Dr. Andrea L’Afflitto has recently published a new book titled A Mathematical Perspective on Flight Dynamics and Control. The book provides a mathematically rigorous description of flight dynamics complementing those presented from a physical perspective.
About this Book
This brief presents several aspects of flight dynamics, which are usually omitted or briefly mentioned in textbooks, in a concise, self-contained, and rigorous manner. The kinematic and dynamic equations of an aircraft are derived starting from the notion of the derivative of a vector and then thoroughly analyzed, interpreting their deep meaning from a mathematical standpoint and without relying on physical intuition. Moreover, some classic and advanced control design techniques are presented and illustrated with meaningful examples.
Distinguishing features that characterize this brief include a definition of angular velocity, which leaves no room for ambiguities, an improvement on traditional definitions based on infinitesimal variations. Quaternion algebra, Euler parameters, and their role in capturing the dynamics of an aircraft are discussed in great detail. After having analyzed the longitudinal- and lateral-directional modes of an aircraft, the linear-quadratic regulator, the linear-quadratic Gaussian regulator, a state-feedback H-infinity optimal control scheme, and model reference adaptive control law are applied to aircraft control problems. To complete the brief, an appendix provides a compendium of the mathematical tools needed to comprehend the material presented in this brief and presents several advanced topics, such as the notion of semistability, the Smith–McMillan form of a transfer function, and the differentiation of complex functions: advanced control-theoretic ideas helpful in the analysis presented in the body of the brief.
A Mathematical Perspective on Flight Dynamics and Control will give researchers and graduate students in aerospace control an alternative, mathematically rigorous means of approaching their subject.
About the Author:
The author is an assistant professor at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering of The University of Oklahoma and is presently teaching a graduate course in flight control. Dr. L’Afflitto holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering and an M.S. degree in Mathematics and his research is currently focused on optimal control theory and differential games theory with applications to aerospace control problems, such as fuel-optimal path planning and formation flying.
To purchase or learn more about this book, please visit: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319474663
A group of students from Dr. Andrea L’afflitto’s Flight Controls class created the following video:
According to Dr. L’afflitto, this project consisted of designing an autopilot for a quadrotor using some modern, very aggressive control techniques. The purpose of this video is to show the results achieved graphically, however, the mathematical models, the control design problem and the numerical simulations have very deep roots.
“I am extremely proud of their work because these are all undergraduate students, but the quality and the mathematical complexity is the one of a graduate project,” said Dr. L’afflitto. “We all can imagine the impact of the development of such technology, considering the growing attention that OU is putting on the UAS technology.”
This video shows the result of a students’’ project developed as part of the AME 4513/5513 “Flight Controls” course at the University of Oklahoma in Fall 2016. A DJI F450 will inspect some buildings of OU’s main campus. The drone’s autopilot implements an algorithm based on Model Reference Adaptive Control.
An important feature of this simulation is that the quadrotor dynamics is not captured by a set of nonlinear differential equations, but it is deduced from a SimMechanics model of a DJI F450. This guarantees high accuracy of the results presented.
The adaptive control technology allows precise, aggressive maneuvers in the vicinity of obstacles, such as buildings.
Next, we compare the performance of a quadrotor (in white) implementing an adaptive control law and a quadrotor (in black) implementing a classic PID controller.
Created by: Blake Anderson
Kevin Murray Jr.
Lauren Woodbury graduated from AME in 2014 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She is originally from Yukon, OK and is now living in Royal Oak, Michigan. Ms. Woodbury is currently working as an entry-level engineer at Isuzu Technical Center of America and pursuing an M.S. in automotive engineering part-time at the University of Michigan.
“I really like working on cars, because I like working on things that move. I like working with parts,” said Ms. Woodbury. “While I do sit at a desk and work on engineering-related studies, I also get to go out to the garage and look at the actual cars and help with the salvation team if there is any kind of information they need from engineering, I can go see whatever it is they are working on. I also get to do field investigation with customs or dealerships.”
