Momentum - October 2020 - 12


Student Generation


Texas A&M team
uses engineering
techniques to
optimize the
design process
for RC plane
Texas A&M's Regular Class
championship plane climbs at
the SAE Aero Design East 2020
competition in Lakeland, Fla.
FOR MOST ENGINEERS,the business end of projects is often a
stale domain that limits creativity and sets unrealistic
expectations; it is the last thing an aerospace engineer wants
to focus on when designing a plane. Texas A&M University's
SAE Aero Design team found a way to combine the
engineering approach of control systems with the
management goals of a project team to break the barrier
between assigning and doing design work.
Consider a scenario in which a small rover must start at
point A, cross a field, and reach point B. One team decides they
will analyze the field and its obstacles, as well as the various
paths between point A and B. Using historical data from the
rover's motion, a code is constructed to automatically drive
between the two points, accounting for every bump and rut
the rover will encounter on its fixed path. If all goes to plan, the
rover's start and end time are known, as well as the obstacles it
will encounter and a method to overcome them. Another team
equips the rover with sensors that look at the surroundings,
and immediately the vehicle starts towards point B. As it
encounters an obstruction, it attempts to move past with
various techniques, but keeps its eyes on point B. The rover's
end time is not known, nor are the obstacles, but it will
eventually reach the destination.
This physical problem mirrors a similar abstract problem:
the engineering design process. In the past, a plan-driven
system has guided teams with a comprehensive Gantt chart
and upfront research. This method is like hardcoding the rover,
or a team. At first it seems like everything is known. If all goes

12 October 2020

"Scrums" and "sprints" became part of the Texas A&M's SAE Aero Design
team's lexicon as it built a winning Regular Class plane for the SAE Aero
Design East 2020 competition.
accordingly, the rover efficiently reaches point B with minimal
waste and a met deadline. However, the rover code may have
missed something and found its way off course. The rover
stops at the expected time, but far away from point B.
Agile management, which started in software development,
has recently made its way to hardware design. It allows the
product development team to course-correct when problems
are encountered and always reach the desired destination,



Momentum - October 2020

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

Momentum - October 2020
Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Ditching the bells and whistles
One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Ambition and its conundrums
Sprinting to Success
2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Simulation’s next generation
SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Practicing the ”art of learning”
Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Momentum - October 2020
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - October 2020 - 1
Momentum - October 2020 - Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Momentum - October 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - October 2020 - Ditching the bells and whistles
Momentum - October 2020 - 5
Momentum - October 2020 - 6
Momentum - October 2020 - 7
Momentum - October 2020 - One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Momentum - October 2020 - 9
Momentum - October 2020 - Ambition and its conundrums
Momentum - October 2020 - 11
Momentum - October 2020 - Sprinting to Success
Momentum - October 2020 - 13
Momentum - October 2020 - 14
Momentum - October 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - October 2020 - 2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Momentum - October 2020 - Simulation’s next generation
Momentum - October 2020 - SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Momentum - October 2020 - Practicing the ”art of learning”
Momentum - October 2020 - Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover4