Capstone: Team Impulse  

By Madison Padilla
Chief Copy Editor 

Team Members: Eric Trevenna, Matthew Andrews, Sarrah Bramblett, Michael Calivas, Parker Duncan, Shaban Gakere, Tyler Green 

Team Impulse is one of the three ME-Propulsion teams for this year. Lead by Eric Trevenna, the team has been working on building a cold gas thruster that produces about five to ten pounds-force worth of thrust. The project concept itself was developed by Dr. Brenda Haven and recommended to the team at the start of Preliminary Design.  

When asked what the biggest difficulty the group has faced, Trevenna remarked that, “It was getting our design pressure at the nozzle entrance. Our regulator is not able to get a high enough pressure through the system to our nozzle.” Despite this though, the team was able to design and fabricate their system.  

With the build portion of their project complete, the group just needs to go through their testing phase now. With the testing phase, the team hopes to confirm that their theoretical calculations matches up with their experimentation results. By doing this, the design would be considered a success. As the semester wraps up, Trevenna remarked that, “The most exciting part of this project has been testing our system and watching it work.”  

Team Impulse would like to thank the staff and faulty who helped them design and build their cold gas thruster, including Dr. Murat Okcay, Dr. Michael Fabian, Dr. Matt Haslam, and Dr. Elliott Bryner.  

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Team Eagle Eye designing a new eye in the sky 

By Russ Chapman

Team Members: Chase Bilyou, Scott Bragg, Zach Graeber, Emily Parker, Saravanan R, Megan Riley, David Sanders, Joshua Warshaw, Kyle West 

Team Eagle Eye is an aero preliminary design team working on designing a complex surveillance drone. The premise of the project was presented by Dr. Zwick to the team at the beginning of the semester and assigned to them.  

The project had a very specific mission in mind. Team lead, Megan Riley, described the mission parameters. The team is designing a long range drone to survey a gas pipeline that runs from Tucson, Ariz., to El Paso Texas.  

The purpose of the drone is to be a compact modular design that can be transported in the bed of a pickup truck to the launch location. The aircraft is then to be assembled and launched and should be able to survey the entire pipeline on one flight to look for security risks. If accomplished the drone design would be safer, and more cost efficient than the company’s current method of surveying the pipeline. 

The team’s greatest challenge this semester has been coordinating times to meet with all the members. Managing the schedules of nine senior engineering students made it very hard to find times when the entire team would be available to meet. 

However, the team did find its stride and has accomplished much this semester. Team Lead Megan Riley commented on their progress, “We have completed the preliminary design phase which involves creating the complete design for the aircraft. All sizing for wings, fuselage, tail, etc has been completed, and all payload components have been selected.” 

Next order of business for the team is to assemble a testing model to be analyzed in a wind tunnel as well as for structural integrity. Once the analysis has been completed and the design finalized the team will build a half-scale model to be flown next December. Riley mentioned being excited for the team moving forward. She looks forward to the manufacturing phase of the project. The success of manufacturing will be a good demonstration of the quality of the preliminary design.  

The team would like to thank Professor Zwick and Dr. Haslam for their continued guidance in the project. They would also like to thank Dr. Morris, Dr. Helbling, Dr. Traub, and Dr. Bordignon for their expertise and assistance in overcoming obstacles the team encountered.

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Capstone: Industry Engineering Designs with PEAC 

By Russ Chapman

Team Members: Nicholas Nuyn, Sean Gaffney, Kevin Prasad, Lukas Everhart, Robert Graham, Isaiah Martinez, Justin Nguyen, Benjamin Stolte, Jason Evans, Lauren Barthenheier, Colton Campbell, Alexander Nuyn, Jared Rosenkrance, Ryan Poppert 

The largest detail design team this semester is Prescott Experimental Aircraft Concepts (PEAC).The team was originally two individual preliminary design teams working in competition to design an innovative vertical take off unmanned aerial vehicle (VTOL UAV). The two teams had consultant specialists from the Bell Engineering Innovation project that supported the project. At the end of the prelim phase the two projects were downselected to one and the teams merged for the detail fabrication and testing. 

The project was proposed by Dr. Crisler and Kirk Groninga, the project manager for the Bell Engineering Innovation Project. The idea of the project was to have Bell, a division of the Textron conglomerate, sponsor a detail design team in their design of a new proprietary system that would go on to be patented. It gave the students experience with a simulated industry scenario. 

