The Grove City College (GCC) European Study Center (ESC) is a program that allows mechanical and electrical engineering students to study abroad in the junior and senior year fall semester, respectively, and graduate in four years. The ESC is activity partners with a local institution called Oniris, which specializes in food science engineering, and veterinary science (an affiliate with the French Ministry of Agriculture). Electrical engineering students that participate in the program carry out their yearlong capstone design project (Senior Experience in Electrical Design (SEED)) in partnership with Oniris. For the 2016–2017 academic year, participating electrical engineering students completed a project titled Ultra-Low-Cost Flexible Sensor Array, or “Low-Cost Array” (LCA), designed for commercial tunnel-style ovens. The LCA features low cost ($200), flexible programmability, and ease of use (based on the widely available Arduino). The purpose of the project was to develop a low-cost data-logger to operate inside tunnel-style ovens to record temperature from thermocouples (and other analog signals, i.e. heat flux) for thirty minutes in an environment up to 250 °C. This study evaluates the LCA compared to other data-logging systems, and its performance in high temperature environments by a series of experiments. In addition, an idea of its commercialization potential was explored by interviewing industrialists and academics on-site. Experimental results showed that: (1) data logged from the system were close to values recorded by current systems used for both temperature and heat flux measurements, and (2) the system performed well at 240 °C for thirty minutes (maximum temperature of oven). In addition, the interviews revealed that although most interest was in a tunnel-style oven data-logger, it seems feasible to incorporate changes to satisfy needs for other markets, especially those of a general-purpose data-logger.

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