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Using a UAV to Teach Undergraduates Math and Aircraft Performance

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1304.1 - 23.1304.14



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Paper Authors


Chadia A. Aji Tuskegee University

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Dr. Chadia Affane Aji is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Tuskegee University. Dr. Aji’s research interests lie in the areas of numerical analysis, computational applied mathematics, nonlinear partial differential equations, complex analysis, and on improving student learning in undergraduate mathematics courses. Dr. Aji has been a principle investigator or co-principle investigator on numerous interesting and engaging NSF projects. Dr. Aji is also very involved in retention activities at Tuskegee. In particular, she works closely with sources on campus to design strategies to assist incoming freshmen cope with first year mathematics classes.
Dr. Aji is the recipient of the Tuskegee University Outstanding Faculty Performance Award for Research in 2010 from the College of Liberal Arts and Education.

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M. Javed Khan Tuskegee University

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Dr. M. Javed Khan is professor and head of the Department of Aerospace Science Engineering at Tuskegee University. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University, his M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology and his B.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the PAF College of Aeronautical Engineering, Pakistan. His research interests include aircraft design, experimental aerodynamics, and engineering education.

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Using a UAV to Teach Undergraduate Aircraft PerformanceHands-on activities based pedagogies have been determined to be effective in motivating andenhancing understanding of complex engineering concepts in undergraduate education. The use oflaboratory exercises supporting theoretical concepts in the classroom is one such example of usinghands-on activities. The Mathematics and Aerospace Science Engineering Departments are developingthe capability to teach various concepts to undergraduate students using real-time data telemeteredfrom an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This NSF funded project uses a commercial-off the-shelf (COTS)UAV. The students develop a flight plan and then fly the UAV and collect data. This data is then analyzedand compared with the concept learned in the class room. A team of Math and Aerospace majors is alsodeveloping a low cost (~ $500) platform using commercial off-the-shelf components. This activity isproviding valuable hands-on team work experiences to the interdisciplinary team of students. The low-cost UAV will replace the COTS UAV which is primarily being used for research purposes. The paper willdetail the two teaching modules that have been developed for the Aircraft Performance course. Studentsurvey data on the effectiveness of the approach will also be presented.

A. Aji, C., & Khan, M. J. (2013, June), Using a UAV to Teach Undergraduates Math and Aircraft Performance Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22689

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