Senior Capstone – WiPowT 

By: Zoe Crain
Copy Editor 

One of the two CE/SE/EE detail teams is led by Kristina Landen. Landen’s team’s name is WiPowT: an acronym for Wireless Power Transmission. WiPowT’s primary advisor is Professor Dennis Kodimer, with a secondary advisor being Dr. Ed Post.

The course names and numbers are SE451 Software Team Project 2 and EE421 Senior Capstone, as Landen’s team is a blended SE/EE team. 

Landen’s team consists of four members; herself, Michael Buck, EE, Christina Openshaw, SE, and Paloma Symmonds, SE.

The team is proving the feasibility of wireless power transfer for the potential commercial application of in-flight drone charging. 

WiPowT has two forms. Each has a coil and a loop made from magnetic wire that are separated by an air gap.

Power is transferred from one form to the other across the air gap. Says Landen, “Imagine your wireless phone charger, but lift your phone a few inches. That’s what we’re doing.” 

The project idea was presented by the team’s industry sponsor, Dialog Semiconductors. The project was pitched in the hopes for Dialog to advance in a developing industry (wireless charging) that was still related to Dialog’s primary industry, the construction of power devices. 

The biggest difficulty faced by WiPowT this semester, says Landen, is definitely the learning curve. “This is an EE heavy project, with a team composed of 75 percent SEs.

We have all had to learn a lot regarding basic EE concepts, as well as the theory needed to understand inductive resonant coupling, the theoretical principle behind our project.” 

As of halfway through April, the team has constructed proof-of-concept prototype forms which contain a coil and a loop.

There are three different sizes for each; 10 cm, 15 cm, and 20 cm. These different sizes will allow the team to measure power transfer and efficiencies between symmetric and asymmetric designs. 

The team also has a number of physical and circuit simulations in NL5, ElectroMagneticWorks with SolidWorks, and ANSYS Maxwell.

The simulations allow WiPowT to simulate their physical system and obtain physical results without ever powering on the system itself. 

In order to finish their project, WiPowT still needs to complete a full power-on test before their symposium presentation.

They also need to finish obtaining values from ANSYS to conclude their simulations.

And of course, they must finalize all their documentation to release into their Configuration Management Library. 

At the end of the day, WiPowT is most excited by the fact that their project has allowed them to integrate hardware and software concepts into a working physical product. 

WiPowT would like to thank their advisors, Prof. Kodimer and Dr. Post, in addition to Jim Weber, Dr. Davis, Dr. Sulyman, Dr. Beck, Jeff Hiatt, Patrick David, Ryan Sutton, Dr. Hayashibara, and Dan Kowalsky for their continued support throughout the completion of the project. Without them, WiPowT would not be where they are today. 

Senior Designs

Surveillance Drone designed by team Vision UAV 

By: Russ Chapman
Correspondent 

Team Members: Matthew Simpson, Kaitlin Shroll, Cassie Freeman, Bjorn Vasenden, Ryan Hom, Raymond Wang, Yared Assefa, Kaila Romero, May Maginde 

Preliminary design team, Vision UAV, is designing a surveillance drone under the guidance of Professor Zwick.

The team’s mission was provided for them at the start of the semester by Professor Zwick and the team has worked to rise to the challenge.  

Team Lead Matthew Simpson described the premise of the project. The mission of the unmanned aerial vehicle is to be capable of flying three hundred miles within a six-hour period.

The design also needs to be compact enough to be transported to the launch location in the bed of a pickup truck.  

The greatest challenge overcome by Vision UAV thus far in the process has been designing a model that would be suitable to build and test in a wind tunnel.

The team has completed the initial design phase and is now progressing to more detailed analysis and considerations. 

The next steps for the team is to finalize a design for the aircraft in regard to the current structural and assembly considerations for testing of the scale model.

Then the team will be able to test and analyze wind tunnel and structural data that will be integral to the construction of the scaled down half-size model that will be assembled and flown next semester. 

Team lead Simpson spoke for the team explaining its excitement to have to opportunity to fully design, build, and then fly and aircraft of their own creation.

It is hard to pick one aspect of the project that has excited them most, but the scope of the project completed is quite satisfying. 

The team extends good luck and encouragement to other future design teams. Team lead Simpson said, “It really shows just how much you actually do learn at this university and it just makes all of the hard work worthwhile.” A sentiment all engineering students can get excited about. 

Finally, Vision UAV would like to that Professor Zwick and Dr. Haslam for guiding the team every step of the way.

The team also thanks the College of Engineering for the education and the opportunity to participate in such a project as well as its faculty for their assistance in learning and in the project.  

Senior Designs

UAS Capstone Combines Research and Real World Experience for Students 

By: Sean Hernandez
News Correspondent 

The UAS senior capstone course known as AS 475: UAS Mission Execution provides practical field experience for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) students with an emphasis on operating UAS in support of actual commercial or civil operations in the surrounding area.

The work the students do isn’t focused on one single project, throughout the semester they’re given multiple missions to conduct. 

One of these groups is known as the “Railroad Group” which includes students Eric Osmundson, Trevis Shiroma, Jiyoung Hwang, Nicholas Zweifel, and Sean Hernandez.

Though they have more than one project in the works, one project they are working on involves more research rather than delivering a final product to the customer.

Osmundson and his team are researching the best approach to integrate UAS into railroad inspection. 

The group has been considering two specific parts that they believe can be integrated into the current system. If UAS can be used to inspect the geometry and gage of rail road and if it can be used to do visual inspections of tracks.

The teams’ biggest problem has been finding information on UAS being used for inspection railroads. This is truly a market that the UAS industry hasn’t reached yet.

The group has completed their research on inspection of the geometry and gage of the track and is currently working on finding information to determine how useful UAS can be to do visual inspection of tracks. The group has also been working with SJ Homes to see if UAS can be used to help with construction planning.  

Osmundson mentions that one of the exciting aspects of the work him and his team have been doing is learning about other industries and seeing all the applications for UAS in those industries.

Any time the question of whether UAS can be applied to an industry or not the team has had to gain extensive knowledge on how the industry currently works to see if there is in fact a feasible application.   

Osmundson and his team would like to thank All American Track and SJ Homes for taking time out of their busy schedules to work with them and teach them things about the industries they work in.

They would also like to thank professor Johnny Young for providing connections with local businesses who wanted to work with University’s UAS students. 

The Railroad group is excited to be presenting their findings and final products from working with All American Track and from working with SJ Homes. They will be presenting with the rest of the College of Aviation in the Stem Building on April 27. 

Senior Design Senior Designs

UAS Capstone Provides Real World Experience for Students 

By: Sean Hernandez
News Correspondent 

The UAS senior capstone course known as AS 475: UAS Mission Execution is wrapping up its first semester outside of the experimental phase.

The course provides practical field experience for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) students with an emphasis on operating UAS in support of actual commercial or civil operations in the surrounding area.

There are two separate groups working on projects for this capstone course. Their work isn’t focused on one single project, throughout the semester they’re given multiple missions to conduct. 

One of these groups is known as the “Bagdad Group” which includes students Dakota Freshman, Tyler Summerlin, Grady Roth, and Chasen Newland. They aren’t in any type detail or prelim with their work.

Once they are given an assignment by the customer, they design a mission to meet their needs, execute the mission, and create a final product to deliver to the customer.  

Their first project had them working with a biologist to survey the Bridle Creek Riparian Habitat in Bagdad, Ariz. The team’s biggest difficulty this semester with the Bagdad project was time.

The class time is once a week for five hours but on average it takes an hour and a half one way to reach the habitat.

Currently the only product the group has made involved using EO cameras to recreate a 3D render of the habitat to identify erosion.

The group plans to go out one last time with an improved mission using a longer endurance aircraft and a multispectral camera to identify areas of poor vegetation.  

The group also worked with Nexus Southwest, a local surveying company, to survey a property and see how UAS can be utilized in that industry. Not every mission is clear cut.

Some of these businesses are considering UAS solutions for the first time and are looking to the students of this course to point them in the right direction on how to implement drones into their business. 

“I really enjoyed how dynamic this class has been so far. It is different when you learn about something in class, but then you have to apply it in the real world.

I think this class has pushed me and my teammates to be better pilots and has taught us a lot about using drones in real life situations,” Dakota mentioned. “It will be a lot of fun to finally show what we have accomplished and what we can do after we graduate.” 

The team would like to thank the UAS capstone professor, Johnny Young for providing connections with local businesses who wanted to work with University’s UAS students.

They would also like to thank Dusty Eiker, the biologist they worked with in Bagdad, and Adam Haywood, their contact with Nexus Southwest.

Dakota also would like to thank the other members of his team, “They are all hardworking individuals and the project would not have come out as good as it has without them.” 

The Bagdad group is excited to be presenting their final products from working in the Bridle Creek Riparian Habitat and from working with Nexus Southwest.

They will be presenting with the rest of the College of Aviation in the Stem Building on April 27. 

