based on the programming environment MatLab which permits to develop models in form of diagrams to test a whole computer system and every of its parts before generating the correspondent codes to directly get the operative software.

Arrangement of the Peltier cell.
Credits: GAS/LTU

Miracle Israel Nazarious has developed a portable-peltier device for controlling with high precision the temperature with a predefined target condition and heating/cooling profile. This solution shall be used among others, for the calibration of HABIT but it will also have multiple applications within the INSPIRE lab. Peltier effect is one of the phenomena related to thermoelectricity, by which an electric current generates heat and vice versa. In particular, the project’s goal has been to develop a set-up and a controller software for a Peltier cell and an Arduino to get different functioning modes, namely, cooling and heating and steady temperature, including this latter one the capability of counteracting any external thermal disturbance in a highly efficient way.

The immediate use of the system will be to serve as a portable blackbody source for calibrating HABIT Ground Temperature Sensor, because the currently used blackbody cannot be accommodated in thermal chambers and is not easily transportable. However, the possibilities for the system are huge, ranging from scientific applications in laboratories to commercial ones.

This is the video explaining the GAS’ proposal: