AE Camp at ERAU Prescott

This summer I have been working with the Events Management at Prescott Campus. We have been organizing summer camps and it has been lots of fun. In this blog post, I will talk about the Aerospace Engineering Summer Camp. This camp had 47 students!

The camp kicked off with the orientation in Building 51. After the orientation, in which the ground rules were laid out, we played some games with the campers in front of Student Union. It is where the campers and the coordinators learned that wet grass and a game where one needs to take the shoes off, don’t go along good.

After the games, the campers were taken to Wal-Mart in case they needed something that they forgot. Apparently, a lot of them forgot their Nerf Guns. On Monday, after a breakfast at the dining hall, classes began. After the Robotics class and Lab, in which they were taught by Dr. Nafziger about the various component that goes into machine designing, the campers met at Chartwells again for lunch. After the lunch, they attended a class by Prof. Bordignon and Prof. Kim on Controls. An aircraft simulation created by the teachers was available to the students. It was a Matlab program that took in the inputs from the pilot and the atmosphere and gave the output as the response of the aircraft. The required math and scientific theories were explained before the class and the students were supposed to change the value of one variable in order to achieve the minimum time required for the airplane to pitch up, level off and the pitch down and level off again. The theoretical minimum was 10 seconds and the closest time the team achieved was 11.6 seconds.

After the classes and dinner, the students played Capture the Flag till 9 pm and went to sleep at 10.

This ended the first day of the AE Camp. Pictures follow:

Summer in Prescott

The summer is here and I am here at Prescott with a lot of cool students working as the Summer Camp Coordinators. It is a lot of fun! We just had a spaghetti party as well as a leadership recreational course. Both went really well.
Here are the pics:
Despite what the pics depict, the food was really really good. 🙂 Thanks to our expert cooks. That 70’s Show just made it all the more ‘interesting’.

The leadership recreational course was conducted at the LRC by a couple of Air Force students. Using a set of drills, we were educated about the importance of communication and active listening skills for a successful leader. It was hot there and sunburns were a problem. I got lucky there. 🙂 A set of three drills were conducted and we did amazing in two of them! That drill for some good food at In N’ Out later on.

Snow Day

It is February and it is snowing in Prescott. Cool, huh? So how much more cooler would it be if you get a snow day on your Birthday? A lot!!!

So, all of us gave up all the homework and decided to just have some pure fun. We woke up at a good enough time to realize that a Snow Day has been declared and then we declared our own Snow Wars. The whole suite got into the biggest snow flight, I have ever seen. I, of course, have not seen any other snow fights 🙂 Just putting it there 🙂
At the end of the fight, most of were sweaty and soaking! Landon, of course, got his ATV and went crazy, as ususal.
In the evening, Buffalo Wild Wings was beckoning all of us for a lot of lemonade and some good food!
Following are the pictures:

The Spring Break…Awesomeness

Why would anyone want to take a 24 hour long flight from Prescott to Delhi and stay there for 6 days and come back on the same long tiring 24 hour flight? I don’t know. But I did it and it was amazing to say the least. Homesickness got the better of me and I wass off in a ShuttleU van on the 14th March to the Phoenix Airport. My parents were waiting for my flight that was to land at the Delhi International Airport at 2055 PM. However, we landed 15 minutes early and I managed to sneek in through another exit gate than the one assigned. I knew where my parents would be waiting for me. So, I sneeked in behind them and asked a question ” So, who are you waiting for?” The hugs followed suite and I was on the way back home in our car with both my parents. I would have loved to drive back home, but my parents thought otherwise.

I didn’t went on a picture taking spree because it felt like home. 🙂 Oh, nostalgia. Well, I reached home at around 2130 and went to my friend’s place before I even got my suitcases out. 🙂 Spend a lot of time there and thus managed to get scolded by my parents on the first day itself.

The next day, I went to my school, met my teachers and some of my friends. Then, I met one of my classmate in the mall and we spend a lot of time talking and getting updates about every one of us. After a lunch with my friends, I was back home at around 1700.

I met some of my friends in their college in Delhi. I spent almost the complete day with them.  Then, at around 1900, I went to my church and met all my friends as well. On the way back, some of us stopped at the popular hang-out among our group, the Domino’s Pizza, and shared some pizza and laughs.

On Wednesday, my aunt came from Bangalore and it was time to visit some family and family friends. Thursday called for a long and tiring day of shopping. Friday was the ‘family’ day. Everyone stayed at home and we did our packing and shared a lot of time and stories with each other. Saturday, I finished with my packing and on Sunday, I was off to Prescott. 🙁

So, the Spring Break came to an end. I reached Phoenix airport, switched on my cell-phone and talked to all my friends till the battery ran out. Then, I reached Prescott at around 12.30 and it was time for another month of gruelling studies, fun times, day dreaming, procastinating and just doing all possible random stuff with Kevin and every one else. Fun Times Indeed.

And that’s the view outside my home. Pretty packed, huh? Well, that is what makes it interesting. Kids playing cricket, fighting over umpire’s decision, racing on bikes, flying kites and so much more!

And that is a flight…Oops! Aircraft

This semester has been really busy. My favorite class is EGR 200. In this class, we learn how to work with CATIA and complete the conceptual designing of an aircraft. Prof. Helbling made this class very interesting. CATIA is Windows-based and thus it generally has a steep learning curve and everyone feels at ease after a couple of weeks. We ended our CATIA classes by developing a rough scaled model of our conceptually designed aircraft. Figure 1 shows the aircraft.

Figure 1: Rough scaled model of Dassault Falcon 50

The aircraft that our team build was an improved version of the Dassault (R) Falcon 50. We added winglets to it and did some preliminary calculations to find its effect on our range, lift-drag ratio and various other calculations. The team came up with an 8% increase in range just because of the addition of winglets at its cruising speed of 0.8 Mach. We also improved our lift/drag ratio by incorporating a better lift producing airfoil. The team then built a scaled and as-accurate-as-it gets model in CATIA and then used the 3-D Printer present in the AxFab Building to build a 3-d Model of our aircraft which would be tested in the wind tunnel. The following figure shows the 3D model.

The flow visualization was done in the wind tunnel using a white fluid that was applied on the wings section of the aircraft. It was used to visualize the flow when the wind tunnel was run. It was run at two different angles of attack. 2 deg was selected as the first one because it was the cruising AOA for the chosen aircraft. Flow visualization was also done at 14 degrees, since it was the calculated angles. The following pictures will show the neatly attached flows at 2 deg and accuracy of the calculated stall angle. Note that in stall, reverse flow occurs which is quite interesting.

At AOA of 2 degrees, observe the neatly attached flow on the wing sections.

At AOA of 14 degrees, the reverse flow is observed. This is the calculated stall angle.

The classes ended with the team giving a presentation on what kind of changes were made. The list of sub-sections were: Introduction, Preliminary Ideas, Refinement, Preliminary Analysis, Final Decision and Final Analysis, Recommendations and Conclusions.

It was the best class I have ever had yet!!