 

Featured Senior Designs

Spring Music Concert Brings Spring Cheer 

By: Madison Padilla
Chief Copy Editor 

On the calm breezy night of Apr. 15, students, faculty and friends arrived at the Davis Learning Center (DLC) for the annual Spring Concert hosted by the Eagle Music Club.

The concert featured nearly all of the groups that are a part of Eagle Music Club, including Wind Ensemble, String Quartet, Women’s Chorale, and A Capella Choir.

The only group not included, the Swingin’ Eagles Jazz Band, had their own concert on Apr. 21.  

The night started off with the Wind Ensemble, who played songs that originated from the British Isles.

The group started off strong with a sky-high piece reminiscent of a plane in flight.

To accompany their tunes, the band had a projector behind them with images that highlighted the songs they were playing.

Once the ensemble had performed their three songs, the String Quartet followed.

A benefit of the Eagle Music Club is that it allows all students of different backgrounds and experience levels to play the instrument of their choosing, and all members played their best and enjoyed the experience on stage.  

Following the quartet was the Women’s Chorale. Since the Women’s Chorale performed at the International Festival back in March, they brought back one of their songs from that performance.

The four women sang a total of two songs and joined the A Capella Choir to finish out the night.

The vocals-only choir sang more songs inspired by the British Isles, then invited drummer Alex Lubiarz and bass player Calvin Shum for their final song.  

In the end, coordinators of the event were proud of its success. Eagle Music Club Vice President Jacob Keeley commented that “The Spring Concert was fantastic. You can really tell just how passionate our musicians are, and how hard they work to make a lasting impression on everyone who attends.”  

Diversions

Taking Chances Among the Stars 

By: Russ Chapman
Correspondent 

The Board of Campus Activities’ (BCA) annual casino night was a success once again! Many students were drawn to the activity center the evening of Friday, April 6, to participate in the fun.

The room was decked out with outer-space-themed decorations and costumes, filled with gaming tables and excited students.  

Tables and dealers were set up for a variety of casino games, primarily poker, blackjack, and craps. Each student upon arriving at the event was given “money” to trade in for chips to be used in the games.

One student, Alan Davis, commented on this system saying, “It’s great fun! They take my money like a real casino, but I don’t have to leave broke!”  

The tables were full from the time the doors opened to the closing of the banks at the end of the night as the students enjoyed themselves.

The tables were manned by a mix of professional dealers as well as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) staff volunteers.  

One of these volunteers, who has participated every year in this event, is Dean of Students Dr. Larry Stephen.

Dr. Stephen had this to say after an evening of blackjack dealing, “It’s great fun to be out with students. I enjoy interacting with the students I see around campus all the time and spending a few hours getting to know them. Smiling faces all around and a great turnout!” 

At the end of the evening students were able to trade in their chip winnings from the tables for tickets for prizes.

Dozens of students patiently awaited the calling of the ticket numbers after the event in the hopes of receiving one of the many wonderful prizes offered by BCA.  

Many students left with smiling faces at the end of the night, even those who left empty handed in terms of prizes were able to enjoy the fun of the evening.

Thus, ended the yearly tradition for Prescott campus that many look forward to attending again next spring.  

Diversions

Movie Review: “Ready Player One” 

By: John Mills
Diversions Editor 

I usually hold the stance that movie adaptations should be as close to the book as is possible. I’m the kind of person who notices and is peeved by the cuts Peter Jackson made to the “Lord of the Rings” books.

Therefore, it may come as a surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed, and would recommend, the “Ready Player One” movie being that it is far removed from the book.  

What makes”Ready Player One” so fun to watch? For me, it was a few things.

First of all, the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is gorgeous and works extremely well within the setting.

Most of the movie takes place within a virtual reality environment known as the Oasis. The Oasis is given life in movie form that the book could barely hope to match.

Everything in the Oasis is clearly artificial, but is given a sense of realism despite that that is highly familiar to anyone who’s used a VR headset at any point.  

The plot stays true to the spirit of the novel without having to use any of the unfilmable sections. To point out even the biggest differences would take too long and be too spoiler-y, so I’ll highlight two instead.

The entire way to acquire the first key is entirely different from the book, in a good way. I don’t want to watch someone play an arcade game for half an hour after navigating a notoriously difficult D&D module, all the while being narrated at about how tough the whole thing is.

That just wouldn’t make for a good movie, so Spielberg changed it, and for the better.

The other biggest change I’d like to touch on for example is that the movie cuts out half the challenges, which also would have been difficult to properly film and boring to watch, not to mention long-winded.  

