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Design Of A Bungee Launch System To Support A Kite Based Lifting Platform For Aerial Imaging

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Design Projects across the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.355.1 - 15.355.12



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Paper Authors

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Ibibia Dabipi University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Christopher Hartman University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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James B. Burrows-Mcelwain University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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

Design of a Bungee Launch System to Support a Kite-Based Lifting Platform for Aerial Imaging


Freshman engineering design students were given the problem of designing a bungee launch system to support a kite-based lifting platform for aerial imaging. The unique nature of the project lies in its support of precision agriculture efforts on campus by reducing cost and difficulty of operation for aerial imaging platforms in little to no wind situations.

The students were given a set of criteria which required them to employ engineering principles as well as leadership skills in team building and management. The problem statement was for the students to design a bungee launch system for a kite-based lifting platform that incorporates a camera system for aerial imaging purposes. The requirement was that the delivered product should meet the following criteria: Must be able to launch winds less than 7knots, more than 3 knots. Mechanism must be static (anchored) in nature and weigh less than 15 lbs. Be able to launch kites of various sizes weighing less than 5 lbs. A successful launch was defined as being able to sustain flight for more than 120 seconds

Students competed on two separate teams that designed independently of each other. This paper examines the similarities and differences in the final design product, the process in completing the assignment and leadership variables involved in project management.

Index Terms – engineering, bungee launch, kite, aerial imaging.


One of the issues confronting learning environments is the ability to integrate diversity of approach both in teaching and learning modalities. With the freshman engineering course we have attempted to use the diverse faculty in the department which has both engineering and aviation sciences programs to structure projects related in some ways to both programs. This is done to advance engineering principles as well as proof of concept, as the case may be in its application to the aviation program.

The benefit for students is that they are able to engage the faculty both as clients and instructors that result in a variety of learning modes. For this project, the class groups of two distinct teams that completed identical projects for the same client. Engineering design concepts with emphasis on various aspects of planning, developing and product design via hands-on approach was the key to this course experience. It also enhanced the students’ communication skills and teamwork. Product visualization utilizing computer software such as word processing, Power Point, and spreadsheet enhanced the students’ ability to collaborate in defining, developing, and designing a working prototype. Students learned the components of product development such as brainstorming, time allocation, project management, alternative designs, and cost constraints.

Dabipi, I., & Hartman, C., & Burrows-Mcelwain, J. B. (2010, June), Design Of A Bungee Launch System To Support A Kite Based Lifting Platform For Aerial Imaging Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15715

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