Spring 2021: Research Opportunities for AE Students

Prof. Theodorou speaking to a group of 7 grad students

Spring 2021 AE Research for Pay or Credit


Most of the following listings are for credit, requiring the student to both gain the faculty's approval and register for credit. Students who have questions about this should contact the project manager directly.


STUDENTS: To get credit for any of the following research projects, you will need to submit a signed and completed Undergraduate Research Permit. Find out more about undergraduate research here.


Project: ASDL Grand Challenge - Civil Supersonic Vehicle Design for Low Takeoff and Landing Noise 
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes 
Project Manager: Dr. Jimmy Tai 
Action: Email your resume and interest to Vanessa Wu (ness19@gatech.edu
Semesters: Spring 2021​ 
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). 
Number of Students Needed: 1 
Citizenship Requirement: US Persons Only 
Details: A resurgence of interest in civil supersonic flight has forced the FAA to reconsider its noise certification process for supersonic aircraft. The FAA takeoff and landing noise certification requirements do not include supersonic aircraft; thus, the FAA is currently working with ICAO to develop new requirements which include supersonic aircraft. The aim of this project is to design a quiet 55 passenger Mach 1.8 aircraft such that the FAA can use the predicted take-off and landing noise levels for developing their new certification standards. Students will utilize ASDL computational design tools to assist in the conceptual design process. An understanding of the conceptual design process from aerodynamics to propulsion and mission sizing as well as experience with object-oriented programming and git/Github would be helpful. 


Project: AIAA Missile Design Competition
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Ted Vlady
Action: Email your resume to Ted Vlady – tvlady3@gatech.edu We will schedule a call to get to know each other and discuss interests.
Semesters: Spring 2021
Time Commitment: Approximately 6-9 hours a week
Number of Students Needed: 4-5
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: Work alongside a group of graduate students to design a shoulder-launched anti-UAV missile. This work is part of the annual AIAA Missile Design Competition. Undergraduates will be working in the areas of structures, stability and control, aerodynamics, and more. The final deliverables for the project would be a team technical report, submitted to the AIAA competition, and a EAB presentation.
Additional Info: AIAA Missile Design Competition (pdf)


Project: UAV Parameter Identification Rig
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Some elements, yes, but in general no
Project Manager: Lee Whitcher
Action: Email your resume, letter of interest, or any required info to Lee Whitcher - leewhitcher@gatech.edu
Office: ESM G13
Semesters: Spring 2021, potentially beyond
Time Commitment: Approximately 6 hours a week
Number of Students Needed: 1
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: In the field of Control we often need to determine certain parameters that define the underlying dynamics of a system in motion, such as mass, center-of-mass, and mass-moment-of-inertia. In this project we will develop a test rig to determine these parameters. This test rig will become part of a suite of tools that Indoor Flight Lab (ifl.ae.gatech.edu) researchers can use in their UAV research. Candidates for this position should have an interest in: systems and dynamics (particularly second order vibrations), mechatronics, embedded programming (Arduino/RaspberryPi), hardware design and fabrication. Please include an up-to-date resume, a letter of interest stating what you think you would bring to this project in terms of your interests and experience, and any other information you think may be useful.


Project: Quantifying the Performance and Safety of Vicon for Flying Experiments
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Some elements, yes, but in general no
Project Manager: Lee Whitcher
Action: Email your resume, letter of interest, or any required info to Lee Whitcher - leewhitcher@gatech.edu
Office: ESM G13
Semesters: Spring 2021, potentially beyond
Time Commitment: Approximately 6 hours a week
Number of Students Needed: 1
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: The new Indoor Flight Lab (ifl.ae.gatech.edu) contains a Vicon motion capture system capable of providing a user with simultaneous real-time tracking of up to hundreds of objects at high speeds and with high precision. The most common use of Vicon for GT-AE is in providing a position and orientation measurement of a UAV (drone), either for logging, or for use in a real-time control system. As Vicon is an optical system that relies on direct line-of-sight of the drone's Vicon markers from multiple cameras simultaneously, it is possible that occlusions (blocking) of the markers can happen. When this happens, the tracking solution can jump erratically or be entirely lost, which can result in a crashed drone if the tracking solution is being used in a real-time control system. This project seeks to provide a UAV researcher using the IFL with data about the Vicon system's accuracy and reliability across the entire capture volume, such that the IFL can be used with confidence and with its limitations understood. Candidates for this position should have an interest in: flight dynamics, MATLAB/Simulink/Python programming, embedded programming (Arduino/RaspberryPi), experiment design, data analysis. Please include an up-to-date resume, a letter of interest stating what you think you would bring to this project in terms of your interests and experience, and any other information you think may be useful.


