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Daytona IEEE Section
March 26th, 2020

Technical/Dinner Meeting
On Thursday March 26th, 2020, the Daytona Section's March meeting will be held at the Halifax River Yatch Club at 321 South Beach Street in Daytona Beach Florida. The guest speaker will be Dr. Al Helfrick, Professor Emeritus at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Professor Al indicates that he has no idea what he will be talking about.  But we know it will be interesting and the worth the energy to attend.

Dr. Al Helfrick started his career in radiation hardening of military systems, then after a stint in the military (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), continued in the fields of cable television, test and measurements, avionics and finally as an independent consultant.

Dr. Helfrick joined ERAU in 1991 and retired in 2015 after serving as both a professor and department chairman.  He is still active in academia, continues to publish and present papers at conferences, and occasionally regales audiences with reminiscences from his career.

More information on directions to the meeting venue and the menu for the dinner can be found on the Calander of Events page on the webpage.

Daytona IEEE Section
February 19th, 2020

Technical/Dinner Meeting

On Wednesday February 19th, 2020, the Daytona Section's February meeting was held in conjunction with Embry-Riddle's celebration of Engineering Week. In place of  regular meeting, they attended the February 19th keynote address at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University delivered by Tamaira Ross. Ms. Ross is Blue Origin's Configuration Design Engineer and Manager. The presentation is sponsored by the College of Engineering and the Honors Program at ERAU.

Ms. Ross is leading the system definition and design for Blue Origin's New Glenn orbital launch vehicle program. Formerly, she was a technical fellow in the Boeing Company's Defenses, Space and Security business unit.

In her presentation, Ms. Ross discussed the parallels between commercial aviation and commercial space as she reflected on her extensive career at Boeing and Blue Origin.  According to Ross, the commercial space industry aims to emulate the arc of the commercial airline industry by increasing the life of vehicles, reducing operations and maintenance cost, and increasing the number and  types of customers. The drive to reduce cost influences the the design of both aircraft and launch vehicles and the systems in which  they operate.

A more detailed description of the technical topic, and the speakers background can be found on the Recent Event page on this website.

Computer Society Chapter of the IEEE Daytona Section

For information on the Computer Society Chapter of the IEEE Daytona Section, contact Dr. Keith Garfield at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (386) 226-7081.  You can also reach him by email at

Newsletter Available on Line

On this website the current copy of the "Sparks" newsletter will be provided by clicking on Sparks Newsletter at the top of this page. Copies of the newsletter for the past several years are available by clicking on the Newsletter Archives at the top of this page, and then selecting the  appropriate newsletter from the archives by date.

Internet Address Shortcut

At the suggestion of several members of the Section the web master requested an alias web site address from IEEE Headquarters.  For people with short memories we can now be reached on our old web address or our new alias address: IEEE-USA .

Webmaster Charles Husbands
Updated 12 March 2020

Welcome to the Daytona Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Daytona IEEE Section
Life Members Affinity Group
Technical Tour
October 15, 2019

The Daytona Section of the IEEE Life Members Affinity Group, held a guided tour at their meeting on Tuesday October 15th, 2019.  It was a guided tour of the St. Augustine Lighthouse conducted by one of the Lighthouse "Keepers."  The meeting was held at the St. Augustine, Florida lighthouse at 100 Red Cox Road, St. Augustine, Florida. The tour was a great success and was enjoyed by the members taking part in the guided tour.

Daytona IEEE Section

Life Members Affinity Group
Technical Tour
April 2, 2019 

The Life Members Affinity Group toured the manufacturing facility of American Radionics Co. Inc. (AMRAD) on April 2, 2019. Vice President Richard Stockman hosted our tour with participation from other senior staff.

AMRAD make large capacitors using a thin film of polypropylene as the dielectric. They have devised a simple,  yet elegant, method for making at least seven capacitors in one casing.  They target markets where they can "make a difference" and be competitive with  off-shore manufactures.  They continue to devise new solutions for special markets.

They build most of the manufacturing tools themselves, with the exception of the web handling tools that wind the capacitors.  They have very good quality control throughout the facility and their product is extremely stable. They test the product well above its specific ratings.

We really appreciated the superb tour, discussions regarding their production processes, and talking with their laboratory people.  Company management went out of their way to give us a superb tour and a well spent afternoon.

Daytona IEEE Section
Life Members Affinity Group
Technical Tour
December 6, 2018

The Life Members Affinity Group toured the manufacturing facility of Everglades Boats in Edgewater on December 6, 2018. Our tour guide (James) was outstanding.  He obviously knew  his way around the manufacturing facility and was an outstanding advocate for Everglade Boats.

Manufacturing begins with the foming of two fiberglass hulls - an outside hull and an inner  hull and  they are permanently fastened together with a confidential  material and process. This results in a hull that is over an inch thick and very strong. The seats, cabin, roof and other fittings are all assembled to the hull, usually with screw or bolt fasteners.  In several places a heavy  sheet of aluminum is embedded in the casting so that it can be drilled and threaded for bolts.

