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A Multi Disciplinary Senior Design Project Using Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Uavs)

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Integrating Research Into Undergraduate ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

11.75.1 - 11.75.10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1219

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1219

Download Count

163

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Paper Authors

biography

James Wicker U.S. Air Force Academy

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an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1987 and his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton in 1997. He has experience in developmental test and evaluation of radar systems and aviation navigation systems. His research interests include unmanned aerial vehicle and electromagnetic signal propagation modeling. He is a member of ASEE and IEEE.

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biography

Erlind Royer U.S. Air Force Academy

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A Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Engineering Division at the United States Air Force Academy, CO. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1961, the Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1962, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1970 from Montana State University, Stanford University, and the University of Illinois, respectively. He has over 25 years experience in research and development project management and over 18 years experience on the USAFA faculty in positions ranging from Instructor to The Dean of the Faculty. He is a member of academic visiting committees for three universities, a Life Member of Tau Beta Pi, and a Life Senior Member of IEEE. His research activities include organizational process improvement and unmanned aerial vehicles.

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biography

Allen Arb

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PhD, received his BSEE from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991. Upon graduation, he was stationed in San Antonio, TX where he conducted research and analysis on various military and commercial radar and weapon systems. He graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) with an MSEE in 1996 and a Ph.D. from AFIT in 2001. He has spent time in the Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at USAFA. His research interests include digital speech and image processing, pattern recognition, and digital electronics.

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Daniel Pack U.S. Air Force Academy

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Multi-Disciplinary Senior Design Project Using Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 1. Abstract

To improve our response to U.S. Air Force requirements, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy has integrated multidisciplinary team projects into its two-semester capstone design course. In this paper we present a case study of one of our multidisciplinary projects for the 2005-2006 academic year; developing a system of cooperative unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Some of our instructional methods include just- in-time teaching, team faculty mentoring, and requiring timely scheduled oral and written reports, to name a few. The goal of the project is to have three UAVs cooperatively seek, detect, and monitor a ground target. The students come from the academic disciplines of electrical engineering, computer engineering, and systems engineering management. To be successful, the team must use a system engineering approach to (1) manage the project development process, (2) implement onboard controllers and an automatic tracking ground station and (3) test and evaluate the final product, all while adhering to a team-developed schedule. The final product must meet requirements of sensor remote control, sensor data downlink, communication, embedded computing, and minimum flight duration. We show that our techniques improved the overall quality of the students’ learning experience.

2. Introduction/Background

In response to evolving U.S. Air Force requirements, the five departments that make up the Engineering Division at the U.S. Air Force Academy have shifted their emphasis from individual projects to multidisciplinary team projects for their senior-level, two-semester capstone design courses. Design teams consist of students from a variety of engineering disciplines and, in some instances, a student majoring in systems engineering management. The roles of the different students on each project team reflect their disciplines. This approach has been providing our students with real world engineering experiences. These experiences include, in addition to the traditional engineering design activities, learning to work with other students from outside their own discipline, establishing and adhering to an integrated team project timeline, identifying and managing risks, generating periodic progress reports and briefings, and creating and executing a test plan.

During the 2005-2006 academic year, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been overseeing eight capstone design projects. The projects involve 30 students majoring in electrical engineering, computer engineering, systems engineering, general engineering, and systems engineering management. Table 1 shows a listing of this year’s projects and the make up of the student teams. A faculty mentor is assigned to each team to guide and direct the student team throughout the academic year. A volunteer senior faculty member serves as the team’s “customer” and provides feedback at all formal reviews and status briefings. In addition to these two faculty members, the faculty course administrator participates in and assesses all formal reviews and reports. The faculty team mentors the students on both the technical and program management aspects of the project.

Wicker, J., & Royer, E., & Arb, A., & Pack, D. (2006, June), A Multi Disciplinary Senior Design Project Using Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Uavs) Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1219

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