Student Research

Every year, the Honors Program provides financial support for a limited number of research projects for Honors Program students directed by Embry-Riddle faculty. 

Many students also participate in research through Honors contracts. Honors contracts allow students to go above and beyond the typical curriculum for a course and explore a variety of topics with faculty mentors.  

In addition to Honors funding, many of our students have also received funding through IGNITE. Below are descriptions of some of the IGNITE group projects in which our students have participated.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

AIAA will be designing, fabricating and demonstrating the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that can meet the requirements of a STOL Joint Strike Fighter. The student research will highlight the areas of STOL applications for unmanned aircraft subsystems to compete in the 17th Annual AIAA Design, Build and Fly Competition.

Experimental Rocket Propulsion Lab (ERPL)

ERPL will be conducting research in areas that will bring about a better understanding of the flight of hybrid motors. The goal of their project is to complete a research project centered on the variety of propellants used in hybrid motors. The findings will then be used by the Flight Hybrids Team for a flight-ready motor that will be much more effective than the motor currently being used.

High Efficiency Low Wake Aquatic Vehicle Exterior (HELWAVE)

The team is developing a means of reducing or even eliminating the wake of a boat by crafting the vessel’s hull in the shape of a specialized standing wave known as a soliton. If successful, the application could see use in military stealth applications, environmental protection, and rapid-response situations. Models are being developed using a complex mathematical theory and a series of computer programs to determine the vessel’s shape. Once a shape has been designed, its performance is tested both through computer simulations and quantitative tests. The physical models are created through a combination of advanced manufacturing methods including 3D printing, a laser cutter, and composites work. Physical testing occurs in the Wave Motion Lab at ERAU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Honors Students’ Association (HSA)

HSA will be developing creative and sustainable wind turbines that address one or more of the following consumer-oriented issues: power optimization, cost efficiency, limited space, aesthetics, and portability. This project would ultimately culminate in the creation of high efficiency wind turbines and extensive analysis with wind turbines that could be further used in the commercial and scientific sectors. The students involved in this project will be able to apply concepts learned in the classroom for solving a real world problem that involves a wide range of interdisciplinary skills.

Robotics Association

The Robotics Association has been contacted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) about an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) that could be used to help the department keep track and count wildlife populations. Named “Pelican,” this project will involve designing and building a small UAS that can be operated by one person,  land in water, and can carry a high-resolution camera to take pictures of the animals. The aircraft cannot scare any of the animals that are being tracked when flying overhead, thus designing the aircraft to be quiet and appear less like a predator is crucial. This project will aim to design, manufacture, and test a prototype of the Pelican UAV system that can be demonstrated, after FAA approval is obtained, in conjunction with ODFW in Oregon.

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

SIAM will be applying the financial support from IGNITE to the second phase of the Eco-Dolphin project. Eco-Dolphin is the name of a fleet of adaptive and cooperative Automated Underwater Vehicles that a team of SIAM students have been working on since the spring 2012 semester. The fleet has been designed to support future environmental science research and surveillance services in littoral water. Students will use the Analysis, Computation, and Experimentation (ACE) approach to study the stability and maneuverability of a small scale AUV against internal gravitational waves, rip currents, and tsunamis. They will also use it to build and maintain a coastal-marine autonomous network between the buoy fleet equipped with integrated ocean observers.

Team Gray Autonomous Vehicle Display Team

This team will be building a pragmatic learning platform for students and researchers in order to make valuable use of the autonomous vehicle systems granted to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University by Gray Matter Systems, Inc. The plan includes the writing of user manuals for basic and intermediate operation of both systems, the development of user-friendly software tools for analyzing their behavior, the design of an "Autonomous Vehicle Awareness Agenda" in order to encourage students to conceptualize projects involving one or both systems and the creation and training of a permanent "Autonomous Vehicle Display Team" conformed by students and faculty for educational and social exhibitions.

Stay tuned for more updates on the latest research initiatives of our Honors students!

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