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Arliss: A Multidisciplinary Extracurricular Design Project For Undergraduates

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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

Incorporating Projects into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

11.230.1 - 11.230.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1028

Download Count

239

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Paper Authors

biography

Joshua Vaughan Georgia Institute of Technology

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Joshua is a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2004. He received a B.S. from Hampden-Sydney College in 2002, double majoring in Physics and Applied Mathematics. Josh was a 2004-2005 NSF STEP Fellow, where he worked at Cedar Grove High School. His Ph.D. research focuses on command generation for flexible machines.

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biography

William Singhose Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. William Singhose is an Associate Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His primary research interests are spacecraft control, sway reduction in cranes, control of flexible structures, and active seat technology.

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

ARLISS: A Multidisciplinary Extracurricular Design Project for Undergraduates

Abstract

Design projects that require students to build working prototypes are an invaluable sup- plement to traditional lectures and laboratory exercises. Additionally, allowing students to participate in challenging design projects outside of any official coursework can greatly im- prove their educational experience. This paper will discuss three years of such extracurricular projects at the Georgia Institute of Technology for competition in ARLISS - A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites. Students build small “satellites” that are launched to approximately 10,000 feet. The most popular competition at ARLISS is the “Comeback” competition, where the student satellites must autonomously navigate to a target location. The project requires knowledge of numerous engineering disciplines and is a leap in complex- ity over the projects in which the typical student gets involved. The majority of students have come from the mechanical engineering department, but several have also been from the aerospace engineering and computer science departments. The ARLISS project has great potential to provide students with experience in multidisciplinary design, expanding upon knowledge gained in the classroom. The nature of the project provides a fun and entertaining venue for education without the constraints of a required course.

1 Introduction

It is commonly accepted that hands-on experience leads to the great educational gains. These gains are further increased if the hands-on projects build upon previous experiences in an interesting and exciting way1 . Unfortunately, design projects that require students to work on teams to build working prototypes are often difficult to grade. Furthermore, students worry about their grade and have conflicts with team members who do not fully contribute to the project. These uncomfortable group dynamics stifle creativity and degrade enjoyment. Therefore, allowing students to participate in challenging design projects outside of any official coursework can greatly improve their educational experience. This can prove to be a difficult proposition, as student experiences and interests vary. In addition, the priorities of the students will change throughout their educational careers, often making it difficult to retain students during multi-year projects. In order to attract and retain student participants, projects must be both scalable in difficultly and complexity and offer a variety of engineering challenges.

One project that fulfills these criteria is ARLISS - A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites. The goal of this initiative is to provide students with hands-on experience in the design, construction, and launch of space systems. ARLISS was established in 1999 as a collaboration between the Stanford University Space Systems Development Program and rocket enthusiasts from Northern California2 . Held on the Black Rock Playa (a dry lake bed) in Nevada in late September, the members of the AERO-PAC rocket club provide

Vaughan, J., & Singhose, W. (2006, June), Arliss: A Multidisciplinary Extracurricular Design Project For Undergraduates Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1028

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