RWDC Nationals 2015
Oct. 2014 - Nov. 2015
For the 2015 Challenge (my first one), the Aeronautical Dolphins was tasked to develop an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that was capable of accurate pesticide application. Not only did we have to develop the aircraft, but also a business model and the spraying system.
Joining the team & my role
At the time, I was a sophomore in high school; this would be the first time I would be joining the team, or doing anything engineering-related for that matter. It was tough to get on the team; I came in every day for two months, not only learning about aerodynamics but completing the work that needed to get done. It was tough, but in the end, I became and remained as the Lead Aircraft Design Engineer.
As the aircraft engineer, I was tasked with everything related to the aircraft. Among my responsibilities were:
Researching current aircraft models and aircraft propulsion systems.
Determining important aerodynamic quantities, such as coefficient of lift, coefficient of drag, and thrust, using Mathcad calculation files.
Using JavaFoil to run airfoil analysis tests to experiment with different airfoil designs.
Designing a retractable spray boom system.
Cataloging and organizing the components on board the aircraft.
The 2015 National Team with the CNMI Education Board and Governor
Challenges & Results
This was a particularly challenging year. During the summer of 2015, Saipan was hit by Typhoon Soudelor, which was the strongest typhoon to hit the Pacific. Many people did not have power or running water, and our school was not open. In order to complete this, we had to be resourceful, running to cafes and even the airport for internet access and power so we could finish the Notebook and complete the challenge.
In the end, it was all worth it. Our team took home the National Championship title, winning 1st Place in the 2015 National competition. Winning the title was great, but looking back, it was working as a the aircraft engineer that showed me not only what hard work is, but also what I want to do in the future.