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Latest Advancements and Results from the Georgia Tech High School Field Mill Project

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 11:45 AM
Latest Advancements and Results from the Georgia Tech High School Field Mill Project
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
John Trostel, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Severe Storms Research Center, Atlanta, GA ; and T. Perry

The Severe Storms Research Center (SSRC) at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has mentored high school students from a local magnet high school for the last three years. The subject of the high school students research has been the development of a low cost, easily constructed, well behaved atmospheric electric field mill. The students have succeeded and several prototype devices have been developed.

The initial 'alpha' version of the field mill was tested and performed well against a commercial field mill. The students have used PSPICE and professional Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout programs to produce a beta version of the device, which improved both the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the machine. The beta version of the mill has been field tested alongside both the commercial mill as well as another high school designed mill, with good results.

Recent improvements in the design, such as the addition of a bearing for smoother operation and the conversion of the mill to a charge amplified design will be discussed along with future plans for data acquisition and possible networking of an array of mills at high schools distributed across the state of Georgia.