Jeremy Payne (Project Lead)

Ellen Pifer (Project Lead)

Kevin Keadle

Grant Spencer


Dr. Bramesfeld

Matt Trani

Dr. Jayaram

For the most up-to-date information, visit the students project website.

Project Outcomes

The final design report was submitted to the BORDERS competition on December 14, 2012. In January our team was notified that SLU along with Purdue, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State University were awarded funding for the development of a sub-scale prototype. Our team was awarded $21,910.00 to construct a 40% scale model out of carbon fiber and construction took place during second semester. In late April two representatives from the Department of Homeland Security visited SLU to evaluate our team’s sub-scale prototype and manufacturing process. We presented an hour and a half long presentation that covered the design changes between the full scale and sub scale model along with the manufacturing process.

The Sub-Scale Model

The Department of Homeland Security requested that the sub-scale model have the same capabilities as a remote controlled aircraft. Though the proposed full scale aircraft was designed for full autonomy, DHS did not wish to see these capabilities demonstrated in the sub-scale aircraft. Minor changes were made to the sweep, twist, and dihedral from the full scale to work around some of the scaling issues. The sub-scale did not require a generator or fuel and relied on electric propulsion only. Landing gear was also added to the sub-scale design because the car launch concept from our full scale proposal was deemed hazardous to the aircraft survivability and vehicle.

Project Objective

The objective is to design a quiet unmanned air vehicle for airborne surveillance along the US border in support of homeland security missions. The system will enable law enforcement to detect, identify, and track illegal aliens and illicit drug traffic.