Monthly Archives: April 2015

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Project Title: Autonomous Mappingece

Team 1412 Members:
Jeremy Hibbs, electrical and computer engineering
Travis Kibler, systems and industrial engineering
Jesse Odle, optical sciences and engineering
Rachel Powers, electrical and computer engineering
Thomas Schucker, electrical and computer engineering
Alex Warren, computer science

Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

1412Team 1412, sponsored by the University of Arizona department of electrical and computer engineering, is creating a quad-copter to map buffelgrass for the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, or SABCC.

The rapid spread of buffelgrass is a pressing environmental issue in the Sonoran Desert. Buffelgrass turns the fire-resistant desert into a flammable grassland and threatens to supplant native plants, such as the saguaro cactus and ironwood tree, and destroy habitat for wildlife, including the desert tortoise and mule deer.

“SABCC has volunteers who go out and visually mark and inspect buffelgrass locations. An alternative is to hire a private helicopter crew to take pictures of the grass. The volunteer work is time-consuming and labor-intensive; the helicopter option is expensive. The quad-copter we are building costs less, is safer and easier to use, and requires fewer people,” explained team member Travis Kibler.

“It navigates using GPS way-points, which we upload into the autopilot. The quad-copter autonomously takes off, flies to the way-points, avoiding any obstacles, and continues its mission. Once the images are taken, we upload them into software we are writing and stitch together the images to create a huge image map of the area.”

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: The Firebird UAV Honeywell Logo

Team 1424 Members:
Michael Bramer, mechanical engineering
Fabian De La Pena Montero, electrical and computer engineering
Elizabeth Greene, systems and industrial engineering
Zac Petruska, electrical and computer engineering
Claira Safi, electrical and computer engineering
Kyle Smith, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

1424Team 1424, sponsored by Honeywell Aerospace, is developing a small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle to help firefighters quickly and efficiently get information about fires. The project builds on the military’s T-Hawk, applying that technology to a drone for commercial use.

“Firefighters have limited information available to them when they first show up at the scene of a fire. They station five crew members around the fire perimeter just to survey the fire itself,” said team member Lizzie Greene.

The drone will help diagnosis a fire with minimum personnel and greatly reduced risk.

“Our UAV will be launched from the fire truck before the team even arrives on the scene,” Greene said.

“The camera on the UAV will give them information such as the size of the fire, where it’s headed and how hot it’s burning. The UAV will also survey for any dangerous gases resulting from the fire.”

Additional design challenges included ensuring the drone could withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and creating a control panel to help it stabilize in turbulent conditions.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Title: Robotic Ordnance Neutralizer (RON)raytheon-logo

Team 1415 Members:
Elisa Duarte, systems and industrial engineering
Jeremy Gin, electrical and computer engineering
Jaime Lara Martinez, electrical and computer engineering
Mark Roche, electrical and computer engineering
Cassandra Kammerman, mechanical engineering
Greg Stanford, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

top prize teamTeam 1415, sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems, is working on a Robotic Ordnance Neutralizer to trigger small, hard-to-find improvised explosive devices — known as “toe-poppers” for their low explosive charge — in the paths of soldiers on patrol.

“When troops traverse urban environments on combat missions, they often come across hidden, pressure-sensitive IEDs that can maim them,” said team member Elisa Duarte. “We are designing an unmanned ground vehicle system to neutralize hidden IEDs by applying a certain pressure to the ground as it moves along ahead of military personnel.”

The team is working on RON’s explosive neutralization mechanism and developing solutions for increasing the unmanned vehicle’s maximum speed from 3 miles per hour to 6 miles per hour. The vehicle is expected to cover a 5-foot-wide path, while still being able to pass through a standard-width doorway, and detonate the explosives from a safe distance of 15 feet.