2nd semester

This semester has been keeping me busy. That is one of the main reason I am blogging after a month of this 2nd semester. Nonetheless, it has been amazing and much more fun than the 1st. I love the Conceptual Design class taught by Prof. Helbling. It goes into the details about how and why is lift created and how it should be maintained. All the topics in the classes are the ones that make Aeronautical Engineering the way it is; amazing.
The first assignment was to build a paint can holder. As a team of 6, we made a design that can hold 1 gallon paint can by attaching the holder to a ladder, or holding it using the handle. A complete report was written by the team describing each step of the design process: Problem Identification, Preliminary Ideas, Refinement, Analysis, Final Decision and, Conclusion and Recommendations. I think our team wrote the best report in the class. After this assignment, we started off with CATIA. It is a really easy soft ware and interesting too. Since it is build around the Windows design and format, the learning curve is steep. One can grasp the concepts really fast and easy.
Statics has been the next amazing class in this semester. Prof. Ashworth surely keeps everyone entertained. Even though the topics are familiar, there are still minute differences which matters a lot. Tech Report Writing is the only non-engineering class that I am taking this semester and it doesn’t seems to be bad at all. This class is a lot of help when it comes to writing the reports and official documents.
I have started off my research on airfoils with Dr. Traub. After reading the journals, I have been looking for an inverse airfoil design program. I did try AeroFoil but the stupid Vista 64-bit doesn’t allow me to use it on my laptop. I believe it is going to be a fun and informative research, if I am able to carry it forward. As for the Jet Dragster Project, we are stuck at a dead end. The team is supposed to build the whole Chassis Jig in CATIA or Solidworks. However, no one knows how to use the tubing discipline and make welds in CATIA. Welds and tubes can be made in SolidWorks. However, it can be done only in one plane. If anyone has got any suggestions about any such program, please leave a comment.
I am excited for March 14th! I am going back to India for the Spring Break. I would be coming back on March 23rd. So, I get to stay for a complete week in my home. It is going to be a real good Spring Break!
Alright, I need to get a lot of homework done, study for 2 exams and keep looking for the programs.
Have fun!

Detail Presentations

The semester is going to end pretty soon and so a lot of my friends are not going to be here next semester because they are graduating! On Thursday, the space Department gave their Detail Presentation. It was presided over by 4 judges. 2 of them were the faculty advisors and the remaining two were from the Industry itself. One of them was from NASA Dryden Research center, I believe. It was a great experience. You get to learn a lot of stuff and realize what freshmen have to expect. The scientific detail they go into in these presentations is amazing. I believe, it was a 100+ slide presentation. The questions asked by the judges were surely challenging. The seniors always used to say that the time the slides take is almost always less than the time taken during the question and answers sessions.
The Prelim & Detail Presentations of the Aero Department were conducted the next day. I couldn’t go for the Prelim presentations because I had an Economics Exam on Saturday. Adam’s team gave their Detail presentation today. It was a 170+ slide presentation and was surely exhaustive in detail. I liked their presentation and am pretty happy and excited that I too would get to do all of this in 3 years

Finals Week

The finals ended this Wednesday and it is high time for studies. I am pretty sure that I will have an A in Economics, MATLAB and Calculus. The two classes that are worrying me are Intro to Engineering and Physics 2. After a bad performance in the LTAV Competition, my grade just went down badly. I can make it up to an A but I will have to do really good in the finals. Everyone in my physics class has been striving real hard to get a good grade in this class. Since homework assignments count to 52% of the final grade each and everything counts to the final grade. A great final would change the tides, though. The final, itself, is 25% of the final grade.
I had the Economics Exam this Saturday, Calculus on Monday, Physics and Intro to Engineering on Tuesday

