Momentum - September 2020 - 8

FEATURE

STUDENT
GENERATION

AIR DOMINATION

Two teams with different pedigrees win big in their respective
SAE Aero Design competitions.

The Georgia Tech team with multiple iterations of its Micro and Advanced Class planes. Team
members hold the plaques given to the best teams as awards as well as target-seeking
triangular-shaped gliders that are released from the Advanced Class plane in flight.

GEORGIA TECH AND THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO-MAYAGUEZ
dominated the two SAE Aero Design competitions held in 2020, the
former finishing first overall in each of the two Classes at SAE Aero
Design East before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, the latter winning two
of the three Classes at a virtual version of SAE Aero Design West after
the on-site event was cancelled.

SAE AERO DESIGN EAST
"Leading this project challenged my engineering and management
skills," said Jonathan Paravano, chief engineer of Georgia Tech's
Advanced Class team and president of the Georgia Tech DBF (Design
Build Fly) Club. "However, my team members are the best in the world.
Working with this group was an honor, as their intelligence, creativity,
and dedication inspired me each day. Holding the first place overall
Advanced Class Award with my team was a moment I will never forget."
SAE Aero Design East was held in Lakeland, Fla., this past March.
One of the demands of the Advanced Class is development of
small gliders that are mounted to the primary aircraft and released to
autonomously hit a ground target. The gliders are called "colonist delivery
aircraft" (CDA) and contain ping pong balls representing passengers.
"Great aircraft system performance was the key to victory,"
Paravano explained: "Limits on propulsion power and CDA weight

8 September 2020

2009_SG_4-13.indd 5

govern payload, and both aircraft maximize payload
fraction. Therefore, when we hit the target zone, we
score more points than our competitors. To deliver
payload to the target, the guidance systems on the
main aircraft and CDA are rigorously tested. Breaking
the aircraft into its constituent systems and optimizing
for score gives us our edge."
"The performance of our CDA's is our secret sauce,"
Paravano continued. "We had to overcome the
challenges of structural loads, dynamics of separation,
and the nine-ounce limit. However, integrating hardware
and software to reliably guide the CDA without human
intervention proved the most difficult. This represents
a problem the aviation industry is solving to satisfy
demand for autonomous and versatile aircraft. Our CDAs
demonstrate that we excel at learning from the past and
adapting to the future."
As chief engineer of Georgia Tech's Micro Class team,
Gowtham Venkatachalam's primary responsibilities
were making system-level decisions about the aircraft,
providing context to the team, "and mentoring up the next
generation of team members," he told MOMENTUM. "It

MOMENTUM

8/19/20 9:24 AM



Momentum - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - September 2020

Momentum - September 2020
Don’t worry students, you got this!
Benefits U
Formula SAE pivot puts focus on adaptability
U Calgary is MVP of UAVs at SAE AeroConnect Challenge
Avoiding burns in the SAE Supermileage ‘trial by fire’
Air domination
Teams from India on rise at Formula Hybrid
After 21 tries, Michigan Tech snowmobile team finally sleds to victory in 2020
Team from U Michigan takes all 3 titles in re-imagined Baja SAE competitions
Briefs
COMVEC 2020 preview
The IC future points to more downsizing, lean mixtures
SAE 101: Scholarships
Dossier: María Fernanda Castillo of VIKUA
Networking helps keep your options open
Momentum - September 2020 - Momentum - September 2020
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - September 2020 - 1
Momentum - September 2020 - Don’t worry students, you got this!
Momentum - September 2020 - Benefits U
Momentum - September 2020 - Formula SAE pivot puts focus on adaptability
Momentum - September 2020 - 5
Momentum - September 2020 - U Calgary is MVP of UAVs at SAE AeroConnect Challenge
Momentum - September 2020 - Avoiding burns in the SAE Supermileage ‘trial by fire’
Momentum - September 2020 - Air domination
Momentum - September 2020 - 9
Momentum - September 2020 - Teams from India on rise at Formula Hybrid
Momentum - September 2020 - After 21 tries, Michigan Tech snowmobile team finally sleds to victory in 2020
Momentum - September 2020 - Team from U Michigan takes all 3 titles in re-imagined Baja SAE competitions
Momentum - September 2020 - 13
Momentum - September 2020 - Briefs
Momentum - September 2020 - COMVEC 2020 preview
Momentum - September 2020 - The IC future points to more downsizing, lean mixtures
Momentum - September 2020 - SAE 101: Scholarships
Momentum - September 2020 - Dossier: María Fernanda Castillo of VIKUA
Momentum - September 2020 - 19
Momentum - September 2020 - Networking helps keep your options open
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - September 2020 - Cover4
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