Development of a secure, low-cost, Web-Based Remote Technology Demonstrator® (WebRTD®)
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The Internet has acted as an effective catalyst for remote demonstration and experimentation in recent years through the medium of virtual laboratories. These laboratories can be especially useful in science and technology education, allowing topics to be presented to a geographically dispersed audience. There has also been a rapid proliferation in recent times of transactional systems for e-commerce applications. Similar to virtual laboratories, these online applications extend their content to a wide audience but normally achieve this using a different set of technologies. Commercial application servers are often used in the development of ecommerce solutions and provide features such as transaction management, extensibility and security. This thesis presents a new virtual laboratory which combines conventional virtual laboratory technologies with these useful application server features, producing a system which is known as Web-based Remote Technology Demonstrator®1 (WebRTD®). The new system is potentially capable of managing a number of technology demonstrations using the one user interface. A Stirling Engine demonstration was selected as the first application for the new system. This demonstration will provide the user with a basic understanding of the operation of the engine as well as communicating the thermodynamic principals associated with type of engine. The new system allows the user to start, stop and control the engine as well as download operational performance characteristics for learning.
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