Thanksgiving Break

This was my first Thanksgiving ever and I should say that it was fantastic! Kevin’s parents invited me to their home for Thanksgiving. I was pretty excited about it. We got done with our classes on Tuesday and left for St. George, Utah at 5.15 PM. It was a long drive to Utah. So, we decided to stay at his uncle’s place for the night and continue with our drive to Utah in the morning. His uncle stays at Boulder City, right at the boundary of Las Vegas. I got to see Vegas as well! The city never sleeps for sure. It was amazing beyond words. I surely plan to make a trip down to Vegas later during the next year. We had a fun time at Kevin’s uncle’s place cracking up jokes all the time.
On Wednesday,After a sumptuous breakfast, we started our trip to Utah. First, we went to Kevin’s school, met his mentors, teachers and ROTC Officers. They were really proud of him and happy to see him again. Then, we headed to his home where we good some really good food. Shortly after having food, Kevin’s friend TJ came and we decided to go offroading. It was my first time on an ATV and I was scared and excited at the same time. It didn’t go too bad except that I almost broke my hand while making some huge air. Lesson learned: Watch Kevin and then do It was an amazing experience. I think we went offroading for at least an hour. We came back home all muddy. I was in a complete mess. However, after a good shower and some more great food, everything was fine, good and amazing! Nothing else to do, we spent a lot of time playing ping-pong. Kevin did beat us all individually. However, when teamed up with Kevin’s Dad, we did beat him…badly .Finally, we all came around to play Aggravation! I was teamed up with Kevin’s Mom. We were too hard for all of them. We started with slightly annoying TJ and persistently annoying Kevin. The game was amazing. Later in the evening, TJ, Kevin and I went for a movie: The Transporter 3.
On Thursday, it was Thanksgiving. We woke up at 0900 since we were tired after the late movie. Kevin’s uncle, aunt and grandparents came for the huge, amazing and sumptuous lunch. Obviously, leftover was coming back with us to the college! We had a great lunch and the best desserts ever. We, then, played some classics NES Games and watched Ratatouille. Sporadic games of ping-pong was all day through. We did play basketball as well. Finally, we all came around to play Aggravation! I was teamed up with Kevin’s Mom. We were too hard for all of them. We started with slightly annoying everyone and persistently annoying Kevin. It was a close game and we won again. Yet again, we won and Kevin was aggravated. It was really hilarious! No wonder, I love that game.
On Friday, we went to his family ranch and got some Christmas trees. On the way back, we rode the ATV for at least an hour again. I splashed Kevin with mud twice. It was hilarious. We were too tired to anything. So, we went to sleep.
Saturday was the best day of all. We started off with go-karting, Mini Golf and video games. Kevin’s Dad and Jen, Kevin’s young sister, were flying. And then there was mini-golf. I still have the score card with me. It was my first time and I did beat everyone by 11 strokes. Ha ha, Kevin was aggravated this time as well. Then, we went to the Ultimate Pizza Factory and had some amazing food. Then, we went to play racquetball (squash). It was a great game. I didn’t knew we had this game on campus as well.
On Sunday, we went to the Mass and then drove back to college. Kevin’s Mom gave me a Christmas Gift and it was possibly the best gift I could. It was Aggravation! Ha ha. It was really a funny moment to observe the look at Kevin’s face. She also gave us a box of cashews

And that has been my 1st.

The semester is reaching its end really soon. The topics in each class are almost over. A fun filled Thanksgiving break at Kevin’s place and a week filled with tension, confusion before the exams awaits me. I hope I start of this semester with a good GPA. We have a MATLAB Exam for which I have to actually start studying. I have been goofing around all weekend.
I have got 17 credits transferred and thus I might graduate in 3.5 years. This is how my schedule looks like for the next semester:
Technical Report Writing
Physics 3 with Lab
Calc 3
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
That is a total of 17 credits. I am pretty excited for the next semester for CAD and Statics. Physics 3 should be easy as I have done the course already in my high school. This semester I did make a considerable variety of things. I just hope the grades reflect the same. I got one of the most sought after job, The Machine Shop Lab Monitor, as a freshman. I would be a sophomore in my 2nd semester. I tested out of Physics 1 and Calc 1. Our team for the EGR 101 Robotic Competition did a really good job and we were asked specially to showcase our robot during the Open House. I will be starting off an independent study on airfoils with Dr. Traub. I have got a head start by procuring the required journals and have been reading them. I also managed to get into the Structures Team for the Jet Dragster project and I have been working on Solidworks to figure out a way to make weldments in it and create curved tubes so that we can a have a digital design of the chasis and the complete dragster so that we can run analysis tests on the computer to figure out the crush zones and work to improvise them.
I am leaving with Kevin to Utah on Tuesday evening for Thanksgiving. I am pretty sure that we are going to have a really good time. We are planning on the playlist for our 6 hour road trip to his home. After a really good time, we would be back at our dorms preparing for a lot of exams and tests that are scheduled for the first two weeks of December. I would be done with my exams on December 11 and would be off to Oklahoma City for a really good Christmas break with my cousins and would be back at the campus for my second semester on the 6th January. The classes begin on 7th December so I hope that my flights do not get delayed.
It’s really late right now. To be exact it’s 12.50 AM. I would need to wake up tomorrow early for church followed by rigorous MATLAB study.