Presenter Information

Padraig HoulahanFollow

Topic Area

LEADERSHIP/ INNOVATION/AVN AERO TECH

Other Topic Area

Aviation Education

Abstract

Modern commercial aircraft are increasingly dependent on digital technologies that detect sensor data and pilot control movements, interpret them, and then issue appropriate control signals to remote motors that move control surfaces. Because such technologies are innately complex, it would appear there is an unacceptably large academic burden on introducing them into the undergraduate pilot's curriculum .

However, in recent years there has been an explosion of interest in using micro-controllers in academic teaching (high-school and undergraduate levels) and in hobby applications, resulting in a large, online, freely available knowledgebase of techniques and solutions. Here, I demonstrate how easy it is to use hobby microcontrollers such as the Arduino in the curriculum as digital sensors, and to create proof-of-concept fly-by-wire systems that non-engineering students can appreciate. With obvious extensions to having aviation students create their own computerized weather stations, GPS trackers, and even flight-black-boxes, microcontrollers are well suited to students highly responsive to experiential learning.

Start Date

17-1-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

17-1-2015 10:15 AM

Chair/Note/Host

Chair: Robin Sobotta

Keywords

Aviation, Aviation Education, Classroom, Microcontrollers

 
Jan 17th, 8:30 AM Jan 17th, 10:15 AM

Microcontrollers in the Aviation Classroom

Modern commercial aircraft are increasingly dependent on digital technologies that detect sensor data and pilot control movements, interpret them, and then issue appropriate control signals to remote motors that move control surfaces. Because such technologies are innately complex, it would appear there is an unacceptably large academic burden on introducing them into the undergraduate pilot's curriculum .

However, in recent years there has been an explosion of interest in using micro-controllers in academic teaching (high-school and undergraduate levels) and in hobby applications, resulting in a large, online, freely available knowledgebase of techniques and solutions. Here, I demonstrate how easy it is to use hobby microcontrollers such as the Arduino in the curriculum as digital sensors, and to create proof-of-concept fly-by-wire systems that non-engineering students can appreciate. With obvious extensions to having aviation students create their own computerized weather stations, GPS trackers, and even flight-black-boxes, microcontrollers are well suited to students highly responsive to experiential learning.