Ultrasonic Vehicle Parking Aid Display - IITB-EE

Ultrasonic Vehicle Parking Aid Display - IITB-EE
EE318 Electronic Design Lab, Project Report, EE Dept, IIT Bombay, April 2009
Ultrasonic Vehicle Parking Aid Display
Group No: B05
Siddharth Bipin Shah (06007005) <siddharth.shah@iitb.ac.in>
Peeyush Jain (06007027) <z6007027@iitb.ac.in>
Sanket Agarwal (06007028) <sanketa@ee.iitb.ac.in>
Kalyan Parhi (06007030) <kalyanparhi@iitb.ac.in>
Guide: Prof. L.R. Subramanyan
 Abstract:
Our project topic is to design and implement an Ultrasonic Vehicular Parking Aid
Display, which notifies the driver about obstacles coming in the way of parking. The device
should be portable and easily installable into cars. In light of the emerging traffic situation
where parking space is at a premium such a device can be very useful and also facilitate
parallel parking easily. We have been successful in implementing the idea with the small
modification that we are using two sensors rather than one. The technical details of this
project follow later.
 Introduction:
We are using ultrasonic sensors for sending high frequency (40 KHz) sound wave
and receiving the wave reflected from any obstacle. This is fed into an amplifying-cumenvelope detector followed by a comparator circuit. The output of this circuit goes into the
microcontroller. The microcontroller calculates the distance of the obstacle from the car and
then intimates the same to the car driver through buzzer and LCD.
 Design of Circuit:
Block Diagram-
Nokia LCD
The above block diagram describes the basic layout of our circuit.
Algorithmic Flow Diagram-
Initialize LCD, Buzzer, Set
counter values
Send 10 Pulses first for the
front part then for the rear
part, and repeat it
Is there any obstacle?
Or else get the zone
from the distance
Zone 1/2/3/4
Buzzer beeps accordingly, LCD
displays wall of thickness 1/2/3/4
Reset Counters.
Display beam and no beeping
of buzzer. Reset counters.
Main Components:
1) Ultrasonic SensorsWe are using ultrasonic sensors, model nos. 14.4A01-TK017L63 (white)
and 15C73-TK012L3 (black) of Audiowell Electronics, having centre frequency 40±1
KHz. The sensors’ voltage input capacity is 140V p-p which is required for long range
transmission, like Radar, but since we are using it for vehicle parking, we do not
require such long range. Also we are restricted by car battery voltage of 12V and
hence we are giving it input signal of 8V p-p which yields good result for our
application. The sensors have decay time of 1.2 ms which translates into roughly 20
cm loss in range, called the blind zone, of the sensor.
2) Amplifier-Envelope Detector-Comparator circuitThe initially received weak signal is fed through a DC-filtering capacitor, and
with a level shifter to the next stage. The next stage consists of 3 high-pass active
filters to filter out the low-frequency noise and 2 low-pass passive filters (having
corner frequency of around 80 KHz) to ensure proper attenuation of high-frequency
noise. After this the filtered and amplified signal is input to a peak detector, whose
output is then send to a comparator which compares it with a variable reference.
The final comparator output is connected to the microcontroller pin input for further
Level Shifter:
The initial part of Amplifier stage which ensures that input voltage signal to
the 1 HP filter is positive. This circuit involves a potential divider arrangement along
with a capacitor, which smoothens out any voltage variations or spikes at the input.
The output reference voltage of the circuit is 1.7 Volts. The receiver signal is
superimposed on this voltage level and then amplified. This is done in order to
prevent the negative half of the received signal from being cut out by LM324
amplifier which is a single supply amplifier.
High-Pass Active Filters:
This stage consists of a non-inverting amplifier (using LM324) followed by 2
inverting amplifiers all with corner frequency of around 20 KHz to filter out the
ambient noise. The feedback resistance of the 3rd and final stage amplifier is varied
according to the overall gain required by the circuit. Also the maximum gain of each
amplifier is frequency-limited to 25, assuming the unity gain bandwidth to be 1MHz.
We have set gain of each stage less than 20 to avoid saturation of signal resulting in
noise amplification.
Low-Pass Passive Filters:
This stage is contains 2 low pass filters having corner frequency of 80 KHz
to ensure the high-frequency attenuation.
