Applied Electronics

Contact Ron Bradbury

Industrial applications of medical technology

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Consumers want to know what they are buying. The meat industry has been moving progressively towards quantifying the quality of meat. Two quality factors are marbling (visible fat in the muscle) and fat content.

A spin-off from medical ultrasonics, known as ultrasonic velocity of sound (VOS), is a potential technique to objectively measure marbling content on both the cold and hot carcass. The VOS for muscle is different to fat. An electronic system automatically measures the time that a pulse of ultrasound takes to travel through the material from one transducer to the other. Using the inter-transducer distance, it then computes the speed of transmission and then the fat content as an indication of marbling. A similar method can be used for fat content.

A prototype device has been developed and tested, with further stages of testing being planned. An ultrasonic method for determining meat fat content on (live) beef cattle was developed previously by UNE in collaboration with Meat and Livestock Australia and other industry specialists.

Supercapacitors

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Supercapacitors are high-power, high-energy electrical storage devices that enable manufacturers to make smaller, thinner and longer-running products such as mobile phones, PDAs, medical devices, compact flash cards etc.. Supercapacitor may replace rechargeable batteries in some applications.

Mr. Bradbury along with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering Technology students are developing novel applications of supercapacitors.

Class D audio amplifiers

Class D amplifiers for audio application are much more efficient than conventional designs (Class B) but, to date, have not achieved the high quality sound expected of contemporary audio systems. Currently, in a Class D amplifier, digital pulse-code modulation audio from a CD is converted to analog and then to digital pulse-width modulation to operate the output stage.

The principal aim of this project is to design and construct a power Class D audio amplifier replacing the intermediate analog conversion steps with a fully digital approach in order to eliminate any distortion that is produced from analog sections.

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Numerical modelling: Cardiovascular physiology

Computer models have been extensively used to understand the dynamic behaviour of cardiovascular physiology. These computer models are now being extended to include two specific physiological factors: orthostatic intolerance and sleep disordered breathing.

In orthostatic intolerance, a sudden change in posture (standing, for example) leads to a rapid change in cerebral blood pressure and chain of physiological responses. In certain people, the response can be inappropriate leading to troublesome symptoms. By extending the cardiovascular model to include posture, the factors causing orthostatic intolerance can be investigated.

Sleep disordered breathing is largely related to the repetitive collapse or partial collapse of the pharyngeal airway during sleep. It is, however, also related to cardiovascular physiology, especially the progression of heart failure. Combining computer models for the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system may show the underlying interactions between these systems.