At this point in the process the team has completed two wind tunnel models and their testing. A one-third scale flight test model has also been designed, fully assembled and fabricated. Testing of this flight model is currently in process. Further flight testing on the model and the resulting data analysis remain to be completed by the team, as well as the final report submission.  

When asked what about the project most excited the team, team lead Nicholas Nuyn said, “The team is excited to have a working flight demonstrator and have high probability to be allowed to present publicly in the capstone symposium.” This is exciting for the team as one of the biggest challenges they faced in the process was dealing with the dissemination of information under the non-disclosure agreement the team signed in order to participate in the project.  

The team would like to thank Dr. Criser and Mr. Groninga for making their project a possibility. They would also like to thank other professors and machine shop staff who helped them along the way, namely Professor Mangum, Jim Weber, Patrick David, and Jeff Hiatt. They also extend their thanks to the employees of Bell who aided them in the project as well, namely Mr. Scott Drennan, Mr. Brett Zimmerman, and Mr. Al Brand.  

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GSIS Senior Capstone Class 

By Marquette Davis

For the GSIS Capstone, the entire class is participating in this project and is split up into six teams of four members each.  

The group is designing a Wargame in which they play out potential conflict scenarios on the Korean Peninsula. Our teams consist of North Korean, South Korean, Russian, Chinese, and US teams made up of students in the class. The managers of the wargame are the Administrative Team, or Umpires, who have led the class in the development and production of the game. Each of these teams will participate in playing out the scenarios of the wargame, meaning the students will be participating in and analyzing the current potential conflict development on the Korean Peninsula.  

Dr. Daniel gave the order, “Students will produce a high quality table-top exercise that games out at least one possible scenario for a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.” From there, he left the students to their own creativity from coming up with the scenarios to producing a playable tabletop board game with real-life global implications. 

When asked what was the most difficult part of the semester, students just remarked, “Mitch Major.” 

At this point, the class has completed the rulebook and the entire physical production of the game (with just some small corrections to make). They are now in the troubleshooting phase, in which the class plays through the game until they have made all the improvements they can –as Mitch Major, a member of the GSIS Capstone class says, “If you’re not doing it wrong the first time, you’re not doing it right.” It must be ready for playing by the April 20, after which the class will begin playing. Our class will be sharing our product with DOD professionals and several faculty members and hope to make it a permanent relic in the College of Security and Intelligence.  

They have several playtests yet to do before they finalize our product. Besides that, they just need to make it look good. Overall they are most excited about finishing it. They invite everyone to see their game in Building 17, where it will be proudly displayed from this semester on. 

The GSIS Capstone Class would like to extend a special thank you to the College of Security and Intelligence for granting us the resources to produce a kick-butt wargame they are proud to display and excited to play! 

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Senior Capstone – Coeus Promethea Genna 

By Zoe Crain
Copy Editor 

Team members: Catherine Ayotte, Nina Rogerson, Patrick Bright, Raul Gonzalez, Lee Morris, Trupti Mahendrakar, Yashica Khatri, Noor Rashid, Matthew Klockner, Rachel Pope, and Seven Reinhart 

One of the four AE Astro senior capstone teams is called Coeus Promethea Genna (CPG) and their Project Manager is Catherine Ayotte. CPG is working in conjunction with an ME Robotics capstone team, Sparta Robotics. Ayotte’s team is in Spacecraft Detail Design (AE 445) with Dr. Julio Benavides. Their project name is Project Gemini. 

Project Gemini is designed to be an emulated satellite refueling mission. Essentially, the team is recreating an in-orbit satellite refueling mission in Earth in a 2D plane. Their chase vehicle (the vehicle that does the refueling) hovers and translates on a demonstration platform autonomously, while their target vehicle remains stationary. CPG is in charge of developing the chase and target vehicle, as well as developing a method of tracking them. Sparta Robotics has developed a robotic manipulator that is on board CPG’s chase vehicle that allows rendezvous and refueling between the vehicles. 

This lofty project was proposed to all AE Astro and ME Robotics students in the fall semester by Dr. Benavides and Dr. Iacopo Gentilini, with the intention of it being the first Astro-Robotics capstone collaboration. 

