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New technology that detects and commandeers unauthorized drones, guiding them to land safely, will be commercialized under a licensing agreement between Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Drone Defense Systems LLC of Daytona Beach, Fla.
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Aiming to make air travel safer, a 21-year-old Embry-Riddle Worldwide student is helping the Federal Aviation Administration streamline and update part of the system pilots use for navigation.  Samridh Sood, a sophomore in the Aeronautics program, worked with Michael Watkins, a senior representative for the FAA in Southeast Asia, Embry-Riddle Assistant Professor and Academic Development Officer Dr. Jack Patel, and Interim Vice-Chancellor and Head of Asia Matthew Flaherty to address the issue of navigation waypoints that have the duplicate names. Airplanes today use GPS to navigate from place to place, but the routes are seldom direct. Instead, pilots use a series of waypoints defined by their geographic coordinates and given names, usually capitalized five-letter words, such as PLGRM – which is near Boston – and TWAIN, which is above the famous writer’s birthplace in Missouri.
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Mission accomplished! Composed of seven Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University engineering students, Team Tiber Designs has successfully fired the Prescott campus’ first liquid rocket engine inside a brand new test facility as part of their senior capstone project in the College of Engineering. The project was named Janus and Testcell 3.
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An analysis of records regarding Florida children in foster care between 2010 and 2017, completed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, suggests a new way to inform decisions about child welfare services.
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In keeping with Embry-Riddle’s intense focus on aviation safety, Embry-Riddle students and faculty at a recent high-level conference highlighted the importance of structured protocols to improve patient healthcare. “In the world of aviation, clear communication and procedural discipline are critical to safety,” said Joseph R. Keebler, associate professor of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology. “Our research applies those same values to help reduce risks in hospital settings, particularly in patient handoff situations.” The goal of the research is to inform best practices in hospitals as well as military medical facilities.
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On July 2, 2019, the Moon will block the Sun, treating viewers in South America to a total solar eclipse. Embry-Riddle’s Dr. Alan Liu will witness the spectacle from the Andes LIDAR Observatory in Cerro Pachón, Chile. He hopes to learn how the eclipse affects a super-cold region of the atmosphere called the mesosphere. Understanding disruptions of solar radiation in the mesosphere during the eclipse will help improve global circulation models, space weather prediction and global satellite navigation systems, said Liu, professor of Engineering Physics. With the totality of the upcoming solar eclipse passing directly over the Andes LIDAR Observatory in South America, Embry-Riddle researchers will have a unique opportunity to explore fundamental science questions, thanks to Liu’s founding role in establishing the observatory. “A solar eclipse shuts off heat and radiation to the atmosphere and it creates disturbances from the ground, all the way to the upper atmosphere,” Liu explained. “The effects of these disturbances last many hours after the sun’s shadow passes by.”
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An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University effort to advance innovation in Florida recently provided $18,000 to a trio of aspiring entrepreneurs during the 2019 Launch Your Venture competition, sponsored by Boeing HorizonX and the International Speedway Corporation (ISC). The statewide competition, organized in partnership with Embry-Riddle’s Center for Entrepreneurship, focused on disruptive technologies that could transform the aviation, aerospace and engineering industries. Finalists presented their pitches on April 19 at the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) in Embry-Riddle’s Research Park.
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As Embry-Riddle President Dr. P Barry Butler welcomed Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly as the keynote speaker of the just concluded President’s Forum on Research and Innovation, he noted that the symposium’s focus on aero-cybersecurity was a signature area for Embry-Riddle because of its critical importance to national interests, the industry and public safety.   Modly, chief management and information officer for the U.S. Navy, echoed the importance of the topic in speaking about the unique challenges of preparing the largest naval force in the world for rapid technological advances while rebuilding a maritime force that must be adaptable and trained to anticipate new threats, even as existing threats evolve. He said cyber espionage is of significant concern and everything from ships and aircraft to weapon systems must be protected from ever increasing and ever more sophisticated cyber attacks.
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Senior Mechanical Engineering students Andrew Ferree and Zack Saidman want to make the streets safer, and they believe they’ve figured out a way to accomplish that goal for a grand total of 23 dollars. That is the cost of the prototype they designed which won them second place at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International’s Connected Vehicle Challenge 2019, on April 11. The device, which would become even cheaper to manufacture once production levels grow beyond the duo’s initial 1,000-unit projection, is meant to “talk” through radio signals to nearby devices mounted on bicycles and attached to pedestrians, warning of upcoming hazards to prevent collisions — an occurrence, the students learned, is even more common than they imagined. “Our most interesting discovery was how many cyclists are injured each year by vehicles: 45,000 injuries and 840 deaths,” Ferree said. “And 5,000 of the injuries are to children 14 and younger. It’s pretty insane.”
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Embry-Riddle’s MicaPlex Facility Keeps Bringing Jobs to Florida
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For the 13th consecutive year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Business Club dominated the PBL Arizona Leadership Competition, held April 12-13 at the Embry-Riddle Prescott campus.
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Top executives in aviation at an Embry-Riddle panel discussion presented a picture of a booming industry that is meeting challenges with innovation, while career opportunities abound. “Working in aviation is an exciting world, it’s an exciting opportunity,” said panelist Edward Onwe, vice president and general manager at VT San Antonio Aerospace. “And of course, the demand for aviation workers will always be there.” Held April 8 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus, the “Business of Aviation and More” panel discussion featured Onwe, who represents a leading global maintenance, repair and overall company; Sherry Ortiz, senior vice president at United States Aircraft Insurance Group; Damon D'Agostino, president and CEO of Zephyrus Aviation Capital; and Steve Powell, CEO of Synensys and captain at Delta Air Lines.
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Eagle alumnus and Airbus Americas CEO and Chairman Jeff Knittel is no stranger to change. In his 35 years in the aviation industry, he has launched a company that helped usher in the boom of aircraft leasing and, since transitioning to Airbus, has made it his mission not only to understand the current market but also to anticipate its permutations. That second part is the key, he told students at a Wednesday, April 10, panel discussion on the Daytona Beach Campus. Focusing on career exploration and evolution within the aviation industry, the event also featured Airbus Vice President for Research and Technology Amanda Simpson, as well as alumnae Melody Bruce, a level III stress engineer at Airbus’ Empennage In-Service Repair department, and Kim Friedle, principal engineer at the firm’s Mobile Engineering Center. Hosted as part of the Aerospace on Campus Series organized by The Wings Club and Aviation Week Network, the event offered students the opportunity to interact with leaders and employees of one of the world’s leading aerospace firms. Their discussion is paraphrased as follows:
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An Embry-Riddle Aerospace Maintenance Science (AMS) team claimed first place in an international competition, overtaking challengers from 27 other schools by more swiftly and accurately completing 30 timed tasks. Six Embry-Riddle undergraduate students participated in the 2019 Aerospace Maintenance Competition, organized by the Aerospace Maintenance Council and presented by Snap-On, April 9-11 in Atlanta, Ga. “We are proud of our students for their technical performance as well as their sportsmanship during a global competition with highly skilled challengers,” said Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler. “Congratulations to the Embry-Riddle team and their dedicated mentors. In representing Embry-Riddle, they exemplified the Eagle spirit, demonstrating the highest standards of aviation safety and responsibility.”
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Three aerospace engineering students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus and one from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus have been awarded or received honorable mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP).
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