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.


 
 

 

Headlines April 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




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>