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From The Shoulders of Giants
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Design / build / fly a fixed-wing RC aircraft from the ground up with a predefined payload and range.

A Kepler-level Aerospace Engineering project led by Raul Maldonado in collaboration with Aditya Ojha and Bryan Atanga.

Student Team: Vito "nufflee" Dz-P, Katherine Li, Aarush Das, Ishan Kumar and Aarish Rajwani

Sponsoring Patron: Nathan Bowyer

Began: June 9, 2020

Project Summary: The goal of this project is to design, build, and fly a Radio Controlled (RC) Aircraft from scratch. The aircraft will carry a payload to its destination. The design process will use a simplified simulation approach and the build process will use Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) parts to ease the difficulty of aircraft design.

This project will lay a foundation of knowledge and techniques for possible future aerospace projects.

Project Repository: X1


An electric powered RC airplane will have the following requirements:

  • The aircraft shall be controlable and stable in flight
  • The aircraft shall be able to gather sensor data defined in the Sensor Package Capabilities
  • The aircraft shall satisfy the minumum performance metrics defined in the Aircraft Performance Metrics section
  • The aircraft shall be reasonably easy to transport and/or pack

Project Timeline

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aircraft's Angle of Attack to the State Vector", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Add a method to save Sim Outputs to File", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Simulation", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-19", "End_Date": "2020-07-13", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Adiojha629", "Short_Description": "Add a function or code to save the simulation data to a file for future analysis", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Add drag and Lift Forces to Simulation", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-21", "End_Date": "2020-06-24", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Nufflee", "Short_Description": "Create basic Lift and Drag forces/accelerations for the simulation", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Add thrust force to the simulation", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 10, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Create an analysis and update of the Thrust Model, TSoG X1/Overhaul the Simulation Data Structures to one master structure", "Start_Date": "2020-08-10", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Ishankumar", "Short_Description": "Currently the Simulation has no thrust force in the derivatives, this task will add it so that it can be ran through and simulated", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Change Sim to run with Flight Inputs", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Setup Testing Framework", "Start_Date": "2020-06-28", "End_Date": "2020-06-30", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:RaulM", "Short_Description": "Change simulation to run with Flight Inputs from a Test Case", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create CAD models for Servos and Motor", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Aircraft Model", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-20", "End_Date": "2020-08-06", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Aarish12", "Short_Description": "Create CAD models for the Servos and Motors so we can fit them into the current CAD model of the aircraft", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create CAD part for FCC", "Task_Status": "Idle", "Priority": "High", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Aircraft Model", "Percent_Complete": 0, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Identify Flight Control Computer", "Start_Date": "", "End_Date": "", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "", "Short_Description": "Draw a CAD model of the flight control computer (FCC).", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create CAD parts of sensor modules", "Task_Status": "Idle", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Aircraft Model", "Percent_Complete": 0, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Research Sensor Options", "Start_Date": "", "End_Date": "", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "", "Short_Description": "Create CAD models of all of the selected sensor modules.", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create Foam Board model of Fuselage", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Aircraft Model", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-09", "End_Date": "2020-07-20", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "", "Short_Description": "Using Flite Test models as a guide, create a fuselage model for the aircraft that can house the Flight Computer", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create a basic Aircraft State Machine logic", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-12", "End_Date": "2020-07-14", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Adiojha629", "Short_Description": "Create a preliminary State Machine that can determine the status of the aircraft (such as \"Flying\", \"On Ground\", \"Crashed\")", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create an Aerodynamic Model", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Add Angle of Attack to State Vector", "Start_Date": "2020-07-08", "End_Date": "2020-07-13", "Task_Leader": "User:RaulM", "Members": "User:Nufflee", "Short_Description": "Convert our current static Aerodynamic forces into a dynamic model based on angle of attack", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create an Atmosphere Model", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-19", "End_Date": "2020-07-03", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Aarush26", "Short_Description": "Create an atmospheric model to calculate an estimate of the atmospheric conditions based on altitude.", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create an analysis and update of the Thrust Model", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Analysis", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-20", "End_Date": "2020-08-10", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Adiojha629", "Short_Description": "Take the selected motor and propeller and create an updated model for thrust in the simulation", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create analysis script of Take-Off", "Task_Status": "Idle", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Analysis", "Percent_Complete": 50, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Create an analysis and update of the Thrust Model, TSoG X1/Zero out vertical acceleration when On Ground status", "Start_Date": "2020-07-20", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Nufflee", "Short_Description": "Create an analysis script for take off to determine the rotation speed and takeoff distance", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Create