Developmenr of Autonomous Aircraft Technologies and the UK Aerial Robotics Team

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract The goal of the Workforce Development Program is to positively impact the development of NASA's future workforce via participation of a diverse group of talented students in experiences to influence their selection of an aerospace career. Building on the successful BIG BLUE Workforce Development projects the past three years, the premise of this proposal is to involve undergraduate students in a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of research and development of a complex aerospace system and to interact with researchers at NASA and aerospace industry contractors. In essence, the students join the aerospace workforce for several months designing, developing, and flight testing a complex, state-of-the-art autonomous aircraft. The proposed project will expose students to multidisciplinary teamwork and systems engineering uncommon or nonexistent in typical engineering undergraduate education experiences. It is hoped that after participating in the project, students choosing an aerospace career will be ready to make an immediate contributions. The proposed project, "Development of Autonomous Aircraft Technologies and the UK Aerial Robotics Team," combines the challenge of developing a sophisticated, computer-controlled system with the excitement and magic of flight. The technical goals of the project are to develop several enabling technologies for autonomous light unmanned aircraft and to integrate those technologies in to a complete system. To test the results of the effort, the students will compete in the Fourth Annual AUVSI Student UA V Competition in June 2006 and develop a flexible base of technologies for other UAV competitions that are regularly held throughout the US. This project will build on the success of the 2005 AUVIS team that The University of Kentucky sent to the Third AUVSI Student UAV Contest. UK as a first time contestant scored quite well and won 6'h place out of 14 teams. This year the number of schools competing has increased to 23 and we hope to apply the lessons learned in our first competition to improve our performance against this larger, international, field of competition. Undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky benefit from immediate involvement in the design and flight of the BIG BLUE Systems. However, many other students (K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels) throughout Kentucky are impacted through various activities and outreach efforts including design of a permanent hands-on display at the Lexington Aviation Museum, participation in "Learn-to-Fly" activities hosted by BIG BLUE students and faculty, development of documentary videos, and K-12 school visits, among others.
Effective start/end date1/1/0612/31/07


  • Western Kentucky University: $57,188.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.