On August 5th 2018, Dr. Hays’ research group in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering launched two 12.5 ft.-tall, 60+-pound rockets carrying customer payloads in Argonia, Kansas.  Undergraduate aerospace engineering students Alex Speed, Trevor Trevino, Christopher Hughes, William Wadkins and Jarrod Manning successfully built and flew the two rocket systems with assistance from Dr. Hays.

 

Senior aerospace engineering student Alex Speed obtained the University’s first undergraduate Tripoli Rocket Association Level 3 certification as a result of his successful launch of “Godspeed.”  The second launch of “Spednik” brought OU Aerospace into the supersonic realm by reaching Mach 1.15.  Both rockets successfully delivered customer data from the payload, and were tracked directly to their landing site using Telemega GPS telemetry systems.

ame-alex-speed

The AME department would like to thank our payload customer, the Kansas ‘Kloudbusters,’ and Tulsa TRA prefecture members for their help in making the launch such a success.

        On April 20th, AME recognized current graduate and undergraduate students on their outstanding achievements for the 2017-2018 school year at the annual Board of Advisors and Student Recognition Ceremony. Undergraduate mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering students received the Outstanding Student awards. The graduate student awards include scholarships and fellowships received for the upcoming academic year. Graduate students recognized for their respective scholarships include:  

Thomas Milam, Sr. Endowed Fellowship: 

  • Robert Blake Anderson 
  • Timothy Blackford 
  • Julius Marshall 

Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship: 

  • Jingyu Wang 

Chevron Texaco Scholarship: 

  • Alireza Abdi 

John E. Francis Scholarship:  

  • Mohammad Charara 

Jim & Bee Close Engineering Scholarship: 

  • Tausif Jamal 
  • Rajmohan Muthaiah 
  • Mohammad Abshirini 

Marathon Oil Scholarship: 

  • Richard Perry 

In addition to the graduate students recognized at the ceremony, AME also honored our outstanding students who excel both inside and outside the classroom and are leaders among AME students. The students are selected for these awards by AME faculty for their performance in their respective classes. Dr. L’Afflitto and Dr. Siddique presented the outstanding performance awards for aerospace engineering, and the awardees and their respective awards include: 

Outstanding Sophomore in Aerospace Engineering: 

  • Glenn Medina 

Outstanding Junior in Aerospace Engineering: 

  • Alexander Speed 
  • Alexander Bryant 

Outstanding Senior in Aerospace Engineering: 

  • Joseph Sullivan 

Mechanical Engineering awards were presented by Dr. Baldwin, who is the undergraduate mechanical engineering committee chair, and Dr. Siddique. The awardees with their respective awards include: 

Outstanding Sophomore in Mechanical Engineering: 

  • Duncan Merchan-Breuer 

Outstanding Junior in Mechanical Engineering: 

  • Colton Ross 

Outstanding Senior in Mechanical Engineering: 

  • Sarah Libby 

Congratulations to these groups of outstanding students for their achievements at AME and their great accomplishments!

AME’s student wind tunnel design team recently accepted an award in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the weekend of April 13th at the student conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Representing the team, Karen Martinez Soto traveled to the conference to accept the 2nd place award on behalf of her team for the AIAA region IV team technical paper category. In addition to Soto, her teammates include Samuel Jett, Orhan Roksa, and Marko Mestrovic, who are all undergraduate students at AME.                                         Their paper highlights the design, fabrication, and uniformity testing of a low-budget, wind tunnel. With a budget of only $5,000, their group examined characteristics of wind tunnels through computer models and they continued their study further by building a tunnel of their own to test other aerodynamic components. The focus of their design and construction for this tunnel, according to their paper, serves to provide “a robust platform for development and testing of many aerodynamics components, including UAV propellers.” Congratulations to Karen, Samuel, Orhan, and Marko for their impressive efforts to design and test a wind tunnel and their 2nd place award from the AIAA student conference.

Link to the team’s paper: design-fabrication-uniformity (1)-1ghgtt2

 

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!

DBF-competition-2017-ame-2

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.

DBF-competition-2017-ame-3

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.

DBF-competition-2017-ame-4

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.

DBF-competition-2017-ame-1

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.

DBF-competition-2017-ame-5

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

DBF-competition-2017-ame-6

 

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

Next Page →

Subscribe By Email

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Please prove that you are not a robot.

Skip to toolbar