Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Mechanical Engineering (MECH)

First Advisor

Emin Issakhanian


The team will compete in the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Aero Design West Advanced Class competition, held 5-7th April 2019 in Van Nuys, California. The team will work to develop, through research, design, optimizational trade studies, and manufacturing, a system for the deployment of parasitic aircraft, as well as payload. The system will consist of a primary fixed-wing aircraft, parasitic autonomous gliders, a real-time altitude data acquisition system, as well as both static and releasable payload. The deployable gliders must navigate autonomously to a targeting area on the ground without any on-board propulsion. The releasable payload, which will consist of habitat modules and water bottles, must also be dropped in such a manner that they land within the same targeting area. The primary aircraft must be powered through only electric power, with an installed power limiter of 750 watts. In general, the wing and powertrain must be optimized to provide sufficient lift given a limit on available power. The project will require robust systems-level engineering as well as rigorous research, design, testing, and iteration.