The envelope detector:
It is made up of a fast switching diode (1N4148 ,reverse recovery time <
4ns), and a resistor-capacitor pair in parallel with (1/RC) value , kept such that it is
much less than the input signal frequency of 40 kHz , but is also much greater than
the speed, at which the car can approach an obstacle, within our specified range.
Approach velocity of the car (when parking) is typically in the range of 5-10km/hr i.e.
1.4 - 2.8 m/s .Hence a typical time interval to approach an obstacle, say from 2m
initially to 1m is ∆t= ∆x/v= 1m/(3m/s) =.33s. So the lower limit is ≈ 1/∆t = 3Hz (in
order of Hz). The frequency set is 3 kHz which is well above this lower limit, and also
well below 40 kHz to ensure proper detection.
Voltage reference of the comparator can be varied using a potentiometer.
The reference is set such that it is a compromise between the need of noise signal
elimination and the received signal detection (maximizing range).
3) MicrocontrollerWe are using Atmega16 microcontroller for processing purpose. (Initially we
planned to use PIC16F676 which was smaller but had the same current driving
capability, but since the Programmer for PIC was not available in the lab, we decided
to go for Atmega16. Also Atmega16 has 1 KB ram and 16 KB flash memory which
comes in handy while programming). The useful features of this microcontroller
being utilised are high current-driving & sinking capability, 4 general purpose
input/output ports and the counters (two 8-bit and one 16-bit). We require high
current driving capability to drive the transmitting sensor, which requires 8-V p-p
square wave (which can be given by 2 pins) and 2-3 mA current for the specified
distance range.
4) Nokia 3310 LCD We are using the above LCD for user-friendly display of the obstacle
position. It is a 48x84 pixel LCD, organised as 6 rows of 8- bytes each and 84
columns. We are displaying a Car in the middle of the LCD. When there is no
obstacle in the desired range the LCD simply shows beams coming out of the car in
the front and the rear part. With an obstacle in the desired range, say in the front,
the LCD shows wall in front of the car. The width of the wall changes proportionally
depending upon the distance of the obstacle from the car and the width is maximum
when the object is too near the car.
5) BuzzerWe are using a simple buzzer. The uC feeds the base of the NPN transistor
(BC547) with common emitter connection which in turn drives the buzzer.
6) Voltage RegulatorWe are using Voltage Regulator LM7805 to supply 5V to the circuit down
from 12V supplied by car batteries. The regulator employs internal current limiting,
thermal shut down, safe operating area protection and good ripple rejection.
Transmitter-Receiver Module
Mainboard Circuit with connector for LCD, TransmitterReceiver Module, Buzzer, Volume Control
Testing Procedure & Results:
1. Receiver circuitInitially we tested the receiver by transmitting 40 KHz from the signal
generator. We found that the received signal contains noise of around 50 Hz. Also
the signal strength was too weak, 10-15 cm distance between the sensors yielded
receiver output of the order of few milli volts. Using a simple high pass filter did not
help too. The output after the filter was clipped off below zero. Op-Amp LM324 was
chosen as it operates in 0-5V range (does not require dual power supply). So we had
to introduce a DC offset for the received signal which is input to the amplifier. We
are using a voltage divider to create a Vreference of around 1.7 V.
In spite of the dc offset, we found that the output waveform of the
amplifier is significantly different from the input. The reason behind it was amplifier
saturation which limits the amplification of the Input signal while amplifying noise.
Assuming the unity gain bandwidth of the amplifier to be 1 MHz the gain at 4 KHz
was found to be 25. So we used multiple amplifier stages each with a gain of roughly
2-20. Initially we used 4 stages. But properly setting the gain values of all the 4
stages was a problem as the output was saturated. So we came down to 3 amplifiers.
The first two stages of the amplifier gain were set roughly equal to 20 each. For the
3rd and final stage we used variable resistance (100k pot.) to control the overall gain,
All the stages have a corner frequency of 20 KHz. The voltage output of the final
amplifier stage is around 2 V. At this stage we were getting good outputs. But we
observed that the o/p contains high frequency noise also. So we decided to use
passive low pass filter of corner frequency 80 KHz.
The envelope detector uses a fast diode IN4148 and a parallel RC circuit
connected to ground after that. The time constant RC value of the circuit is chosen
so that it lies between 1/40 KHz and the reciprocal of time taken by the car to
approach the obstacle, far separated from both limits. The comparator follows the
detector. The reference i/p of the comparator is set by a voltage divider method. The
reference is set, above the noise level, such that it allows only signal to pass through.
