Momentum - October 2019 - 4


Photo credit: David Gaitan


The Georgia Tech Advanced Class
plane at SAE Aero Design East 2019,
a moment after it released three
autonomously guided gliders.

Georgia Tech team right on the mark with glider-deploying RC aircraft at
SAE Aero Design competition.
YOU HAVE JUST BEEN ISSUED an engineering challenge!
There are five months remaining until the deadline. The
objective entails the most challenging criteria devised
by the SAE Aero Design competition organizers to
date: remotely dropping payloads into small zones,
autonomous systems, and an aircraft carrying other
deployable aircraft. Your team consists of inexperienced
full-time student engineers who can donate only a
fraction of their time to the project. The lab facility where
you work is no bigger than an apartment, and your
budget could not even buy a used car. The stage is set
for this endeavor to be a complete disaster, so what do
you do? You innovate of course!
These are exactly the conditions the Georgia Institute of
Technology Design-Build-Fly team faced, and exactly the
approach taken to compete. The team came together when
the rules for the SAE Aero Design Advanced Class were
issued and decided to accept the challenge regardless of its
forbidding nature. Having won the previous Advanced Class
competitions for four years straight, all eyes were on us to
deliver not just a working vehicle, but a complete operation
that retained the perfection, execution, and style of the
team so impressed on everyone who has watched Georgia
Tech's Advanced Class missions. With the pressure on, the
team went to work.
The engineering challenge: design a 750-watt powerlimited "mothership" aircraft that carries Nerf Aero
4 October 2019

Howlers, water bottles, and autonomous gliders filled with ping pong
balls, and include systems that allow for dropping these payloads into
a 50-foot-radius target zone subject to certain dropping procedure
restrictions. The idea behind the concept was to simulate a Mars
colonization mission. The mothership aircraft would drop habitats (Nerf
Aero Howlers) and water bottles (supply water) on the first pass to
the colonists' anticipated home (target zone). On the second pass, the
colonists (ping pong balls) would be deployed via autonomous glider
landing crafts. Once released at least 200 feet from the target at an
altitude between 50 and 100 feet, the gliders would direct themselves
to the target zone without triggering any of the three onboard 50-g
shock sensors upon landing. Rules required that each team's ground
station operator, visually blinded to the airfield, initiate glider release
based only on telemetry from the team's data-acquisition system.
The engineering of the autonomous gliders would ultimately be the
greatest challenge and is the focus of this article. It was imperative to
land gliders in the target, otherwise no points would be earned. The
unique set of engineering challenges that surrounded the glider opened
the door for innovative ideas to take off.
Before glider design could even begin, there was extensive analysis
conducted to fully understand the rules and mission so that requirements
could be defined. In this crucial step, the team must define a competitive
design point from justified assumptions and expected outcomes.
However, with such a high degree of complexity and scarce relevant past
data, the conceptual designers were playing with fire. The design point
teetered precariously between an impossible, optimistic design and a
safe, beatable design.


Momentum - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - October 2019

Momentum - October 2019
Getting a grip on costs
75 points
Major redesign
One-on-One – Kaitlyn Baron
It’s all about suspension simulation for Zuura Formula Racing
Engineering the future of two-stroke
Digital suspension keeps cabs stable
Motion sickness meets autonomous adaptable dynamics
SAE 101: Books
Miscellaneous news for SAE Student Members!
Dossier: Justin AndresMooi of Yanfeng Automotive Interiors
Momentum - October 2019 - Momentum - October 2019
Momentum - October 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - October 2019 - Contents
Momentum - October 2019 - EDITORIAL
Momentum - October 2019 - BRIEFS
Momentum - October 2019 - STUDENT GENERATION
Momentum - October 2019 - 5
Momentum - October 2019 - 6
Momentum - October 2019 - Getting a grip on costs
Momentum - October 2019 - 75 points
Momentum - October 2019 - 9
Momentum - October 2019 - Major redesign
Momentum - October 2019 - 11
Momentum - October 2019 - 12
Momentum - October 2019 - One-on-One – Kaitlyn Baron
Momentum - October 2019 - It’s all about suspension simulation for Zuura Formula Racing
Momentum - October 2019 - 15
Momentum - October 2019 - Engineering the future of two-stroke
Momentum - October 2019 - 17
Momentum - October 2019 - Digital suspension keeps cabs stable
Momentum - October 2019 - Motion sickness meets autonomous adaptable dynamics
Momentum - October 2019 - SAE 101: Books
Momentum - October 2019 - Miscellaneous news for SAE Student Members!
Momentum - October 2019 - Dossier: Justin AndresMooi of Yanfeng Automotive Interiors
Momentum - October 2019 - 23
Momentum - October 2019 - 24
Momentum - October 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - October 2019 - Cover4