The Sooner Rover Team Thousands Strong campaign launched in October and ends November 10, 2017. The team has a goal of raising $10,000, with “giving levels” starting from as low as $5.00. With 10 days left, the team could use the generous help of our alumni and AME friends!

To donate to the Sooner Rover Team Thousands Strong Campaign, click here.

Our Team

The Sooner Rover Team was founded in the Fall semester of 2015 by a small group of students that were interested in space and robotics who saw a very successful competition year, bringing home the highest score the NASA RASC-AL Robo Ops Competition has ever seen! Since then, the team has grown to more than 60 students who are eager to manufacture a competition ready rover. We will be taking on the same competition as last year: The University Rover Challenge! Among the students on the team over 10 majors are represented including Aerospace, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Geology/Geophysics, Mathematics, and Astrophysics.

Our Need

We need your support! Let’s start off by saying that $10,000 is a very beginning goal for us and we are aiming to raise at least 15,000!! Last year, the team raised over $17,000 with the help of supporters like you. This year, the University Rover Challenge aims to once again test the bounds of our team. This is an exciting task for the Sooner Rover Team and we can’t wait to overcome the new challenges set before us. We ask for your support to help us achieve success, once again, for our team and for our University. We promise, as a team, that your contributions will be used to bring us closer to our final product and are extremely grateful for each and every act of support! BOOMER SOONER!

Our Rover

The Sooner Rover is based off of a Russian design concept (the Marsokhad) and this will be the third year we compete with this design. We believe it was our take on this design, along with a unique control system, that has set us apart. We plan to keep the best of what we had last year and improve in every area that we can. This year’s rover will also need on board equipment to run scientific analysis that will determine characteristics such as soil humidity and subsurface temperature. These improvements, however, will require better parts and cost more money.

Our Competition

The Sooner Rover Team will be competing in the 2018 University Rover Challenge from May 31st – June 2nd. The competition will be held at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) near Hanksville, Utah. Teams will face a variety of obstacles and are required to be completely untethered (wireless) and controlled from a remote location along with navigating terrain challenges, autonomous traversal, science caching, retrieval and delivery tasks, and more. Only with your support can we bring home a victory!

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The Design Build Fly Crimson Skies team finished sixth out of 95 teams at the AIAA DBF competition in Tuscon, Arizona this year! The team finished all missions and received many compliments from judges and competitors on the novelty of their inflatable fabric wing.

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SpaceX, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Textron, and Northrop Grumman were just a few of the companies on-site recruiting.   A SpaceX recovery systems employee was particularly interested in our inflatable wing and came by our work tent several times to chat with students.

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According to the DBF rules, Student teams had to design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that could best meet the specified mission profile. The goal was to have a balanced design possessing well-demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance.

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The objective for this year’s competition was to design a tube-launched UAV. The UAV must fit complete inside the launch tube, which also acts as the UAV handling and storage container. The launch tube must protect the UAV from damage during normal handling and storage. Upon removal of the UAV from the launch tube, all folded or stowed surfaces or features must move into the flight condition. Teams had to design a UAV and launch tube that minimizes system weight while maximizing speed, range, endurance and payload capacity.

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DBF Crimson Skies tested multiple designs before creating the successful “Batwing II,” which is the given name of their winning aircraft.

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aiaa-asme-ame-symposium-2017AME faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students attended the 37th Oklahoma AIAA/ASME Symposium at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 15, 2017. AME students contributed 15 technical presentations to the symposium. AME faculty, Drs. Chung-Hao Lee and Yingtao Liu, served as session chairs and led technical discussions in their session.

The Oklahoma AIAA/ASME Symposium is an annual student conference in the State of Oklahoma. Students majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and University of Tulsa present their research at this conference. This is a prestigious opportunity for OU AME students to publicize their research and prepare for their academic / industrial careers.

 

At the Max Westheimer Airport on April 11, 2017, The Norman Chamber of Commerce Aviation/Transportation Committee hosted OU Aerospace Engineering Seniors Kevin Murray and Seth Eilerts of the OU Crimson Skies Design, Build, Fly (DBF) competition team. Also in attendance was Dr. Thomas Hays – the faculty advisor the DBF team who made a special appeal to the committee to involve the University in its conversations around UAVs.

Murray and Eilerts presented to the committee, airport staff and OU faculty their design and plans for the upcoming competition in Tucson, AZ and engaged in a discussion about UAVs (also popularly referred to as “drones”) in the local area. The staff of the Max Westheimer Airport (KOUN) commented on the popularity of drones in airspace across America and the FAA’s efforts to regulate their use. The airport staff further alluded to one recent incident that saw a small recreational unmanned vehicle crashing unexpectedly onto a runway – at the time of comment, the owner had not been identified. Murray and Eilerts detailed DBF’s approach to design, construction and testing of this and previous year’s aircrafts, while reminding all in attendance of their safety record and willingness to be a part of the greater conversation in Norman concerning UAV usage.

They reported this year’s design is being “lightweight and portable” as it folds into a tube for transportation and must be flight ready after removal without the use of tools. The presenters went into detail on how the design was optimized, multiple builds were implemented and tested, and furthermore predicted a favorable outcome at this year’s competition. The committee members wished the team well and reminded them of their support for the team’s endeavors.

This year’s AIAA DBF Flyoff Competition will be held in Tucson, AZ from April 20 – 23. The OU team will set off next week for a road trip to the venue. Follow the OU School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Facebook Page for updates from the team at competition. This year’s team is following last year’s 5th place overall from 80 teams from across the world including the University of Texas, Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Southern California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cairo University, Johns Hopkins University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and many more[1].

Story & Photos By: Jawanza Bassue (M.S. Aerospace Engineering, May 2017)

[1] https://blogs.ou.edu/ame/2016/04/20/crimson-skies-places-5th-at-aiaa-dbf-competition/

Scalewings-P51-mustang-wing-test

Scalewings’ P51 mustang wing test

Dr. Hays’ Aerospace Structures class tested their UAV Wing Structural Design and Destruction projects on March 24, 2017 in the Rawls Engineering Practice Facility.

The task description was to design the structure of an assigned UAV wing outer mold line.  These wings were placed in a table testing mount and loaded with sandbags corresponding to the lift distribution across the wing.  While this is an older method of testing, it is still very much in use today and serves as a very definitive demonstration of strength. The objective was to construct a suitable wing structure to carry the defined load while keeping the overall structure as light as possible.

AME student, Robert Anderson, was awarded the Oklahoma National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Summer 2017 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. According to the EPSCoR website, “Award recipients, under the guidance of faculty mentors, will perform climate variability research at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.”

The student researcher will be under the guidance of Dr. Andrea L’afflitto  to conduct research titled Summer Research Experience: Programming UAS for Improved Weather Forecasts.

For the full list of recipients, click here.

andrea-lafflitto-a-mathematical-perspective-on-flight-dynamics-and-control-book

 

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.”

Video Transcript:

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.

[VIDEO]

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.

[VIDEO]

Created by: Blake Anderson

Riley Cotter

Jordan Logue

Kevin Murray Jr.

ame-glider-2Dr. 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.

 

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“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).

 

ame-glider-3 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.ame-glider-4

nsbe-carouselThe 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.

nsbe-carousel-2Not 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

 

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