While at AME, she participated in the Sooner Racing team and Sooner Off Road team. As a part of these teams, Ms. Woodbury had opportunities to work with other students and participate in class, and group problems and projects.
Ms. Woodbury’s family truly influenced her decision to pursue a career in engineering:
I enjoyed watching motorsports with my dad on the weekend. I really liked visiting grandparents in KS because they owned an automotive shop where they worked on vehicles for customers and also focused on rebuilding and refurbishing classic vehicles. I got to work on vehicles from the 60s and 20s. I was able to see how different they were from the vehicles today. It seemed the assembly of the vehicle was simple, but once I started taking it apart, there are a lot more pieces than imagined and it is really not that easy.
In her spare time, she enjoys exploring and traveling around Michigan. Ms. Woodbury is a fan of the OKC Thunder and Detroit Lions. Also, she enjoys motorsports.
Throughout the fall semester, students taking the pre-capstone AME course, “Principles of Engineering Design” worked on a project that led up to a final performance test. The problem description is created out of a fascinating anthology of problems.
The students’ task was to design, build and test a robot that has the ability to travel through an obstacle course and end by piercing a Styrofoam board, hopefully popping the balloon housed underneath. The teams were given 2 attempts to complete both aspects of the task with an optional 5-minute break to fix their robot or make alterations.
Each team consisted of a group of 4-5 interdisciplinary engineering students, ranging from mechanical to petroleum.
According to Senior Mechanical Engineering student Ciore Taylor, the class consisted of lessons about the design and planning phases. Teams initially determined the different skills each person in the group had, then moved on to coming up with different designs, then come to conclude the design process. Students were encouraged to use their imagination when coming up with the designs of the robot.
Congratulations to Salomon Rodrigue Mbouombouo! As a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, he was awarded the Region V 2016 Vanguard Awards: Academic Excellence Outreach Award. This award is given to students that show great academic achievement, academic profile, and community involvement.
Dr. Thomas Hays’ Introduction to Aerospace Engineering course tested their model gliders in the Armory on Thursday, December 1, 2016. The student teams choose whether they wish to compete for either range or endurance and then they must predict how far or for how long it will fly.
“It is nice to be able to apply what you have been learning all semester to something as fun as constructing your own glider and testing it,” said Ryan Tullius (pictured left).
The students had the option to make the gliders out of any materials they want. Some of the common materials used were paperclips, balsa wood, and tape. Many students decorated their glider with different themes as well to represent each team.
The grant is a subcontract from ATA Engineering, Inc., in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Mississippi State University, funded under the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), specifically the HPCMP Applications Software Initiative (HASI) Project. They are working to develop enhanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and algorithms to improve the prediction of flow and combustion in high-speed aircraft propulsion systems. Their focus at OU is the modeling and simulation of fluid turbulence. The team will be implementing newly developed models into the CFD software Loci-CHEM and providing the new tools to their collaborators at ATA and AFRL. This is the first year of a potentially four year project, subject to project progress and funding availability. The research group is hopeful to be awarded Year 2 funding.
The GCoE National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is rebranding who they are and what they represent during the 2016-2017 academic school year. This year’s campaign is titled “The Re-Brand Year” and NSBE is specifically focusing on membership retention, professional development, academic excellence and strengthening the black engineering community.
On November 11-13, the OU NSBE chapter traveled to Houston, TX for the Fall Regional Conference (FRC). Their trip was extremely successful and we’d like to take a moment to share details of their experience with you.
To begin, the OU NSBE chapter exists within Region 5out of 6 total regions. Within Region 5, there are 32 chapters and a total of 1083 students attended FRC this year. Forty-three OU students traveled to FRC. The OU NSBE chapter brought the most students to the conference and this is a record number of attendees in GCoE NSBE history. Of the 43 students, 38 students maintained over a 3.0 GPA
During this trip, our chapter increased our participation in daily events offered and demonstrated great professionalism. As a reward for timeliness, professional dress and for being noticeably engaged in comparison to other chapters, the OU chapter was given exclusive access to the career fair ahead of 1000+ other students. We had several students receive interviews.
