We hope you enjoy the annual AME Newsletter! Happy Holidays from all of us at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma!

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The mechanical engineering capstone students were recently given a task to complete as their pre-capstone project titled Project POP. For this project, students teamed up to design, build and test a mechanism capable of traversing and maneuvering through a given obstacle course. After that, it had to transform itself into a piercing mechanism that could pierce through a surface layer made of Styrofoam. Then the mechanism had to pop a balloon lying underneath the Styrofoam surface. Students use Project POP to learn about principles of design.

Restrictions:

  • The weight of the mechanism, including the power source, should not exceed two pounds
  • The device should have dimensions no longer than 1 ft. x 1 ft. x 1 ft. in any direction

Performance Test:

The Performance Test consisted of two parts:

  • Prospecting the obstacle course—This part tested the ability of the mechanism to traverse any kind of terrain, including sand, gravel, road bumps and grease. The amount of time taken to traverse the track from start to finish was used in the calculation of points.
  • Piercing—This part tested the versatility of the mechanism. After the mechanism crossed the finish line, it had to pierce through the Styrofoam layer and pop a balloon underneath the surface. The time clock started as soon as the mechanism crossed the finish line and then stopped when the mechanism had completely pierced the balloon. The time was used in the calculation of points for this portion of the test.

Each team was required to go through both performance tests twice. Students were allowed two minutes to set up their mechanism before each run on the obstacle course. The weight of the mechanism was measured before undergoing any of the performance tests. Lastly, the sum of the original points from both runs + bonus points – penalties was considered the group score. The team with the most points was granted as the winners of the competition.

1st Place: Team 2.8

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Members: Jeremy Adams, Michael Allen, Keelan Prewett and Kyle Wager

2nd Place: Team 1.6

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Members: Garrett Svane, Michael Howell, Tyler Spencer and Colin Sullivan

3rd Place: Team 2.11

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Members: Joshua Ellenburg, Remington Butler, Michelle Musgrove and Marli Sussman

Congratulations to all the teams! Next stop: Capstone Poster Fair

To view more photos of Project POP, visit the AME Facebook page. 

Dr. Thomas Hays’ Introduction to Aerospace Engineering class recently designed and built gliders for testing. In teams of two, students chose one of three “proposals” to design and build a prototype for:  Range, Endurance or Payload.

On Dec. 10, 2015, the teams tested their glider prototypes in the field house. Each team launched their glider from a sled capable of propelling a one pound aircraft at 20 feet per second.

In addition to building the gliders, students wrote fully detailed reports requiring them to compute aircraft performance across the full range of possible speeds and all three mission objectives. Students developed code to calculate the best flight speed for their aircraft and perform simple trade studies to further optimize their score.

“The project naturally exposes students to the need for their future courses in flight mechanics, aerospace structures, aerodynamics and optimization,” said Dr. Hays. “It generated an environment where students naturally asked questions from these advanced topics, and the project also helped generate an eagerness to more completely answer questions about aircraft design.”

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The winners of the Endurance Challenge were Colton Johnson and Jerrod Watson.

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The winners of the Range Challenge were Sung Jae Kim and Shaik Zehad.

Check out the video of Kim and Zehad’s winning Range Challenge here.

Dr. Hays will continue this project in future classes, allowing each year to compete against the best records set by previous participants.

For more photos, please click here.

The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Community (GSC) hosted an International Food Festival at the end of October. The event was open to graduate students, faculty, family and friends. The attendees were encouraged to prepare a dish that represents food served traditionally in their country to share. The International Food Festival allowed for members of GSC and attendees to learn more about one another while experiencing aspects of different cultures.

 

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