For our annual spring dinner meeting, we hosted Col. Richard Graham, USAF(Ret.), who presented on the SR-71 Blackbird. Hispresentation outlined the development of the SR-71 through several engineering challenges as well as the problems faced by SR-71 pilots. He had an extensive collection of photos and a video which he shared with us. His experience as a pilot, squadron commander, and 9th Wing Commander at Beale Air Force Base clearly makes him the subject matter expert on the SR-71, and discussing everything about the SR-71 would be impossible for one meeting so he graciously brought several of the books he has authored on the subject. He was available to sign them for the guests at the meeting as well.
We are adding the ERAU Eagle Flight Research Center to our blog today. We will keep a running tab on many of the projects being worked on by students, staff and faculty here. Below are some of the exciting things that we are working on in no particular order: - students are building a “surrogate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” for the NASA Centennial Challenge called the Unmanned Aerial System Airspace Operations Challenge or NASA UAS AOC for short. We plan to compete in this contest in September - we are flying and testing an unleaded alternative for the leaded fuel currently used by most small airplanes. It is our hope to certify this environmentally friendly fuel and use it to power our fleet of airplanes - after our success in the previous NASA Challenge, the Green Flight Challenge, we are now looking at full electric aircraft engines and larger hybrid aircraft engines. It looks like in the near future we will be installing the full electric motor on a motorglider as an environmentally friendly aircraft demonstrator. It will be both quiet and extremely efficient. As a teaser: we will be doing this with a famous aviator that has not yet been announced. Keep your eye out for the partner in this exciting project.
On February 20th, Project ARAPAIMA participated in the Critical Design Review for the UNP competition (University Nano-satellite Program) sponsored by AFOSR (Air Force Office of Scientific Research) and AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory). UNP’s objective is to challenge future space professionals interested in building a Nano-satellite within a two-year time frame. Led by Principle Investigator Dr. Bogdan Udrea and Co-Principal Investigator Mikey Nayak , Project Arapaima is composed of ERAU Daytona Beach Graduate and Undergraduate students from multiple degree programs across campus. Project Manager, Senior Aerospace Engineer student Tommy Ruscitti and Chief Engineer, Graduate Mechanical Engineer student Kristia Harris, lead a group of about 50 students in designing and building the Nano-satellite. The review was an all-day event, where students presented their designs and defended their decisions to a panel of UNP judges. Project ARAPAIMA thrived with innovative concepts, military relevance, and professionalism during the event. UNP representatives enjoyed Project ARAPAIMA’s presentation and commended them on their professionalism and ambition. The program office representative at UNP, Lt. Nick Tassos, told ARAPAIMA that the system was well developed and that it definitely stands out for the duration competition. We look forward to updating you on the continued success and the project progress during the Phase B portion of the UNP competition
On February 20, Dr. Strawn presented a highly interesting seminar on rotocraft modeling and simulation. Presentation abstract:The Department of Defense has a goal to effectively design and upgrade all its aviation systems with minimal development cost and risk. One of the biggest risk factors for new designs comes from unexpected aerodynamic and dynamic behavior of the integrated vehicle during initial flight tests. The Army is tackling this problem head-on by developing new high-fidelity modeling and simulation software to identify and remedy potential problems early in the design cycle, well before a prototype vehicle undergoes its first flight test. This talk will describe the Army’s new Helios software tool that use high-performance computers to accurately model a variety of complex and multidisciplinary problems in rotary-wing aerodynamics and structural dynamics. These same computational techniques also work for wind turbines and this talk will also show Helios simulations of wind turbines and wind farms. Finally, the talk will describe the design and implementation of a maintainable and extensible software development framework for the overall effort. About the speaker:Dr. Strawn leads the Computational Aeromechanics Technical Area for the Army’s Aviation Development Directorate in Moffett Field, Calif. This group is responsible for the development and applications of advanced computational modeling tools for rotary-wing aeromechanics. Over the past 25 years, Strawn has led the development and application of such methods for a range of Army helicopter configurations including the CH-47 Chinook, the UH-60 Black Hawk and the OH-58 Kiowa.