Not only did we participate as a chapter in larger events, we also had 3 students compete in the Elevator Pitch Competition, 4 students in the NSBE Debaters Competition, 7 students in the Academic Bowl, and 6 students in the Talent Show. Witnessing “The Re-Brand Year” take effect beyond OU’s campus was amazing and it was even more amazing to watch our chapter compete well against other universities.
Results of the trip:
- Most Outstanding Chapter of the Oklahoma Zone
- Most Outstanding Chapter President
- Ciore Taylor – ME Senior
- The Esprit de Corps Award
- Jayde Williams – Comp E Sophomore
- Academic Excellence Outreach Award
- Salomon Mbouombouo Rodriquez, ME/PE Senior
- 1st Place, Elevator Pitch Competition
- Michele Tchindge – IE Freshmen
- Runner-up, Elevator Pitch Competition
- Salomon Mbouombouo Rodriquez — ME/PE Senior
- 1st Place, Academic Bowl – will compete at Nationals
- Ashley Medice – ME Junior
- Jared Alex — ME Sophomore
- Whitney Sennet — EE Junior
- Juliana France — IE Junior
- Olivia Smith — Comp E Freshmen
- Aria Lewis– IE Junior
- Ernest Hammond — EE Junior
- Dominique Menser — Environmental Engineering Junior
- 2 students also won free registration to the National Convention
- Barbara Namulwana
- Michele Tchindge – IE Freshmen
For more information on GCoE NSBE, follow their Facebook page.
Written by: Ciore Taylor
Dr. Hamidreza Shabgard joined AME as an Assistant Professor in the Fall 2016 semester. He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in thermal-fluid sciences at the University of Connecticut in 2014. Dr. Shabgard holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration of energy conversion from the Amirkabir University of Technology (Iran) and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Azad University of Mashhad (Iran).
After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Shabgard took a post-doctoral position at Drexel University, where he worked on advanced dry-cooling technology for power plants. Dr. Shabgard’s research interests include multiphase flow and heat transfer, particulate flow, CFD, thermal energy storage, and heat pipes. His work is focused on the development of efficient and sustainable energy systems through a fundamental understanding of the underlying physics involved in fluid flow and heat transfer, as well as, innovative thermofluidic design.
Dr. Shabgard has big plans for his time at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, “Energy is critical in our daily lives and is closely tied to environment and natural resources. My work is related to energy and in particular the thermal-fluid systems involved in production, conversion, storage, transfer and management of energy. As a faculty member in AME, I will have the opportunity to work with students and carry out cutting edge research in one of the finest educational institutions.”
Please join AME in thanking the following graduate students and their mentors for participating in the Engineering Graduate Student Community 2016 Poster Fair organized by the GCOE on November 11, 2016. Of the 24 entries, five were from AME:
- Arun Balakrishnan: Effect of Fuel Aromatic Content on NOx Emission from Petro/Biodiesel Flames. Mentors: Gollahalli and Parthasarathy
- Tom Boone. Operational Losses in Space Launch. Mentor: Miller
- Flavio Ivan Moreno: Combustion and Emission Characteristics of Three Component Fuel Blends in a Porous Media Burner. Mentor: Parthasarathy
- Anand Balu Nellippallil: A Goal-Oriented, Sequential Design Method for the Horizontal Integration of a Multi-Stage Hot Rod Rolling System. Mentors: Allen (ISE) and Mistree
- Dana Saeed: Robust Stimulation Method in Eagle Ford Shale. Mentors: Pournik (PGE), Siddique and Mistree
Congratulations to Anand Balu Nellippallil for receiving the top award!