Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Shekhar Bhansali, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Scott Samson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paris Wiley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Farmer


Handspring, Codewarrior, MEMS, fluorometer, corner cube reflector, Orcad, CPLD, NASBA


A novel method of controlling miniature sensors using Handspring Visor Prism PDA has been implemented. A generic motherboard was developed to map the data and address lines from the Visor onto a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) to provide basic electrical signals to the sensor board. The sensor board housed the sensor and contained application specific circuitry. The PDA, the motherboard, and the sensor board completed the control mechanism for the sensor. Miniature sensors and PDA based control mechanism scaled down the size of the complete system making the unit portable. This unit facilitated a faster analysis of data on field. Two applications were targeted: Flurometer (bio-sensor) and Corner Cube Retroreflector (CCR-optical sensor for communication). A sensor board was developed to control a thermally regulated fluorometer undergoing the Nuclei Acid Synthesis Based Amplification (NASBA) process, which detected the fluorescence from the solution containing target RNA. NASBA runs were conducted using solution containing K. brevis- Red tide organisms to validate the interface of the PDA with a fluorometer. Real time fluorescence plot over time was obtained on the PDA indicating presence/absence of the target RNA; thus, it successfully interfaced the PDA with the fluorometer. Additionally, a sensor board was developed to control the electrostatic actuation mechanism of the MEMS based CCR. Efforts were made to fabricate the vertical mirrors of CCR using wet and dry fabrication techniques.