Project: Stratos High Altitude Payload Test Flight
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? No
Project Manager: Glenn Lightsey
Action: Send Your CV and statement of interest to glenn.lightsey@gatech.edu
Office: ESM Building
Semesters: Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 
Time Commitment: Minimum average 6 hours per week
Number of Students Needed: Approximately 5 total
Citizenship Requirement: varies depending on task
GPA Requirement: >3.25
Details: Stratos is a 1U CubeSat payload which will fly on a high-altitude demonstration of a prototype Low Earth Orbit recovery system. Members of the team will design and build the system and travel to the test flight in Oregon in Fall 2021. A two-semester minimum commitment to this project (Spring and Fall 2021) is required. Students should have either mechanical, electrical, or software development skills which they bring to the project. Other skills will be learned on an as-needed basis. Some tasks require US citizenship. Desire to work on a team project is essential.


Project: Development on Python tool for FEA File Creation and Modification​ - ASDL
Does this research project allow for remote/online participation: Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Adam Cox​
Office Number: Weber 120-A​
Semester: Spring
Time commitment: 3-9 hrs/week, arrange with Dr. Cox
Citizenship restrictions: No​
Meet with project manager before registering: Yes
Number of Students Needed: 1-4
Brief description of project: MSC Nastran is the industry standard finite element analysis software. A package has been developed which can read, modify, and write input files for Nastran in Python, avoiding direct interaction with the cumbersome format of these files. However, Nastran has more capabilities than are currently implemented in this package. Students would help to expand the capability of the tool. Students should have some understanding of Python, object oriented programming, and git/GitHub. Understanding of FEA helpful but not required. Would enable students to learn more about Python, version control, text processing, OOP, unit tests, and finite element analysis.


Project: System Modeling Using SysML - ASDL
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Selcuk Cimtalay & Dr. Russell Peak
Action: Follow instructions on slide #10 in the “Model-Based Systems Engineering Information (pdf)” presentation (see “Additional information” below).​
Office: Weber 104
Semesters: at least one, could be several
Time Commitment: 4 hrs/week
Number of Students Needed:  1-15
Citizenship Requirement: varies
GPA Requirement: 3.5+ preferred; 3.2 minimum
Details: Multiple potential position types (depending on interests). Most, but not all, of our Systems Modeling Language (SysML) projects require US Persons, either US citizens or permanent residents
Requirements for the positions: A key requirement is an interest in SysML (no prior SysML experience required) and a willingness to learn and explore
Sample projects & external collaborators: Lockheed MBSE - CubeSat testbed – NASA MBSE Pathfinder initiative – US Navy (NAVAIR) Model-Centric Engineering (MCE) – UAV testbed – NASA JPL: model-based systems engineering (MBSE); model-based wikis; embedded s/w – Boeing: MBSE model complexity & health management.
Additional informationModel-Based Systems Engineering Information (pdf)


Project: Tomographic tunable diode laser spectroscopy for indirect noise measurements in gas turbine combustors.
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? NO
Project Manager: Dr. Adam Steinberg
Action: Email your resume to Vedanth Nair (vedanth44@gatech.edu)
Office: GUG 447 (work will be conducted at the Ben Zinn Combustion Lab)
Semesters: Spring 2021 with potential for continuation 
Time Commitment: Approx. 9 hrs/week
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: NO
Details: Assist post-doctoral fellow in the construction and operation of a new experimental setup to measured 2D temperature fields at the exit of a gas turbine combustor. The setup consists of multiple intersecting tunable diode laser beams, the absorption of which is related to the concentration and temperature of water vapor along the beam path. Tasks include assembling the laser system, calibration, and assisting in measurements.


Project: High-pressure laminar flame burner for calibration of laser diagnostics
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? NO
Project Manager: Dr. Adam Steinberg
Action: Email your resume to Vedanth Nair (vedanth44@gatech.edu)
Office: GUG 447 (work will be conducted at the Ben Zinn Combustion Lab)
Semesters: Spring 2021 with potential for continuation 
Time Commitment: Approx. 9 hrs/week
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: NO
Details: Assist graduate students in the design, assembly, and operation of a high-pressure laminar flame burner that will be used to calibrate laser diagnostics. Potential tasks include specifying flow components, CAD, piping assembly, and LabView programming.


