Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Students Steer a Blimp to Test Near Space Military Technology

19.07.2005


Helium-Filled Airship Allows Tryout for Guidance, Navigation and Control System


Mechanical engineering majors Mike Chin, Ben Jackson and Nick Keim built a navigation, guidance and control system for a commercial blimp to help test technology for a near space airship. Photo by Will Kirk



Using a 17-foot-long helium-filled blimp, four propellers and sophisticated electronics, three Johns Hopkins undergraduates have built a model airship that will aid professional engineers who are designing a military craft to conduct surveillance at the outer edge of the Earth’s atmosphere.

... mehr zu:
»APL »Engineering »HARVe »Technology


The similar but much larger unmanned airship is being developed by engineers at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., to provide visual and communications support from an altitude of about 100,000 feet above sea level. To help test and refine the guidance, navigation and control system for such a craft, APL engineers asked students in the university’s Engineering Design Project class to devise a smaller version of the airship.

During the two-semester course, offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the student team built a model airship that can fly autonomously, following computer commands to move itself to a predetermined location. The craft can also be steered manually through a wireless remote controller. The onboard equipment includes a video camera that can transmit real-time images from about 50 feet above the ground.

"We’re trying to see how these systems would work, using commercial off-the-shelf equipment," said Vincent F. Neradka, an APL engineer who worked with the undergraduates. "The model aircraft works very well. The students met almost all of our objectives. We’re delighted with what they did."

One of the goals was to keep costs down because the full-size system is envisioned as a relatively inexpensive disposable airship that would hover high over a military location for two to four weeks, sending pictures of activity on the ground and relaying communications. Then the airship would either disintegrate or be destroyed. As envisioned by APL, the airship, dubbed High Altitude Reconnaissance Vehicle, or HARVe, would be stuffed inside a missile or reusable rocket, which would carry it to a near space altitude. After emerging from its carrier, a mammoth balloon would self-inflate and carry a gondola equipped with sensors and propellers. Unlike most conventional satellites, HARVe could be directed to stay in place above a single ground location for weeks at a time.

The smaller model, built by the students for about $12,500, will help APL determine whether existing low-cost technology might work in a full-size version. The student model utilizes a commercial blimp capable of carrying a 10- pound aluminum gondola. The gondola is equipped with two propellers facing forward and two reversible propellers facing up and down, a video camera and the electronic navigation, control and guidance system. Just before the end of the school year, the students conducted test flights with the model, then turned it over to APL engineers.

The student inventors were Ben Jackson, 22, a double-degree major in mechanical engineering and trumpet performance from Wilmette, Ill.; Nicholas Keim, 21, a mechanical engineering major from Ellicott City, Md.; and Michael K. Chin, 22, a mechanical engineering major from Brookline, Mass.

The undergraduates had to overcome several hurdles while completing the project. "Being mechanical engineers, a lot of the circuitry was beyond our training," Keim said. "We had to get some outside help."

In addition, the motors that the students’ computers had predicted would be powerful enough to run the vertical propellers turned out to be not powerful enough — and had to be replaced. "One of the things we learned was that theory doesn’t always work out," Keim said. "Sometimes, things break and you have to deal with it."

Added Jackson, "There were frustrating times when things didn’t work, and we didn’t know why. But overall, it was a great experience to be able to complete the design of something new and then see the whole invention come to fruition. That was very satisfying."

The model airship was one of nine Johns Hopkins projects completed this year by undergraduates in the engineering design course. The class is taught by Andrew F. Conn, a Johns Hopkins graduate with more than 30 years of experience in public and private research and development. Each team of three or four students, usually working within budgets of up to $10,000, had to design a device, purchase or fabricate the parts, and assemble the final product. Corporations, government agencies and nonprofit groups provided the assignments and funding. The course is traditionally a well-received, hands-on engineering experience for Johns Hopkins undergraduates.

Phil Sneiderman | EurekAlert!
Weitere Informationen:
http://www.jhu.edu

Weitere Berichte zu: APL Engineering HARVe Technology

Weitere Nachrichten aus der Kategorie Physik Astronomie:

nachricht Erforschung von Elementarteilchen in Materialien
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Vermeintlich junger Stern entpuppt sich als galaktischer Greis
16.01.2017 | Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Physik Astronomie >>>

Die aktuellsten Pressemeldungen zum Suchbegriff Innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Erforschung von Elementarteilchen in Materialien

Laseranregung von Semimetallen ermöglicht die Erzeugung neuartiger Quasiteilchen in Festkörpersystemen sowie ultraschnelle Schaltung zwischen verschiedenen Zuständen.

Die Untersuchung der Eigenschaften fundamentaler Teilchen in Festkörpersystemen ist ein vielversprechender Ansatz für die Quantenfeldtheorie. Quasiteilchen...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Mit solaren Gebäudehüllen Architektur gestalten

Solarthermie ist in der breiten Öffentlichkeit derzeit durch dunkelblaue, rechteckige Kollektoren auf Hausdächern besetzt. Für ästhetisch hochwertige Architektur werden Technologien benötigt, die dem Architekten mehr Gestaltungsspielraum für Niedrigst- und Plusenergiegebäude geben. Im Projekt »ArKol« entwickeln Forscher des Fraunhofer ISE gemeinsam mit Partnern aktuell zwei Fassadenkollektoren für solare Wärmeerzeugung, die ein hohes Maß an Designflexibilität erlauben: einen Streifenkollektor für opake sowie eine solarthermische Jalousie für transparente Fassadenanteile. Der aktuelle Stand der beiden Entwicklungen wird auf der BAU 2017 vorgestellt.

Im Projekt »ArKol – Entwicklung von architektonisch hoch integrierten Fassadekollektoren mit Heat Pipes« entwickelt das Fraunhofer ISE gemeinsam mit Partnern...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Bundesweiter Astronomietag am 25. März 2017

17.01.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Über intelligente IT-Systeme und große Datenberge

17.01.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Aquakulturen und Fangquoten – was hilft gegen Überfischung?

16.01.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Bundesweiter Astronomietag am 25. März 2017

17.01.2017 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

Intelligente Haustechnik hört auf „LISTEN“

17.01.2017 | Architektur Bauwesen

Satellitengestützte Lasermesstechnik gegen den Klimawandel

17.01.2017 | Maschinenbau