Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- July 7, 2003

Cal State L.A.'s Team Receives First Place in NASA Student Design Competition

California State University, Los Angeles’ Titan Aerial Vehicle team recently garnered first place in the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Titan Student Design Competition. The award will be presented to Cal State L.A.’s winning team members during their visit in August to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

An award letter from the director of the Equal Opportunities Office at the NASA Ames Research Center states: “All of the submitted proposals were excellent and met the requirement and deliverables identified in the request for proposals, but yours was the best. Creativity, enthusiasm, and the hard work of the student participants were clearly evident in all of the design proposals. The decisive factors in selecting Cal State L.A. as the winner were the excellent scope of engineering analysis and the rigor of your design.”

The objective of the competition is to design an autonomous aircraft to perform flight missions of scientific explorations on Titan, the largest moon of the planet Saturn. After six months of intense research and analysis, the Cal State L.A. team designed an innovative concept vehicle that takes-off and lands vertically either on land or on lakes of liquid methane, which is used to fuel the engine. It is designed to fly at an altitude of 2 km with a maximum speed of 140 km/hr, and covers a range of at least 200 km before refueling. The vehicle is 1.7 meters long, 1.5 meter in diameter, and weighs about 74 kg.

The Cal State L.A. Titan Aerial Vehicle design team included the following mechanical engineer majors: team leader Uche Ofoma (San Gabriel); Shigeru Matsuyama (Arcadia); Annie He (Tustin); Amir Massoudi (Los Angeles); and Josue Cruz (Los Angeles). Interns from the French Institute for Advanced Mechanics Julien Blanc and Jean-Yves Fargeat also contributed to the vehicle design. The team’s advisor is Mechanical Engineering professor Chivey Wu (Hacienda Heights).

The design competition was sponsored by NASA’s MUREP (Minority University Research & Education Programs) Office and administered by Integrated Space Technologies and NASA Ames Research Center. For more information, call Dr. Chivey Wu, Cal State L.A, at (323) 343-4489.

Contact: Margie Yu, Public Affairs Specialist, (323) 343-3047

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