The two leads, played by Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, work incredibly well together, whether acting in the flesh or as their virtual avatars. There’s a natural chemistry between the two that’s obvious on screen and a joy to watch.

The supporting cast includes the wonderful Ben Mendelsohn and Simon Pegg, and the hilarious T.J. Miller. All of the supporting cast do their job well and fit into the world in a way that makes sense.

Ben Mendelsohn perhaps unsurprisingly plays the primary antagonist, and it feels like there’s a touch of Orson Krennic from “Rogue One” in his performance, in a good way. 

“Ready Player One” was a book that shouldn’t have been filmable. It was a convoluted, fun, mess of self-indulgent nerdism with little true character development and worse interpersonal abilities.

The movie does away with the worst of these flaws by actually making the main character likeable, sociable, and capable without coming off as a pretentious know-it-all who is only out for himself.

That is where”Ready Player One” shines best as a movie. It’s a fun ride from start to finish with satisfying arcs and development, without the deluge of ‘80s pop culture most people won’t get. 

Diversions Reviews

Video Game Review: “Factorio” 

By: John Mills
Diversions Editor 

“Factorio” is a game seemingly custom-made for people who like efficiency.

Or rather, people who like to design efficiency. Or people who like to plan things out. Or people who like chaotic messes. Or people who just wish to visit gross environmental harm where they won’t get fined into nonexistence by the EPA.

The point is, “Factorio” has a broad appeal, something well reflected by its 98% positive rating on Steam. It is available through Steam or [www.factorio.com] for $30. 

At its core, the goal of “Factorio” is simple. Start with your wits, a drill, an oven, and build a factory to enable you to launch a rocket into space.

If this sounds like an impossible task, just know that it is only very difficult. Scattered around the map are resource deposits to make this all possible, and researchable technologies progressively make things easier.

That has to be contextualized by saying that while the technologies allow more, new, or more efficient methods of production, fitting them into an existing factory can be maddeningly difficult.

Oh, and then there’s the hostile aliens that will try to raze your fledgling factory when the pollution gets too high.  

A big aspect of “Factorio”’s appeal is that there is no set way to “win.”

Every time you start a new game, the map will be different than the last time, meaning that the setup you used in the past likely won’t be directly applicable to the new world.

Once you have won by launching a rocket, there’s nothing that tries to stop you from launching more rockets.

With sufficient work, its possible to build a factory that launches rockets with alarming regularity.

Plus, “Factorio” supports both local and internet multi-player, which significantly increases an already high playability value.

Working with a friend to build a factory, then optimizing it when it isn’t efficient enough, then tacking on oil and chemical processing facilities, then doubling its throughput of iron, then adding on a new power system, then optimizing some more can be an amazingly endless process.

The first night I played “Factorio”, I played it for roughly eight hours without noticing the passage of time. That being said, I have since found, personally, that I don’t truly enjoy playing “Factorio” alone, but your mileage may vary.  

Graphically, “Factorio” is no stunner, but its art style works incredibly well with what’s being presented, as well as allowing for absolutely massive numbers of sprites and other items on-screen without putting a heavy load on any modern computer. Even older or less powerful laptops and desktops should be able to run “Factorio” with ease.  

“Factorio” appeals to the wannabe-systems-engineer in me. It distills terribly complicated processes like ore mining, oil refining, and rocket assembly into placeable pieces.

All I have to do is ensure they are supplied with the resources they need to function, given limited space and availability.

That’s just logistics, and anyone can learn logistics. For anyone who enjoys efficiency, resource management, micro-management, or buildings things just the way you want them, “Factorio” is sure to delight for many hours upon hours. 

Diversions Reviews

Book Review: “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” 

By: Vee Glessner
Copy Editor 

“Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is a short, anonymously-written novel under the guise of an autobiography. It’s available online, so a quick search can yield the PDF version that originally made waves online and got the work published in print. 

The main selling point of “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is its inside perspective on an unreliable narrator’s mind and thought process.

The author begins by retelling the ways he’s hurt women in the past, a sequence of elaborately-planned schemes that, for all intents and purposes, describe him as a sadist.

He would go to any length to cause a woman to fall in love with him, then break her heart brutally, and usually in public. Rinse and repeat for years. 

This cycle, fueled by raging alcoholism and insecurity, was quelled when he quit drinking. The narrator gets a secure job, starts making a very comfortable salary, and swears off women.

This lifestyle lasts for five years until he meets an aspiring photographer in New York who quickly steals his heart.

Although he has no intent to hurt her, his paranoia and ongoing struggle with addiction cloud his retelling of the story, and our narrator is eventually brutally dumped, in public, as part of an elaborate scheme that he’s convinced was a publicity stunt for his girlfriend. A taste of his own medicine, so to speak. 

