Ice Safety Sensor

Side-by-side photos of RIT students and activities with the text See How RIT is Advancing the Exceptional underneath.

Ice sport enthusiasts frequently encounter dangerous situations while determining the strength of ice. To mitigate this risk, the P21321 team aims to build a remotely operated device to measure ice at a safe distance. The device will provide reliable and accurate measurements while maintaining portability and affordability. Ultimately, this will be an improvement over the current standard measurement practice, the use of a sharpened steel rod.

A previous team worked to build a prototype device but could not complete the assembly of the system. However, the past team designed and constructed a stationary test setup that uses a piston to apply force to an ice puck and detect cracking. This test setup has proven useful for our development.

This project contains two key aspects: the validation of the past system for use as ground truth, and the design and assembly of an alternative sensing system. The work of the previous team is accepted as a starting point. Further, it will guide us to a more effective and constraint-meeting solution. The piston sensing, i.e. force application, can be used as ground truth. Load capacity is the most direct predictor of ice safety in this scenario. However, the force application technique requires heavy and high-power hardware that forces the project outside of the original requirements. The P21321 team presents a combination of RADAR sensing and ice drilling as a lighter and more cost-effective alternative.

In this project, these methods are investigated, designed, implemented, tested, and assembled with the end deliverable of a functioning prototype that may be adapted for potential high-volume production.


Madison MacDonald

Dr. DeBartolo


Exhibit Website

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