Josh (Aurora Christian High School) and Casey (Batavia High School)

Chaos Theory is fascinating. The idea is that small differences in conditions can lead to exponentially different outcomes. A chaotic system is deterministic (sequences of events are not random), while, at the same time, it is impossible to predict accurately over long periods of time. One type of chaotic system is the double pendulum.

This year, QuarkNet students Josh and Casey continued the double pendulum project from last year with the intention of programming a double pendulum simulation that would run on a QuarkNet board’s FPGA. Using a combination of VHDL and LabVIEW, they successfully figured out many of the components that would be needed for the simulation to run, such as multiplication/division, addition/subtraction, trig functions, buffers, and communications with the board over a virtual COM port.

The double pendulum simulation did not get completed, but the students opened the door for other students to program FPGAs. Included below are some of the programs that they wrote over the summer as well as their presentation slides. Also, some documentation and tutorials will be added to help explain how you can use your QuarkNet board to teach or learn about FPGA programming.