Project Customer
Thanks to everyone who supported our project! The year has ended, but MADS was a success. As a team, we were awarded the following honors:

Best Project Overall
Best Data Gathering and Analysis Methodology
Best Software Lead (Michael Gordon)
Best Project Manager (Travis Schafhausen, tied with Daniel Colwell of DesignBuildFly)
Best ITLL Project Video

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First successful deployment flight test!


What is MADS?
The mission of MADS (Miniature Aircraft Deployment System) is to develop a deployment system for a large RC plane (the Sig Rascal 110). The system must store and deploy four smaller autonomous planes (the SuperFly). This project provides a test platform for our customer, Dr. Eric Frew, to develop communication protocols and algorithms concerning the optimization of deployment and utilization of multiple aircraft. You can follow our team’s progress by checking out our documentation as we complete frequent milestones. The team also updates the blog on a weekly basis!

Why MADS?
Deployable aircraft are most applicable in data-collection situations that are dangerous or difficult to access for human observation. Tornado weather observation is a specific example of such an application--observers would be able to send an unmanned aircraft towards a storm which would then deploy the aircraft towards the tornado to collect data. This information would then be relayed back through the primary vehicle to observers on the ground. While the exact MADS platform may not be completely translated to such a mission a successful fulfillment of current objectives would provide baseline work for future modifications of different aircraft and systems. This application is particularly valuable to RECUV, since this data-collection ability would allow RECUV to develop new projects and expand their partners and clientele.

CAD Model of the Current Configuration, Photograph from First Full-System Flight Test
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The current configuration of the system. The primary vehicle (blue) has a 2.8 meter wingspan, and the sub-vehicles (red) have a 70 centimeter wingspan. The green elements are the deployment mechanisms.