|Electrical engineering students take top spots in UND/NDSU contest|
Senior Electrical Engineering students within the University of North Dakota School of Engineering and Mines won first and second place in the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Red River Valley (RRV) Section Presentation Contest, held on Thursday, April 24th, in Fargo.
Each year, the RRV section of the IEEE hosts the competition, which features six oral presentations, three each from UND and NDSU. The project presentations are usually the result of the students' year-long capstone senior design classes in electrical engineering at both institutions. In order to reach the IEEE Presentation Contest regional design competition, students must be finalists in a local competition judged at each school. Presentations are judged on technical content (25%), project originality (25%), oral presentation (20%), visual presentation (15%), and fielding of questions (15%).
Brett Kubat received the first place award and $300 for his presentation entitled "Multispectral Mini-UAV Payload." The main goal for this project was to create a payload that can fit into a Lockheed Martin (Eagan, MN) Mini-UAV with the purpose of capturing image data in multispectral bands. Two cameras were mounted on a swing to account for the roll of the aircraft by acting as a passive stabilizer. A payload video feed is supplied to the mini-UAV and sent to the ground wirelessly through Lockheed Martin's existing ground control station. This type of multispectral payload has been built before, but never in a package this small. This payload development project is unique because the entire weight of the payload is only 1.01 pounds. Kubat is originally from Oakdale, MN, near the Twin Cities. Upon graduation, Kubat will commission into the Air Force as a second lieutenant and then enter active duty this November. His first duty station will be at Vance Air Force Base, OK, where he will go through Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Kubat's teammates on the project include Michael Hilbrand (EE/ME), Samantha Kostrue (ME), Erica Nelson (ME), and Richie Spitsburg (ME).
Taking second place and $200 was Kyle Anderson of Shoreview, MN. Anderson's presentation, "High Altitude Student Platform - Indium Tin-Oxide Ozone Sensor Demonstration" described the student designed payload for the NASA High Altitude Student Platform (HASP), which is launched using a large weather balloon. The payload is required to gather data from solid state thin-film Indium Tin-Oxide (ITO) sensor technology capable of detecting concentrations of various chemicals on the parts per billion level. Researchers at the University of Northern Florida, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, are currently developing the ITO technology. NASA's HASP system is provided for university research to be tested in low pressure environments. Anderson and a multidisciplinary team of engineers from the University of North Dakota have been awarded a payload slot on the 2008 HASP launch and are currently designing a payload to provide support for an ITO sensor which will be used to detect atmospheric ozone concentrations. Anderson is completing his junior year of study in Electrical Engineering at the University of North Dakota. In addition to his engineering curriculum, Anderson has also taken several aviation training courses and is pursuing a minor in Space Studies. Along with his work with the High Altitude Student Platform project, he serves as a payload engineer for both of UND's student rocket programs run by the Physics Department. This summer, he is looking forward to developing software for his university's unmanned aircraft systems program. Next year, he plans to complete his undergraduate degree while continuing his work with these projects. Other members of the HASP team are Nathan Ambler (ME), Cara Eberle (EE), Daniel Hajicek (EE), James Jemtrud (EE), and Jonathan Musselwhite (EE).
In addition to the first, second and third place awards, special recognition and $50 was given to UND electrical engineering student Josh Goldade for his design presentation, entitled "Standalone Integrated Wind and Photovoltaic Power Generating System." This design is unique because it integrates and coordinates wind and photovoltaic power generators together in a single portable module. Goldade is originally from Velva, ND. While enrolled in the electrical engineering program, Goldade spent a year studying in Sweden and will have completed two cooperative education assignments at Daktronics in Brookings, SD. After graduation in December 2008, Goldade will continue researching business options for this project. His business plan will build upon research done for his senior design project through the UND Department of Electrical Engineering. -- School of Engineering and Mines.
-- Jan Orvik, Writer/Editor, University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-3621