Eagle Eye’s goal is to make a proof of concept airship that can operate in the Martian atmosphere while still being fairly simple to operate and relatively cheap to produce. Our end goal is for this project to be used by a space organization either commercial or federal to assist in spatial body exploration.
Pictured from Left to Right: Nicholas Hendrickson, Zachary Koehler, Erik Gruber, Alec Wagner, Paul Hentges, Bruno Rangel-Huerta, Kaleb Cornick, Josue Oyervides, Andrew Eschweiler, Anthony Lazzerini, Jared Witt, William Steppick, Jared Danner, Christopher Johannsen, Cory Miller, Robert Zartman, Ryan Whitener, Jacob Cline, Christopher Kosirowski
Project Mission Statement
To build an airborne vehicle that can assist in planetary exploration of Mars where traditional rovers or humans cannot go.
Eagle Eye was started in the fall of 2014. The initial idea was conceived over the summer by former Project lead Dillyn Mumme. At the beginning of the fall term Dillyn brought his idea to Preston Waymire for discussion. After refining the idea and doing more research the two approached Matt Nelson to propose the idea as an M:2:I project. In that first semester the group did mostly research and initial designing of the hexacopter prototype, as well as much recruiting to expand their small 5 man team. The group finalized the design as well as constructed a foam model and did research on how to work with composites for construction. The group then lost their adviser and would be picked up by Dr.Wlezein. After some restructuring the group decided to start from scratch with their design and focus on the rotorcraft being on Mars. The spring of 2016 the group double in size and started the design of a coaxial rotorcraft. During the semester preliminary aerogel testing was completed as well as a solidworks model of the prototype vehicle. Over the summer a group worked on coding and building the recovery system and developing the ribs and spar structure for the blades. As Feasibility analysis has provided evidence that a coaxial rotorcraft will no longer be feasible, due to increasing complexity with fabrication and operation. As of August 2017, the team has elected to shift the project's focus to designing an airship, which uses buoyant force as the primary force contributing to lift, rather than rotating blades.
Last semester Eagle Eye was working toward construction of our prototype airship. This includes construction of the gondola, envelope, motors and other systems. This allowed us to perform inside and low altitude testing with our airship to ensure our control systems and electronics work the way intended. A goal achieved was the ground pressure control system test, which allowed controlled accent and decent as well as provide a safe way to bring our craft down from high altitude testing. Throughout the semester Eagle Eye was able to design and construct an initial main structure that includes a gondola and envelopes to secure the balloons. However, during our most recent test flight we encountered difficulties with the envelope regarding our balloon fill up process. Our response to this issue has been to redesign and re-approach securing the balloons. This semester has focused on creating new procedures that will allow for consistent and successful launches so that we may focus on creating tangible results with our test flights.
The main goal for the Fall 2018 semester is to modify the systems created during the previous semester in order to ensure that a tether flight test will be successful. The tethered flight test will be performed twice, one inside the Howe Atrium, and another outside. The purpose of having two tests is so that we can test and validate different subsystems. The test inside the Howe Atrium will allow us to ensure our structure is stable and capable of supporting the predicted loads, our avionics and control systems are functional and predictable, and our filling procedures are safe and consistent.
This test will be done at a few feet and will allow all three teams to test certain parts of their system. The design team will be able to ensure their structure can withstand the loads predicted. Avionics will be able to test their GPS system and manipulate any flaws found. Fabrication will determine if their envelope design will hold the balloons appropriately.
Overall the previous semester was a major success. All teams were able to complete their assigned milestones and an final airship was constructed. This was the first time all three teams were able to implement their systems into one complete craft. It was proven that the craft was able to withstand all loads presented as well as maneuver to the desired location based on GPS coordinates. The tethered flight test was not a success, however, the balloons were found to be more sensitive than expected. The envelope was not the most effective design and will need to be improved before further test can occur.
Final Airship Design
Going into next semester and long term goals we need to refine our systems and test the airship at high altitudes.
Eagle Eye Leadership:
||Dr. Kim and Matt Nelson
Eagle Eye Team leads:
|Eagle Eye Sub-Team
Eagle Eye Team Members: