Published: April 12, 2022

University of Colorado Boulder senior design teams have earned high marks at the 2022 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region V Student Paper competition.

Senior design teams from the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences took first and third place in the competition, which was held at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

  • 1st place - Team DROPS - The Drone Recharging Operational Payload System (DROPS) aims to standardize autonomous cargo delivery units for both military and commercial applications through development of a docking interface between class 2 UAVs and cargo units to permit mechanical alignment and connection with subsequent power and data transmission. The system seeks to ease the process of transporting necessary items to potentially hazardous military environments, with future operations encompassing the commercial sector as well.
  • 3rd place - Team CubIST - CubeSat Integrated Star Tracker’s (CubIST) project is a prototype star tracker available to CU Boulder for future development. CubIST will take images of stars and detect patterns that are compared to a star catalog. CubIST will deliver an attitude solution in the form of a quaternion for future CubeSat missions to use.

As first place finishers, DROPS advances to compete at the international AIAA SciTech Forum in January 2023.

Drone Recharging Operational Payload System (DROPS)

Ben Capeloto, Alex Karas, Cody Watson, Nate Kuczun, Daniel GutierrezMendoza, Joshua Schmitz, Ian Chakraborty, Caroline Dixon, Sid Arora, Mia Abouhamad, Dominic Dougherty, Rafael Figueroa. Advisor: Jade Morton

CubeSat Integrated Star Tracker (CubIST)

Chesney Boal, Matthew Gedrich, Nicolena Weber, Josie Johnson, Natalie Link, Quaid Garton, Chad Pflieger, Cameron Humphreys, Chava Friedman, Maria Callas. Advisor: Dennis Akos