The greatest challenge CPG had to overcome this semester was back in January, when the team determined that multiple design decisions from the previous semester were not going to work. With only three weeks before they needed to begin purchasing and production of the physical structure, the team had to double down on their analysis of critical components (such as the chase vehicle frame structure) and make quick, educated decisions about how to improve their design: without jeopardizing other aspects of the project. 

CPG is currently in the final phase of their project. The team must complete the remaining 60% of scheduled tests. Once tests are completed, the team will finalize their test reports. 

According to Ayotte, the most exciting part of the project is definitely “seeing all the systems come to life and start functioning. It’s easy to see a design in CATIA for months, but when the vehicle is in front of you with lights blinking and signals being sent, it’s a completely different feeling.” 

Ayotte continues, “Prelim and Detail have been unlike any other experience at Riddle. No project in any other class can prepare you for the blood, sweat, and tears that go into a major engineering endeavor: nor will you be prepared to realize everything that could have gone wrong has.” 

CPG would like to thank Dr. Gentilini and Dr. Benavides for everything they have helped CPG tackle along the way, in addition to Sparta Robotics for being the other half of Project Gemini. 


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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Capstone: Aircraft design living up to the name, FAST Aerospace Technologies 

By Russ Chapman

Team Members: Benjamin Jackson, Jacob Curl, Evan Estep, Alexandre Fraga, Trent Martinez, Mark Miller, Zach Parrish, Shlok Patel, E. Alex Robertson, Andres Sandoval, Alex Young 

FAST Aerospace Technologies is completing work on an ambitions detail design project. The premise of the team’s work is to design a Supersonic Transport (SST) capable of carrying 80 passengers up to 7,500 nautical miles at an impressive cruise speed of Mach 2.2. The project comes with recent industry interest in SST development following the cancellation of the Concorde. 

Team member Evan Estep proposed the idea for the project with interest in a unique and challenging aircraft design. From there the team, was built of other students that would be passionate despite the difficulties. 

According to team lead Benjamin Jackson, the greatest challenge to the team would be the distribution of work among team members. Regarding the workload, “Tasks from last semester were very specific to sub-teams, but this semester the project mainly has large, whole-team tasks that must be completed consecutively. The nature of these tasks have made it difficult to evenly divide tasks between all 11 members of the team,” said Jackson. 

The team has, however, made great progress in their work. Thus far they have completed two wind tunnel tests on the assembled model of the aircraft; one serving to validate the performance expectations from their preliminary design work, and the second to test modification and improvements made later. 

While the team is happy with their accomplishments thus far, there is always more to be done. They are in the process of finishing data analysis from the final wind tunnel test. From this information they still wish to develop a final recommended configuration of the aircraft based on all of the testing accomplished. Once the final configuration is complete the team will prepare the final report and presentation for submission. 

Jackson commented, “The most exciting part of this project has been overcoming obstacles to meet incredibly demanding requirements.” He mentioned both preliminary and detail design difficulties and lessons learned that the team has overcome. 

Finally the team would like to thank Dr. Ashworth, Dr. Haslam, and the other professors who have all offered their expertise and guidance to the project. 

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Capstone: Racing to new heights with Chronos Aeronautics 

By Russ Chapman

Team Members: Brian Ferguson, Alexander Benz, Michael Byard, Jason Ryan, Kelly Ramirez, Vincent Arminio, Austin Gardner, Ikedichi Nnamdi-Nwosu   

The premise of the project was created by two team members, Alexander Benz and Austin Gardner. The duo had wanted to work with a race plane after watching exciting low-altitude racing and performances at the Reno Air Races. 

The idea was pitched to Dr. Ashworth, who modified the project slightly before allowing them to assemble their team late last year. The team then went to work designing a race plane to compete with and outperform all current International Formula One Pylon Air Racing (IF-1) aircraft. 

According to team lead Brian Ferguson, the team’s biggest difficulty this semester has been time management. “All of us have other classes; juggling the work for detail with our other classes is difficult. The way Dr. Ashworth runs his projects, we need 2 hours of work outside of class for every one hour in class. This helps to avoid the tendency students have of putting work off until later. Therefore, scheduling and managing one’s time is important,” he said. 

