UTA to Host Drone Showcase
Senior design groups from UTA, UT Dallas, and UT El Paso have been working to design and showcase their own autonomously flying unmanned aerial systems and unique flight controller. The project, sponsored by Raytheon Technologies, began during the Fall 2020 semester and will culminate with a showcase event at UTA’s Maverick Stadium from April 29-May 1.
The team-oriented effort allows students to engage and put into practice their project-management and problem-solving skills on open-ended problems. It also gives them the opportunity to work in an environment like industry professionals. For Raytheon, it is an opportunity to evaluate and assess top graduates and promote corporate branding in addition to assessing the latest technologies.
The teams will compete in three events during the showcase. The first will verify that the drone works as it is supposed to. The second will require the drone to lift off, ascend to a prescribed altitude, and autonomously find and land on a 2-foot by 2-foot school logo. The third will require the drone to lift off, negotiate through and avoid obstacles, and land on the school logo.
UTA’s team comprises students from the Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments, with faculty advisers David Wetz and Greg Turner (EE), Bob Woods (MAE) and Chris McMurrough (CSE).
“While we could have limited the project to more of a programming exercise using commercially available drones, we were ambitious and created a multi-disciplinary team to build the entire thing from scratch. MAE students are building the frame, EE students are working on the electronics, and CSE students are programming the flight controls,” said Wetz.
“This is a fun event, but it’s really beneficial for our students to learn how to work in teams from multiple engineering disciplines to create something that can successfully perform a set of tasks. This experience will give them a leg up when it comes to entering the workforce and becoming a working engineer.”
UTA students competing are:
EE: Bryce Humphrey, Pace Honeycutt, Jeremiah Tate, Kevin Truong and Alejandro Zapata
CSE: Anfal Chaid, Archit Kalpeshkumar Jaiswal, Michael Rao, Thomas Royal and Alvin Poudel Sharma
MAE: Edmund Travis Forest, Francois Nguyen, Taylani Oneal, Robert Ross and Thomas Sampognaro