Watching the workers and verified by James, there is a lot of hand word, which requires substantial skills in working with the fiberglass.  Fortunately, the operators made their tasks look easy.  Everglades builds some 350 boats a  year spread over approximately 15 different   models. So a  automation would probably not pay.

All this boats are powered with outboard engines.  The individual models have a choice of several engine sizes and can have from one to four such engines. Until recently, their biggest engine put out 350 hp and weighed over 800 pounds.  How they have the option of a 425 hp Engine that weights just over 1000 lbs.  Even their 43 ft. model will be able to do 50   miltes per hour with these engines.  With that amount of power and speed, each engine will consume 25 gal of per hour.

Throughout the manufacturing process, a lot of attention is paid to quality control.  At the end of the line, each boat is given a through going over.  They even have a pool where every boat is tested, including the motors, before it is shipped.

We had a great tour and concluded that Everglades builds a good solid high quality product.       

Daytona IEEE Section
Life Members Affinity Group
Technical Tour
February 20, 2018  

The Life Members Affinity Group  arranged for a short presentation and a tour of the Burns STEM school in Oak Hill on Tuesday, February 20 (Engineers week starts Feb. 19). The tour, took about one hour, and started at 11:00 a.m. After the tour the group went to Goodrich's restaurant (on the river) for lunch.

The Burns Charter school opened in August 2011, with an enrollment of 240 children. The school is housed in an elementary school facility that was closed by the school district circa 2009. The local community formed working groups to find a way to re-open their neighborhood school and the Burns STEM school servicing kindergarten through grade 8 was the result. They now have 450 students the maximum the site will handle. They have achieved an A rating from the State of Florida. Last spring they were certified K-8 STEM.

The tour went very well and everyone who attended commented of structure of the education process and amount of technology inserted into the school's curriculum. It was suggested that we examine a process where the LM Group might provide mentoring support to the school.

Please RSVP to Ron Gedney, Life Member Committee Chair at (386.478.1204) if you plan to attend the meeting, or need additional directions to the meeting venue.

IEEE Section Polo Shirts
and Coffee Mugs

We are pleased to offer Daytona Section polo shirts and coffee mugs for our Section members.  Shirt's are embroidered with the IEEE logo and Daytona Section on the left and your name and grade, if desired, on the right. For additional size, contact and pricing information please see the article in the latest version of the Sparks Newsletter. Specifications and prices for the Coffee Mugs are also available in the same publication.

Small Radio Telescope Project

The objective of the Small Radio Telescope Program was to acquire and operate a small radio telescope in support of a comprehensive educational and research program.  This program was directed at increasing the understanding of science and electrical engineering in the local schools and universities of the greater Daytona Area.

In early 2007 a grant application was submitted by the Daytona IEEE Section to the IEEE Life Member Committee (LMC) to provide funding for a Small Radio Telescope (SRT) Program.

 The SRT Program was designed to acquire, assemble and calibrate a small radio telescope to be used for teaching radio astronomy, electronics, communications, antenna theory, and data processing. The device is to be used to support the teaching of these technologies at the University Level, High School and Middle School Level, and provide workshops to home schooled students.

In February of 2008 the Small Radio Telescope (SRT) Program, funded by the IEEE Life Member Committee, placed the initial purchase orders necessary to obtain a commercial small radio telescope instrument.

In late 2008 and early 2009 the SRT was assembled in the High Bay Laboratory and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. During this period  initial tracking and calibration testing was performed.

In late February 2009 the completed SRT system was delivered to the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS).  On 21 February 2009 the system was demonstrated to the Life Members Committee (LMC) who had funded the program. 

In early April 2009 the antenna system was mounted on a 20 foot mast at the Museum of Arts and Sciences and integrated into the planetarium's  control console position. With the antenna installed in the museum's planetarium a series of detailed tests were run prior to integrating it into the planetarium program.

During November 2009 a small team of engineers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University examined the existing SRT software interfaces and modified them to make it more user friendly and more meaningful to potential users.

In early 2010 hardware and software were installed to permit the SRT to be remotely operated to extend its application for research and educational purposes. This modification allowed the  SRT is  available to researchers and educators, from any location, in the world, that has internet access.

A prototype website with the URL was developed to permit a gateway to the SRT to allow operation of the small radio telescope for research and educational purposes. 

Photos and a detailed description of the development and testing phase of the small radio telescope installation can be found on the SRT Program section of this website

On March 19, 2011 a conference  paper "Development of a Small Radio Telescope for Engineering Education" was presented at SoutheastCon2011.  The  paper was authored by Charles Husbands, Dr. William Barott, and Jeanette Barott.  Copies of this paper are available through the IEEE Xplorer Network or can be obtained, for personal use, by contacting the authors.  The authors all appear on the Section Officers Page of this website.

The SRT is current out of service as the antenna structure had be relocated due to construction at the museum.  We are examining new sites for the antenna system and hope to have it up and operational for educational purposes in the near future.