Students in Oklahoma State University’s unmanned aerial systems degree program have designed two practical unmanned aerial vehicles as part of their UAS Design and Analysis course.
The first is a vehicle designed to intercept and measure important meteorological parameters in severe thunderstorms. Called MARIA for Mesoscale Analysis and Research Investigation Aircraft, the vehicle deploys quickly and can be flown into the lower parts of developing super cells to improve understanding of storm systems.
“The unmanned aircraft is designed to penetrate thunderstorms and obtain vital meteorological data for weather forecasting,” says Professor Jamey Jacob. “This data can be used for both immediate forecasts of the storm’s path and strength as well as for predictive models to aid meteorologists in their understanding of tornado genesis.”
In the second project, student teams designed, developed and flew a small UAS to search a field for targets. “Teams were required to fly an autonomous course and return images and GPS coordinates for various scenarios, including a lost hiker known as Pete,” says Jacob. “Teams were provided a modest budget to use for their payload and system design.”
OSU has the first (and currently only) UAS degree option at the graduate level in the nation. The option provides students with a recognized emphasis in instruction and research and supplies them with hands-on analysis, design, construction and flight testing of UAS platforms. More information can be found at unmanned.okstate.edu.
Read more https://news.okstate.edu/press-releases/2499-osu-students-design-storm-penetrating-search-and-rescue-uavs