New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Design in Engineering Education
A Tale of Three UASs – or Design Lessons in Education for the Internet of Things
In the past four years, there has been an acceleration of interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems and their design. Nowhere can this be seen more profoundly than student demand in the traditional mechanical/aerospace curricula. Students want to build these devices, as part of capstone projects, or club competitions, and are powerfully motivated by the ‘cool’ factor, as well as fulfilling student desires to prepare themselves for careers in both the robust aerospace and space fields.
But these systems are not simple to design. To start, they not only require nominal multidisciplinary teams. They also require a level of interfacing and transdisciplinarity that not only are not formally taught in the academy. That level of collaboration, because of siloed fields, and the fundamental social structure of the university, does not exist in any quantifiable size.
This paper will examine three case studies of three different UAS projects. One, successfully completed, is a hydrogen fuel demonstrator. The other two are year-long capstone projects in progress, one associated with a Boeing-led initiative and competition, and one for a non-profit customer for long-range tracking of African Painted Dogs. The intricacies of integration are discussed, as well as the trends in design for what these devices really are – an outgrowth of the Internet of Things, which will also require modified social/relational and design structures, and an appreciation of how these affect both student and system performance to field systems that actually work.
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