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NASA ADCAR Project Impacts Engineering Technology Programs at CalU

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Projects in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.966.1 - 25.966.5



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey S. Sumey California University of Pennsylvania

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Jeff Sumey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology at California University of Pennsylvania. In addition to teaching and developing curricula in CalU's CET, EET, RET, and CS programs, he has been active in recent years with grant projects sponsored by ONR and NASA involving data gathering technologies.

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Abstract:NASA ADCAR Project Impacts Engineering Technology Programs at CalUResearchers within NASA have undertaken a project involving development and testing of aninexpensive aerial data gathering system utilizing kites and commercially available components. In acollaborative effort, faculty and undergraduate student research assistants from Computer EngineeringTechnology and Geographic Information Systems disciplines at California University of Pennsylvaniahave completed research, development and testing of a prototype device flown from a kite tethered toa boat. The Aerial Data Collector and Reporter “ADCAR” includes a six gram Linux-based PC with GPS andWiFi, radiometric microspectrometer spanning the visible to near infra-red spectrum, and battery-basedpower module all weighing less than two pounds. The prototype has been successfully flown under towin the Chincoteague Bay near NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Applications of this technologyinclude marine and terrestrial ecobiology, polar icecap studies, agricultural crop enhancement, andenvironmental impacts of weather disasters and man-made effects such as deforestation, mining, anddrilling operations. This year-long project, the first of its kind in the Engineering Technology programs atCalU, has brought notable recognition to these programs and is transforming the engineeringtechnology education experience at CalU. CET and EET students now see first-hand the value ofcomputer and electrical engineering applied research and the potential impact on current and futuresociety. The connection of this project to CalU’s engineering technology programs has positively affectedour students in a variety of ways from increasing motivation and determination in freshmen all the wayraising the level of senior projects. The multi-disciplinary nature of this project, involving a variety ofskills such as component specification, selection and procurement; mechanical fabrication; embeddedsoftware design, implementation and testing; and documentation not to mention the flightrequirements seem to provide something of interest to every student. This project also clearlydemonstrates the importance of the role of engineering technology as the bridge from technology toengineering and the tremendous value of hands-on experience. This paper describes project ADCAR, itsuse of undergraduate research, and its impact on the CET and EET programs at California University.Submitted by Mr. Jeffrey Sumey, Assoc. Prof. CET/EET/RETCalifornia University of PA

Sumey, J. S. (2012, June), NASA ADCAR Project Impacts Engineering Technology Programs at CalU Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21723

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