The book spares no effort in convincing the reader that the author is at least a little bit crazy, but leaves open-ended the extent to which he can or can’t be trusted.

There are details that don’t line up, numbers and facts repeated incorrectly, and various spelling and grammatical errors throughout the story, all contributing to the sense that the author is what the literary world would refer to as an “unreliable narrator.”  

In addition, the novel makes an effort to explain the behavior of the unlikely protagonist without relying on the stereotypes of childhood or sexual abuse, although a nod is made to their significance. Rather, the narrator explains the rushes and emotions he feels without falsely ascribing them to any trauma, accepting his feelings as they are.

Although his coping mechanisms including drinking and emotional abuse are unhealthy, he can be viewed as an honest picture of allowing and experiencing one’s emotions. 

The fiction is gripping, dark, painful, and raw. The mentally ill state of the author adds to the interest and mystery of the whole story. Although “Diary of an Oxygen Thief” raises more questions than it answers, it’s a worthwhile exploration into the life of a damaged, confused narrator trying to find closure and peace by retelling his story. The entire work is only 105 pages, which can be accomplished in a night or two, and its ready availability online makes it perfect for a spontaneous night of downtime. 

 

Diversions

News: Alpha Xi Delta Philanthropy Week 

By: Reece Cabanas
Chief Distribution Officer 

During the week of April 2, the Alpha Xi Delta chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Prescott launched one of their biggest and most successful philanthropy weeks to date.

The fundraiser aimed to fulfill their national philanthropy: Autism Speaks.  The chapter successfully raised nearly double their original $3,000 goal.  

Founded in 2005, Autism Speaks was adopted by Alpha Xi Delta as their national philanthropy in 2009.

According to online advocacy sites, raising a child with autism can cost, on average, between an additional $25,000 to $60,000 a year.

Autism Speaks raises funds to help relieve some of these extra costs through family support services, following their main four pillars of advocacy, awareness, research, and family support. They have succeeded in requiring 47 states to have insurance coverage for people with autism. 

Several on-campus philanthropy events were held throughout the week, with a semi-formal event concluding the string of fundraisers.

Various advertisements such as chalk art and posters were spread around campus to promote fundraising efforts and raise awareness.

Monday’s Advocacy Day event asked fellow Embry-Riddle students to wear blue to show support for the cause. A day later, the sisters held a Mac n’ Cheese sale outside AC-1. 

Continuing with advocacy and awareness, a movie titled “Sounding the Alarm” was shown in one of the AC-1 classrooms on Wednesday. Thursday consisted of a puppy kissing booth and bake sale in the Student Union quad area. 

To wrap up the week, the sorority held their Blue Dress Affair event in the Eagle Gym. People attending the semi-formal event had the option to either  pay $10 at the door or RSVP online for a discounted admission fee.

The costs included dinner and one raffle ticket, all of which would be donated to the cause. In addition, extra raffle tickets could be purchased to increase chances of winning the prizes such as spa treatments, gift cards, and scented candles among other things. 

Alpha Xi Delta’s timing was executed perfectly, with April 2 being recognized internationally as World Autism Awareness Day and marking the beginning of World Autism Month.

The total amount raised throughout the week reached nearly $6,000, making this the Theta Zeta chapters’ most successful philanthropy week since its founding in 1991. All money raised will go directly towards family funding and support services. 

In the past few weeks, the sisterhood has received some pushback from the campus community due to Autism Speaks’ blurred reputation and the national sorority’s ties to the organization.

They have also received accusations that their philanthropy week is focused around finding a cure for autism, of which is entirely untrue. False accusations, misleading information, and quick judgement have attributed to these claims. 

Autism is still a diagnosis that is not very well understood, a reason why awareness groups such as Autism Speaks conduct research into it.

While their philanthropy is titled Autism Speaks, Alpha Xi Delta works solely to fund families and research into the autism spectrum, stating they will faithfully support the organization and stand by their values above all else and regardless of any pushback. 

Aside from the April philanthropy week, the sorority has held previous fundraisers during the school year.

Currently there are plans to continue holding on-campus as well as off-campus events for the remainder of the month. Another philanthropy week is also planned for the fall semester. 

The Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity was founded on April 17, 1893, at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois.

With over 175,000 initiated sisters and approximately 130 institutions nationwide, the sorority focuses on providing its members with sisterhood, leadership, knowledge, and service. Just earlier this month the sisterhood celebrated its 125th anniversary. 

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