Gas Reactor Sensor Poster


Testing Results Report

Testing Results Workbook

Capstone Project Report

Final Project Presentation

Gas Reactor Sensors

Website last updated: April 20, 2021

Project Introduction

Our client, Chris Ebert, is the manager of the Ted Schuur lab working in the sample preparation lab where gas reaction systems operate. We have been asked to assist in updating the heaters used in the lab to increase the temperature of a carbon reaction.

Problem Statement

Our client, Chris Ebert, is the manager of the Ted Schuur lab working in the sample preparation lab where gas reaction systems operate. We have been asked to assist in updating the heaters used in the lab to increase the temperature of a carbon reaction.

System Architecture

The above image is our system architecture for this project. The goal is to have an Arduino microconroller to get inputs from the pressure and heating sensors attached to the vacuum chamber where the reaction occurs. The values from these sensors will then be displayed on an LCD. A user input will be needed to set the temperature which is also displayed on the LCD screen. The pressure sensor will be used to monitor the reaction and determine whether the heating block should be on or off based on its readings.

Project Design Depiction

Project Design Depiction

Our project utilizes two different Arduino boards. The first board is used to control and connect to the pressure system, and the second is being used to connect to the temperature system. Measurements will be taken with our pressure system to determine the pressure in the vacuums and will be send to the temperature system to carry out the appropriate actions due to that specific pressure. The temperature system uses the Arduino to connect to a solid-state relay which then connects to the ovens provided by the Shuur Lab. The ovens will be powered by an AC to DC power converter. This same Arduino will also connect to our temperature sensor to determine and measure the temperature of the oven. It will also be connected to our LCD screen on the bread board, used to display the pressure, temperature, and desired temperature of the system. The buttons on the bread board are what determine the temperature of the ovens.

Major Project Components

Project Components

Our Client

Our client and mentor with this project, Chris Ebert, is the manager of the Ted Schuur lab. His research is currently focused on the use of radiocarbon to determine the age of carbon cycled in terrestrial ecosystems. Along with carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are also analyzed and studied. The lab has isotope preparation facilities to analyze this natural abundance of both stable and radioactive carbon isotopes. Analysis is done on environmental samples from terrestrial ecosystems. Click here to learn more about the lab.


The focus of this project is to create a new set of ovens to work in the Schuur Lab. The pieces used in the current set are out of date and require updating, so this net system is being built around that new aspect. These ovens and the system they are being built around will help keep the Schuur lab running without the need to replace equipment that can no longer be replaced. This project will be used to help monitor and change temperatures for different carbon reactions; where the user can observe and directly change the temperature of the different ovens in the lab.

Project Requirements

1. Display
 1.1. Temperature
 1.2. Pressure
 1.3. Time of reaction to nearest second
 1.4. Heater on/off status
2. Input
 2.1. User selects temperature between 300-400 degrees Celsius in 10 degree steps
3. Performance of PID controller
 3.1. Monitor the reaction
 3.2. Check pressure value to decide if heater shoould be on or off
4. Store Data
 4.1 Information that needs to be sent to the Display
  4.1.1. Temperature
  4.1.2. Pressure
  4.1.3. Time of reaction to nearest second
  4.1.4. Heater on/off status
5. Vacuum Chamber
 5.1. Temperature
  5.1.1. Current value of temperature will be sent to controller every 0.5 to 5 seconds
 5.2. Pressure
  5.2.1. Current value of pressure will be sent to controller every 0.5-5 seconds
6. Heater
 6.1. Status of either on or off

The Jumping Jacks

Hamman Kristin Hamman

 Team Leader and Scheduling Coordinator

Zyriek Elizabeth Zyriek

 Treasurer and Document Coordinator

Hutchinson Richard Hutchinson

 Secretary and Client Liason

Wei Yuhao Wei

 Project Website Coordinator and Presentation Coordinator

Team Skills Inventory


  • Kristin: Basic skills in Java, Python, C, and Arduino IDE
  • Elizabeth: Basic skills in MATLAB, C, and Arduino IDE
  • Richard: Basic skills in C and Arduino IDE
  • Yuhao: Baisc skills in C


  • Richard: Soldering ability, wiring, and cable management
  • Yuhao: Basic PCB skills


  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Writing Experience
  • Proficiency in Microsoft and Google Drive

Schedule Tracking


The above Gantt Chart shows the different tasks that need to be handled to complete this project. First the building stage must be completed, where we complete hardware and software build of the ovens. Then we will move on to the testing stage which is given a two week period to be completed. The last stage includes the Undergraduate Symposium; documentation, a poster, and a final presentation.

Progress 3/8: Our group is working on completing the code and hardware in order to create communication between our two Arduinos. As this is being completed, we have begun testing various portions of the system. We are slightly behind schedule, as we are still getting certain parts of the system together (the second Arduino and our power supply). But as these components are coming together, other members of the group are working on testing of different components (the temperature sensor and the display values).

Final Update: We have completed the building and testing of our project. All tasks set in the above Gantt chart have been completed. We have moved through testing and delivery of the project and all tasks have now been completed. An outline of the testing has been provided below and all documentation to mark the completion of the project can be found in the Documentation tab of this website.


Temperature Control Arduino Communication User Integration Testing Temperature Sensor Verification
Type of Test Black Box White Box White Box Black Box
What is it Testing? Can we control the temperature? Are the Arduinos communicating? Does the LCD display the correct information? Does Temperature Sensor work?
Where Results Shown LCD LCD LCD Temperature Sensor
Results Test Failed Test had Partial Failure Test Passed Test Passed

We have created four tests to run through our system, that will help to ensure that it is working properly. The first test will test the temperature control of the system, which will answer the question: can we control the system temperature. This will be done by inputting several different temperatures into our system with buttons and seeing if the measured temperature displayed on the LCD matches this value. The second test determines if our Arduino to Arduino communication is working. We will change various aspects of the hardware, then send different characters or numbers from one Arduino to the other to be sure it sends the correct values. The third test will determine if all the information that is printed on our LCD is correct (real temperature, set temperature, reaction stop time). The last set test will be to verify that our temperature sensor is working properly, as it is integral to our system. This will be done by creating various temperature scenarios for it to read (holding the sensor between our fingers, near fire, or in cold air) and ensure that a value that is near expected is displayed on the LCD.