Project: GT-X Rapid Development 1U CubeSat
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? NO
Project Manager: Glenn Lightsey
Action: Send Your CV and statement of interest to glenn.lightsey@gatech.edu
Office: ESM Building
Semesters: Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 
Time Commitment: Minimum average 6 hours per week
Number of Students Needed: Approximately 10 total
Citizenship Requirement: varies depending on task
GPA Requirement: >3.25
Details: GT-1 and GT-2 are rapidly developed 1U CubeSats. The team will operate the GT-1 spacecraft after launch in 2021 and design, build, and test the GT-2 spacecraft which is planned for flight in 2022. A two-semester minimum commitment to this project (Spring and Fall 2021) is required. Students should have either mechanical, electrical, or software development skills which they bring to the project. Other skills will be learned on an as-needed basis. Some tasks require US citizenship. Desire to work on a team project is essential.


Project: Green Airport - ASDL
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Alexia Payan
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Alexia Payan (alexia.payan@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 313B
Semesters: Spring 2021​
Time Commitment: About 6-9 hrs per week (flexible).
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: The main objective of this project is to develop a machine learning algorithm able to detect suitable surfaces and corresponding areas on an airport property available to place solar panels in order to produce a given amount of electricity that would support electric aircraft operations. The algorithm will need to account for runway and taxiway safety areas (FAA regulations), as well as other constraints. Looking for 1-2 motivated students who have an understanding and experience in machine learning techniques, as well as matlab and python.


Project: Design of a Wire Strike Protection System for Lightweight Helicopters - ASDL
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Alexia Payan
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Alexia Payan (alexia.payan@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 313B
Semesters: Spring 2021​
Time Commitment: About 6-9 hrs per week (flexible).
Number of Students Needed: 2-3
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: The main objective of this project is to design and evaluate various mechanically enhanced wire cutter systems for lightweight helicopters. As part of this project, the team, composed of both graduate and undergraduate students will brainstorm and design various wire strike protection systems with an emphasis on being able to use them on lightweight helicopters. The students will work in close contact with the rotorcraft wire strike project team, and will use the Modeling & Simulation environment developed as part of a previous phase of the project to evaluate the efficacy of various proposed designs in cutting various types of wires/cables for different impact configurations. The team will also consider the effect of impacting a wire on the helicopter dynamics and the ease of implementing the proposed designs on a lightweight helicopter, including estimating the weight and cost of each proposed design.

Looking for 2-3 motivated and creative students who have an understanding and experience in structures and rotorcraft, and who are able to think outside of the box. Any experience with matlab is a plus.


Project:  Space Object Detection and Modeling
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? No
Project Manager:  Dr. Brian Gunter
Action: Send your CV to brian.gunter@aerospace.gatech.edu
Semesters: Spring 2021
Time Commitment: Minimm 2 hours per credit hour enrolled for credit
Credit or Pay: Credit only
Number of Students Needed: 1-3
Citizenship Requirement: Yes (U.S. Persons only, i.e., permanent resident or U.S. Citizen)
GPA Requirement: > 3.25 required, > 3.5 preferred
Brief description of project: The research area of Space Domain Awareness (SDA) involves the detection and prediction of resident space objects (RSOs), which can include both active and passive (debris) objects orbiting Earth.  Students on this project will develop various simulations and data processing schemes related to the detection and orbit determination of RSOs, to include GT-AE's own set of small satellites!  Using high-fidelity orbit propagation tools, and other analysis methods (e.g., lightcurves, machine learning, etc.), both real and simulated images will be processed and explored in an effort to improve RSO collision avoidance and prediction capabilities.  Most of the data analysis components of this project can be done remotely; however, students will also assist in data collection efforts using GT-AE's Space Object Research Telescope (GT-SORT), located in the observatory on the top of the Howey Physics building.  Social distancing rules are enforced during observation campaigns (details on this can be provided upon request).  Data analysis tasks require Python or C/C++, as well as familiarity with a Linux environment.  Applicants should also have prior knowledge of orbital mechanics (AE4532 or equivalent).


