June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
A multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle serves as an example to describe the implementation of system engineering concepts for a capstone course in an electrical engineering master’s program. Guided by the Vee Model to describe the system engineering process, goals and deliverables to track student progress during the 11-week course are presented.
During the quarter, the student must frame a vague engineering problem and define requirements for their proposed solution to an identified need and stakeholders. The student or team of students must design and model a system, and then develop a test plan and protocol to verify their design. The student must communicate regularly with the faculty mentor and present their project through the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), Critical Design Review (CDR), and a final technical report. The system engineering approach requires written documents that a professional engineer will likely encounter in a large government project. Student deliverables are described to encourage system engineering thinking. A detailed rubric is given for the CDR.
For this single-student capstone project, the student investigated and compared alternatives to reduce the manpower and cost to monitor hotspots following containment of wildfires in Colorado. Consequently, the student investigated and developed from scratch a 3D-printed quadcopter. In addition, multi-rotors are gaining popularity in both industrial and residential markets. Although the price of the multi-rotors has been on a decline, the idea of producing a multirotor using a 3D printer and off-the-shelf components along with a custom flight controller algorithm is aimed at making the multi-rotor drones more affordable and more available. In this capstone project, the paper explores the design and development of an autonomous quadcopter capable of lifting 900 grams of payload to an altitude of 100 meters and carrying it to a distance of 800 meters away then carrying it back to the home base.
Example student deliverables from the 3D-printed quadcopter project are given to illustrate the system-level thinking and mindset as well as the degree of technical depth in designing and building the quadcopter.
Santiago, J. M., & Kasley, K. L. (2017, June), Design & Development of a 3D-Printed Quadcopter Using A System Engineering Approach in an Electrical Engineering Master’s Capstone Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28106
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