The tuning of this stage and the final amplifier stage is done so as to obtain
maximum range. Our circuit detects up to a range of 2 meters. The voltage outputs
of the comparator are 0 V and 3.5 V, fed into the uC.
2. Microcontroller interfacingWe are using 2 transmitter-receiver pairs, one for the front part and other
for the rear one through ports A & B. We are sending pulses of 39.77 KHz which lies
in the specified centre frequency range of operation. We first transmitted 5-6 pulses
but the range obtained was not quite satisfactory though we could measure nearer
distances with it. We tried sending up to 15 pulses and found that 10 pulses would
reasonably do a good job balancing both the trade offs. Using one pin for
transmitting we get 4 V p-p output which resulted in a range of 1 m approximately.
So to increase the transmitter output we use 2 pins instead of one so as to get a p-p
voltage o/p of 8 Volts. But the range didn’t exactly increase by two times. The final
range we got was approximately 2 meters. We are using a 8-bit counter for counting
the no. of pulses and thereby the distance of the obstacle.
We are using remaining pins of port B for JTAG programming. Port C of
the uC is used for Nokia 3310 LCD display. We are using five pins from uC as ~RESET
(external reset input), ~SCE (chip enable), SDATA (serial data input), SCLOCK (serial
clock input) and DORC (data or command) pins. The serial interface is initialized
when ~SCE is high. A negative edge on ~SCE enables serial interface and indicates the
start of a data transmission irrespective of SCLOCK. DORC is the mode select bit. If it
is low the current byte is interpreted as a command byte or else as a data byte. It is
read with the eighth SCLOCK pulse. Also SDATA is sampled at the positive edge of
SCLOCK. We are using vertical addressing mode rather than horizontal because it’s
When we were testing the LCD at first the pins were loose. So it did not
work properly. Hence we fastened it. But even then the LCD was not working. We
had to change the working voltage level of the LCD through programming by setting
or resetting some Voutput (out of 7 Vop) values (a concept called turning on the charge
pump).The total range between 3 V to 10 V at room temperature. So after
addressing this problem the LCD started working properly. Also we are displaying the
distance of the front and the rear part of the car from the respective obstacles in cm
units. If there is no obstacle the distance shown is the maximum range that can be
Car showing Beam when no obstacle in sight
We are using a pin in port D (OC1A) as input to the buzzer. The buzzer is
driven by an NPN transistor (BC 547), as it requires high current, with the volume of
the buzzer being controlled by a resistor connected in series with it. We are using 16
bit timer counter for the buzzer.
We have divided the entire detectable range of 1.6 meters into 4 zones
of 40 cm each. As the car approaches an obstacle if the distance D between them is
such that D > 1.6 m then the buzzer does not beep. This zone is known as Zone 0.The
LCD displays beams for this case. If 1.2 m <D < 1.6 m then it beeps with some
frequency and the Nokia LCD shows a wall of minimum thickness, say t, ahead (back)
of the car. We label this zone as Zone 1. In zones 2 and 3 the thickness of the wall
increases to 2t and 3t respectively and the buzzer frequency follows the same rule.
In the region 4 when the car is within 40 cm distance of the obstacle the buzzer
beeps with maximum frequency and the LCD shows a wall of maximum thickness.
So the variable frequency employed in the buzzer really gives the driver
an idea of how far or near he is from a target without even looking into the LCD. Also
if both front and rear parts face obstacles the buzzer beeps according to the nearer
obstacle thereby ensuring safety. For cutting out the effect of noise to bring in more
reliability, while choosing to go for higher range, we are taking 2 sets of readings and
choose the reading which gives more distance as noise seems to result in less
distance. We have verified that this method gives us more stable values than the one
that was previously used. The whole circuit draws a maximum current of about 50
mA from the supply.
Also one more component we used during the course of the project was
16x2 Alpha Numeric LCD which didn’t appear in the final product. We displayed the
distance calculated, in the uC, on the LCD.
 Conclusion and Further Improvement :
In the original problem statement we proposed to use the ultrasonic
sensor both as a transmitter and a receiver. But we could not implement it in our
project. We tried to do it using CD4066 solid state switch and also using 2n2222
transistors. This method did not yield any favourable result. The failure may be due
1) Our use of passive sensors (maximum input voltage is 140V) instead of using
active sensors whose maximum voltage input range from 8-12V.This could have
yielded in better result.
