The RIT AeroDesign Club is an AIAA
competition team and a general meeting place of people crazy about planes, or just plain crazy. It is an official club at the Rochester Institute of Technology
in room 2255 of the KGCOE
building (#9 on the maps).
The club roster has typically had a vast majority of MEs, but anybody who wants to contribute and has a bit of free time can join in on the fun. We meet mostly on the weekends almost all of the year.
Each year we choose to participate in one (or more) events of AIAA or SAE student competitions and get the rules for that year after registration. Each year's plane is custom designed and fabricated for the particular event in which it is competing. As the club has matured in terms of members, technology, and institutional support, the designs have also been expanding in complexity. New designs are now typically optimized by using analytic analysis, Finite Element Analysis, and field-testing.
A recent endevour has been to use modern solid-state sensors to measure and augment the performance of the aircraft we fly. These sensors are used by small embedded processors programmed with C++ and modern programming best-practices. The source code and schematics are available from the 'Current Projects' section of the web site.
An extention to the use of these sensors is a current (as of 2005) research project (Simone loves those) in the use of a quaternion calculus and a Kalman filter to compute orientation given limited information. This method does not require computig a huge Jacobian matrix, trying to linearize the computation, or using sigma points like an unscented Kalman filter.
The club has a (newly remodeled as of 2005) website at www.rit.edu/~aero where you can get information about the places, people, and things associated with this organization.