Business

July 12, 2013

Northrop Grumman sponsors second year of collaborative engineering project by Cal State students

Cal Poly, Pomona students (from left) Luis Andrade, Mathew Gan, Ajay Bettadapura, Jordan Quintana and Ramon Navarro discuss flight plans for their unmanned aerial vehicle, whose mission was to drop a bottle of water on a target mid-flight. Team members ensured that the aircraft’s communications link was functioning and that the payload was armed with the water bottle at the appropriate time.

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. In a partnership with two California State University schools, Northrop Grumman) recently sponsored the second year of a student project that successfully demonstrated the collaboration between unmanned aerial and ground vehicles.

On June 1, engineering students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona gathered at the experimental flight field outside San Luis Obispo for a flight demonstration that ended a yearlong collaborative project on autonomous flight and geolocation.

This year’s project built on the effort started during the 2011-2012 academic year. In the first year of the project, an unmanned aerial vehicle provided an accurate geolocation solution to a ground vehicle.
The aircraft located a target that resembled a large red exercise ball, and transmitted its coordinates to a ground station, which then directed a ground vehicle to navigate to the target in the field.

The program was expanded during the second year to include a second unmanned aerial vehicle whose mission was to drop a bottle of water at the location of the target whose coordinates were established by the first autonomous aerial vehicle. Similar to the program’s first year, the autonomous ground vehicle navigated to the target and verified that the package ñ in this case, the bottle of water ñ had been delivered close to the target.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo students Ethan Frame (left) and Nestor Trevino prepare their fixed-wing, remote-controlled Telemaster aircraft on the tarmac and ensure that flight-test cameras are communicating data for tracking the flight.

To prepare for the demonstration, Cal Poly students from San Luis Obispo enhanced a fixed-wing remote control aircraft with sensors and a communications link, while students from Pomona developed a second aerial vehicle capable of carrying and releasing a water bottle at a waypoint determined by the aerial vehicle so that the bottle would successfully land on the target. Pomona students also made numerous upgrades to their ground vehicle. Approximately 50 students from the two campuses participated in the program, forming virtual teams to remotely collaborate on the project.

“The project demanded an exceptional degree of collaboration, and the students rose to the challenge,” said Eric Mehiel, chair of the aerospace engineering department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “Programs like this take ‘learn by doing’ to new levels. The advanced nature of the technology requires students to acquire and apply new knowledge that is beyond the traditional class or textbook.”

The program leveraged three Northrop Grumman core capabilities: unmanned vehicles, sensors and geolocation, and distributed systems integrated through software. Northrop Grumman provided supplies and designed the program’s curriculum. Additionally, Northrop Grumman employee volunteers served as mentors and provided a technical critique of the student-led design approach during a midyear project review.

“This student project provides excellent preparation for the future workforce, which will come to the job thoroughly prepared to take on the toughest engineering challenges,” said Charles Volk, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Navigation Systems business unit.

Northrop Grumman and the two Cal Poly campuses plan to continue the partnership during the next academic year by building on the initial project concept. Northrop Grumman is an ongoing contributor to science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational activities and initiatives in the local community.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki

Second Northrop Grumman-built Triton UAS completes first flight

Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki The second MQ-4C Triton, built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, successfully completed its first flight Oct. 15 PALMDALE, Calif. – The U.S. Navy’s second MQ-4C Triton un...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Poland’s PIT-RADWAR signs letter of intent with Raytheon

Raytheon photograph Mike Shaughnessy, Vice President of Supply Chain, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and Jerzy Milosz, Member of Board and Director of R&D, PIT-RADWAR sign a letter of intent to explore further partners...
 
 

Raytheon to resume work on new electronic warfare planning management software program

The U.S. Army has directed Raytheon to resume work on an Electronic Warfare planning management software program that for the first time will give it automated tools to help plan and execute complex electronic warfare missions. The program restart follows a ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which denied the protest filed by...
 

 

Northrop Grumman JCREW achieves milestone C; Program to enter production, deployment phase

Northrop Grumman has received Milestone C approval for its Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment 1 Build 1 (I1B1) system from the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. The JCREW I1B1 system is a jammer that defeats devices used to trigger improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Northrop Grumman developed mounted, dismounted and fixed-site variants...
 
 

Radar delivery boosts United States’ ballistic missile protection

The U.S. just gained another defensive system that will help protect the U.S. and its allies from ballistic missiles. Raytheon delivered its tenth AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar to the Missile Defense Agency six months ahead of schedule. AN/TPY-2 is an integral element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.  It is a mobile X-band radar...
 
 

Lockheed Martin pursuing compact nuclear fusion reactor concept

PALMDALE, Calif. – The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® team is working on a new compact fusion reactor that can be developed and deployed in as little as ten years. Currently, there are several patents pending that cover their approach. While fusion itself is not new, the Skunk Works has built on more than 60 years...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>