by Tiana Allen
A big congratulations is owed to the Norfolk State University drone team who has ranked 29th out of 43 teams for 2016’s International Drone Competition. NSU was the only HBCU to participate in the competition and participated only as an observer this year; however, after submitting all required data, they still managed to place 29th. NSU’s TARA team (Terrestrial Aircraft for Reconnaissance Applications) was named after an engineering student named Tara who passed away last year.
The purpose of the International Drone Competition was to design an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that could identify electro-optic targets. The UAV that was chosen for 2016’s project was a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft. The team had to create and submit a detailed technical report that included the mission requirements analysis, tasks, design rationale, expected task performance, design descriptions, results and discussion, as well as their safety considerations and approach.
The NSU students apart of the TARA team include James Daniels, Ashley Deal, Robert Floyd, Nsilo Greene, John P. Harris, Jazlyn Jones, Tristan Skinner, and Kelsea Yarbrough along with Dr. Demetris Geddis and Dr. Patricia Mead as project mentors.
They are expecting to improve and place better in next year’s competition.