At this point the team is in the third and final phase of production. The team has created and tested a wind tunnel model of their aircraft design. They are now in the process of analyzing the data in order to recommend a final configuration for the CA-1 Yellowjacket. The team is also preparing for the final capstone presentation and technical report submissions.  

When asked what was most exciting about the project Ferguson excitedly stated, “The way our aircraft (CA-1 Yellowjacket) ended up looking, it looks [great]!”. 

The team finally wanted to thank Dr. Ashworth, Dr. Haslam, Dr. Morris, Dr. Gentilini, and Dr. Lestari for all their help with the project. They also wished to comment for future design students to be sure they pick project that interest them. Passion projects such as the CA-1 Yellowjacket are great for holding the interest of the team. 

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Capstone: New Generation of Military Bombers with Aquila Aerospace 

By Russ Chapman

Team Members: Robert Gracz, Jacob Keeley, Lucas Peterson, Abanob Mourkus, John Lewendowski 

Aquila Aerospace has been exploring military applications for their detail design project. The team’s project is an attempt to complement the United States Air Force’s (USAF) B-21 program by designing a mid-range strategic bomber to add to the now aging bomber fleet.  

The design of the bomber was centered on the payload delivery system called the Compact Strategic Rotary Launcher. This allowed the aircraft to bring lethal payload at a range of 1600 nautical miles without the need for refueling.  

The premise of the project also ties into what team lead, Robert Gracz, described to be the most exciting part of completing the project. The team enjoyed researching and exploring the technological capabilities and needs of the USAF. 

Much thought went into the type of conflict their aircraft could be involved in. These estimations drove research to possible threats to the bomber from both the ground and air. Knowing the possible threats also drove research into countermeasures and protection that could be provided to the aircraft. This added a lot of research to the project, but overall was enjoyed by the team. 

The biggest challenge to the team has been distributing the significant workload of aircraft design amongst the very small team. Aquila Aerospace consists of only five members, which means that each of its members were required to be involved in many aspects of the design. 

Despite the challenge presented by being small in number, the team has still accomplished much. A scale model has been fabricated and tested in a wind tunnel. The data analysis of the wind tunnel testing is also complete.  

The team’s primary focus now is on determining final recommendations for the configuration and future of its aircraft, the B-23 Vandal. Once the final recommendations have been settled on the team will be preparing their final report and presentation to be seen by faculty and industry. 

Finally the team would also like to extend its thanks to Dr. Crisler and Professor Mangum for their constant feedback and involvement with the team.  The team also thanks Dr. Bordignon, Professor Helbling, Dr. Traub, Patrick David, Ernest Stokesberry, and Jim Weber for lending their various expertise and knowledge to the team throughout the process.  

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Capstone: AE Astro Detail – Imperium Space 

By Madison Padilla
Chief Copy Editor 

Team Members: Nicholas Liapis, Adam Scott, Gavin Hofer, Drew Takeda, Jacob Turner, Consuelo Wells, John Lowe, Oliver Najera, Ryan Burns, Jesse Ives 

The Imperium Space detail team has set out to design and build a satellite gimbal that is able to determine and control its attitude in order to launch CubeSats towards a set target. Led by Project Manager (PM) Nicholas Liapis and Assistant Project Manager (APM) Adam Scott, the project concept stemmed from a few different ideas that came about at the beginning of Prelim. The ideas were then refined by the team’s advisor, Dr. Julio Benavides, where the ideas were combined with a project that was attempted years ago.  

When asked about the difficulties the team faced, PM Liapis commented that, “This semester’s biggest difficulty was fabricating the system. It is a very complex system with many parts, which caused it to take a lot of time and dedication to build.”  

With that, the gimbal itself is almost complete, but due to the time it has taken to build, testing will not be completed. With the end of the semester approaching, the team has been working hard on finishing the fabrication of the system, along with an Arduino code that is needed to perform a few of their tests. A completed system would still be considered a success in the eyes of Imperium Space.  

“Our project is extremely involved and work-intensive. I am excited to see the full system built, even if we are not able to fully validate it,” remarked PM Liapis.  

The team has been working diligently for the past two semesters and received plenty of help from the faculty and staff of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  They would like to thank all of the machine shop technicians who put in many hours of work to get them the parts that they needed, and Dr. Benavides for teaching the team for the past two semesters. “The experience we gained through this project is something we could not have gained anywhere else,” commented PM Liapis.  

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