2) Input voltage level of 0-5V for a single sensor results in lower range and the
decay time further reduces the effective range.
3) Better control switches than CD4066 may be required.
We have achieved all our goals stated in the problem statement except
using single sensor to serve dual purpose as stated above. We are finally getting
a range of 2 meters which would be sufficient for our purpose. Again this range
can be slightly increased by proper tuning and active sensors.
 References:
[1] Datasheet - ATMega16, ATMEL
[2] Datasheet – 48x84 pixels Matrix LCD Driver PCD8544, PHILIPS
[3] Datasheet – LM324 Low Power Quad Operational Amplifiers, National
[4] Ultrasonic Distance Measurement with MSP430, Texas Instruments
[5] www.maxbotix.com
[6] http://www.audiowell.com/productclass29.htm
[7] http://www.e-arsenal.net/robotics/sonar.html
[8] http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=
[9] http://www.sensorsmag.com/articles/0399/0399_28/main.shtml
[10] http://www.sensorsmag.com/sensors/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=321383
[11] http://www.pepperl-fuchs.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID-266868B6AAD3F2BB/global/hs.xsl/186_reflexionstaster.htm?force=1
[12] www.avrfreaks.com
User Manual:
Contents in the package
Following are the components included in the system
1) 1X Main board
2) 2X Receiver-Transmitter Circuit
3) 1X LCD Display
4) 1X Buzzer
5) 1X Volume Control Knob
6) 4X Transducers
7) Cables for connection
Description of components
The Main board has three 6 pin connectors. The one marked with “Prog” is for programming
the Main board and should not be used by the user at any point of time. The other two are
for connecting the receiver-transmitter circuits. There are three 2 pin connectors as well.
The one which has “Supply” marked on it is for connecting the power supply. The one with
buzzer marked on it for connecting the buzzer to it and the one with volume marked on it is
for connecting the volume control knob.
Each of the 2 receiver-transmitter circuit has one 6-pin connector for connecting it with the
Main board. Each of them has two connectors, 1 for transmitter and 1 for receiver. Connect
the transducers with proper polarity as marked.
The 4 transducers are piezoelectric ultrasonic tuned transducers. Interchanging the receiver
and transmitter does not cause any problem as long as they are connected with proper
1. Place the Main board box on the dashboard of the car.
2. To install the sensors, drill holes of the size of the sensor on the rear and front
bumpers of the car. Drill 2 holes on each of the front and rear bumpers roughly 15
cms apart from each other, and equidistant from the centre. Align the sensors such
that their front surface is vertical with the ground, so the sensors beam comes out
straight ahead.
3. Now connect the wires of the transducers from the front and from the rear to the
Receiver-Transmitter circuit marked with front and rear respectively. Ensure proper
polarity in installation.
4. Now connect the Receiver-Transmitter circuits to the Main board with the 6 pin
connectors as marked on the boards.
5. Connect the LCD to the Main board.
6. Connect the buzzer and the buzzer volume control knob to the Main board with the
proper connectors.
7. Connect the power supply cable to the Reverse gear tail lamp of the car. Ensure
proper polarity. Now connect it to the Main board.
The installation is now complete.
When you put the car in the parking mode the system starts up. The display shows a car
with beam coming out both from the front and the rear. The distance displayed now is
200cm for both front and rear. This is the maximum range of the sensors.
As you approach an obstacle and come within 2 metres of it, the display shows the
corresponding exact distance on the LCD for the front or the rear as the case may be. As the
distance reduces to less than 1.6m, the display shows a wall of small thickness, little far from
the car, at the front or rear or both as the case may be. The buzzer starts beeping with a
small frequency.
As the distance at any sensor reduces below 1.2 metres, the thickness of wall on the LCD
increases and the distance of the wall from the car reduces. The frequency of the buzzer
Similarly this happens when the distance falls below 80cm and 40cm. If the car is within 40
cm of an obstacle, the buzzer beeps with a very high frequency. The car may be too close to
an object.
The LCD displays the exact distance for both front and rear and the zone where an obstacle
is. The thickness of the wall at front and rear are independent of each other. The frequency
of the buzzer depends on the minimum of the two distances.
Control the volume of the buzzer as per your comfort level with the volume control knob.
IMP Note: The sensors have a blind zone of 20cm and system will not show a distance less
than 20cm.
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