Project:  High-Pressure High-Temperature Combustion Systems
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? No
Project Manager:  David Wu
Action: Send your CV to adhikarsubodh@gatech.edu
Semesters: Spring 2021
Time Commitment: 3 hours per credit hour enrolled for credit (minimum 2 credit hours)​
Credit or Pay: Credit only
Number of Students Needed: 1-3
Citizenship Requirement: None
GPA Requirement: None
Brief description of project: The Ben T. Zinn Combustion Laboratory at Georgia Tech is looking for Aerospace or Mechanical engineering undergraduates for the Fall 2020 semester. Previous experience is useful but not required, and this is an excellent volunteer opportunity for students interested in gaining experience in the field of combustion.The Combustion Lab focuses on hands-on research involving gas turbines, rockets, flame dynamics, and acoustic phenomena. Students will work directly with graduate researchers on various on-going projects, and be given the  opportunity to learn or further develop their machining skills, gain experience working with high-pressure systems, and apply theoretical knowledge to real-world experiments. Depending on their level of experience, students may also work on data analysis and LabView coding.


Project: ASDL PROJECT System Analysis and Evaluation of FAA’s Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)
Project Manager: Dr. Yongchang Li
Action: Send your CV and area of interest to Dr. Yongchang Li at yongchang.li@gatech.edu
Office:
Weber 314-C
Semesters:  Spring 2021
Time Commitment: Task oriented. You will be given small tasks that you can complete each week. About 3-9 hrs per week (flexible).
Number of Students Needed: 2
Citizenship Requirement: No
GPA Requirement: >3
Details: Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) is a software system that models aircraft performance in space and time to estimate fuel consumption, emissions, noise, and air quality consequences. This software has been developed by the FAA Office of Environment and Energy for public release. It is the next generation FAA environmental consequence tool. This research is to perform system evaluation and analysis of the new FAA tool simulating airline flights to estimate noise, fuel burn, and emissions impacts. This system evaluation and analysis comprehensively assesses the accuracy, functionality, and capabilities of AEDT during the development process. The system evaluation consists of verification and validation, capability demonstrations, and parametric uncertainty/sensitivity analysis of the AEDT. In this research, you will have opportunities to work with real airport operations data, real world aircraft data, and the latest aircraft performance model, and get direct contacts from FAA, airports and airlines. The ideal candidate for this research should be willing to learn, and interested in data processing/analysis, statistical analysis, know MATLAB and/or Python. And knowing SQL scripting would be a plus.


Project: ASDL PROJECT Analytical Methods for Expanding the AEDT Aircraft Fleet Database
Project Manager: Dr. Yongchang Li
Action: Send your CV and area of interest to: Dr. Yongchang Li at yongchang.li@gatech.edu
Office: Weber 314-C
Semesters:  Spring 2021
Time Commitment: Task oriented. You will be given small tasks that you can complete each week. About 3-9 hrs per week (flexible).
Number of Students Needed: 2
Citizenship Requirement: No
GPA Requirement: >3
Details: Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) is a software system that models aircraft performance in space and time to estimate fuel consumption, emissions, noise, and air quality consequences. It is the next generation FAA environmental consequence tool. The goal of this research is to improve the accuracy of AEDT noise and emissions modeling of aircraft not currently in the Aircraft Noise and Performance (ANP) database.  Quantitative and qualitative analytical methods, including statistical and machine learning methods, will be identified and evaluated for each aircraft type to develop the ANP and noise data for the aircraft. Validation data from real world flight and physics-based modeling will be gathered to validate the methods. In this research, you will have opportunities to work with aircraft data, real world aircraft data, and the latest aircraft performance model, and get direct contacts from FAA, airports and airlines. The ideal candidate for this research should be willing to learn, and interested in data processing/analysis, statistical analysis, machine learning, know MATLAB and/or Python. And knowing SQL scripting and Tableau would be a plus.


Project: Laser-Based Measurements of High-Pressure and High-Speed Combustion
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? No
Project Manager: Professor Adam M. Steinberg, Dr. Samuel Grauer
Action: Send your CV to samuel.grauer@aerospace.gatech.edu
Semesters:Spring 2021
Time Commitment: 3 hours per credit hour enrolled for credit (minimum 2 credit hours)​
Credit or Pay: Credit only
Number of Students Needed: 1-3
Citizenship Requirement: None
GPA Requirement: >3.4 preferred
Brief description of project: This project involves assisting in the design, fabrication, and setup of experiments for studying various aspects of high-pressure and high-speed combustion as relevant to future aerospace propulsion devices. Students will work closely with graduate researchers to deploy experimental apparatus, write LabView programs to monitor and control experiments, and participate in data collection. Students must complete the Combustion Lab’s Safety and Onboarding training prior to starting work.