analysis script of Wing Aerodynamics", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Analysis", "Percent_Complete": 25, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-16", "End_Date": "2020-07-30", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:Aarush26", "Short_Description": "Create a dynamic analysis of wing aerodynamics to be able to accurately predict the lift and drag produced from the wings in the simulation", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Identify Flight Control Computer", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "High", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Flight Computer / Sensors", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-18", "End_Date": "2020-06-25", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": ", User:GabrielChapa", "Short_Description": "Research and Finalize Options for Flight Control Computer (FCC).", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Identify Telemetry Computer", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "High", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Flight Computer / Sensors", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-18", "End_Date": "2020-06-25", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:GabrielChapa, User:Aarish12", "Short_Description": "Research options for Telemetry Computer (TC) for sensor data gathering.", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Overhaul the Simulation Data Structures to one master structure", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 90, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-07-16", "End_Date": "2020-08-11", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:RaulM, User:Ishankumar", "Short_Description": "The current system of data structures is very limiting (while functional) so we are going to totally convert everything to one single data structure 'SimData'", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Research Sensor Options", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Priority": "High", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Flight Computer / Sensors", "Percent_Complete": 0, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Identify Flight Control Computer, TSoG X1/Identify Telemetry Computer", "Start_Date": "2020-06-28", "End_Date": "", "Task_Leader": "User:Aarush26", "Members": "", "Short_Description": "Research options for sensors using the Flight Control Computer (FCC) chosen.", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Setup Testing Framework", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Testing", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Dependencies": "", "Start_Date": "2020-06-21", "End_Date": "2020-06-27", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:RaulM", "Short_Description": "Setup the framework for running and generating test cases of the simulation", "Category": "task"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Zero out vertical acceleration when On Ground status", "Task_Status": "Proposed", "Priority": "Normal", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Percent_Complete": 0, "Dependencies": "TSoG X1/Overhaul the Simulation Data Structures to one master structure", "Start_Date": "2020-08-11", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "", "Short_Description": "Currently there is no way to analyze the aircraft on the ground (such as for take off and landing). This will allow the capability to do those analyses.", "Category": "task"}],"Task_Categories": [{"Title": "TSoG X1/Aircraft Model", "Task_Status": "Idle", "Task_Category": "", "Percent_Complete": 50, "Start_Date": "2020-07-09", "End_Date": "2020-08-06", "Short_Description": "Tasks related to the CAD modelling of the aircraft itself.", "Task_Leader": ", , ,", "Members": "User:Aarish12, , ,", "Category": "top-level"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Analysis", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Simulation", "Percent_Complete": 58, "Start_Date": "2020-07-16", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Short_Description": "This category is for work regarding analysis of the aircraft or design of the aircraft using the simulation.", "Task_Leader": ", ,", "Members": "User:Adiojha629, User:Nufflee, User:Aarush26", "Category": "task-category"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Flight Computer / Sensors", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Task_Category": "", "Percent_Complete": 67, "Start_Date": "2020-06-18", "End_Date": "2020-06-25", "Short_Description": "Tasks related to the identification and modelling of all of the electronics needed for the aircraft.", "Task_Leader": ", , User:Aarush26", "Members": ", User:GabrielChapa, User:GabrielChapa, User:Aarish12,", "Category": "top-level"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Sim", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Simulation", "Percent_Complete": 80, "Start_Date": "2020-06-19", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Short_Description": "Updates/Improvements/Bug Fixes to the Simulation itself", "Task_Leader": ", , , , , , User:RaulM, , ,", "Members": "User:Nufflee, User:Nufflee, User:Nufflee, User:Ishankumar, User:RaulM, User:Adiojha629, User:Nufflee, User:Aarush26, User:RaulM, User:Ishankumar,", "Category": "task-category"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Simulation", "Task_Status": "In Progress", "Task_Category": "", "Percent_Complete": 25, "Start_Date": "2020-06-19", "End_Date": "2020-08-17", "Short_Description": "This category of tasks will involve the development and use of the TSoG X1 simulation created in Octave", "Task_Leader": ", , , , , , , User:RaulM, , , , , , ,", "Members": "User:Nufflee, User:Nufflee, User:Adiojha629, User:Nufflee, User:Ishankumar, User:RaulM, User:Adiojha629, User:Nufflee, User:Aarush26, User:Adiojha629, User:Nufflee, User:Aarush26, User:RaulM, User:Ishankumar, User:RaulM,", "Category": "top-level"},{"Title": "TSoG X1/Testing", "Task_Status": "Complete", "Task_Category": "TSoG X1/Simulation", "Percent_Complete": 100, "Start_Date": "2020-06-21", "End_Date": "2020-06-27", "Short_Description": "Work on the Testing Framework and generation of Test Cases", "Task_Leader": "", "Members": "User:RaulM", "Category": "task-category"}] }

Detailed Performance Metrics

Aircraft Specifications

  • Cruising Altitude:
    • 25ft, MIN
    • 50ft, MID
    • 100ft, MAX
  • Payload Capacity:
    • Mass of Sensor Package (TBD), MIN
  • Flight Time:
    • 10 min, MIN
    • 30 min, MID
    • 60 min, MAX
  • Runway Takeoff Distance:
    • 250ft, MAX (the shorter the better)

Sensor Package Specifications

Sensor Package needs to be able to measure and record…

  • Angle of Attack (AoA), Sideslip
  • Airspeed (scalar)
  • Static Temperature of Air
  • Static Pressure of Air

Additional parameters that would be nice to measure and record include...

  • Dynamic Pressure of Air
  • Orientation of Aircraft
  • Position of Aircraft (ex. GPS)
  • Velocity of Aircraft (in vector form)

Project Posts

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