Capstone Senior Design Project (August 2023 – May 2024)

Amphibious Quadcopter Drone – Damselfly

I am the Project Lead for my Capstone Senior Design Project. The Dragonfly mission is a space exploration mission to visit Saturn’s moon Titan. Dragonfly is the first coaxial quadcopter drone that will be used in a space mission. Taking inspiration from this mission, I proposed an innovative and challenging project to design a coaxial quadcopter drone similar to Dragonfly, but with capabilities of operating in two mediums. The damselfly insect is the close relative of the dragonfly, but spend a portion of their lives underwater. This project aims to build on the capabilities of unmanned vehicles, and to highlight the importance of amphibious drones in several disciplines.

This project spans two semesters of research, designing, prototyping, and testing.

The first semester of this project focused on learning as much information as possible about aerial drones and aquatic drones individually as well as the limited number of amphibious drones that exist today and understanding the design challenges faced. Waterproofing is one of the biggest challenges the team will face in building a functional vehicle. Material selection research, waterproofing electronics, and optimal rotor configurations were all considerations heavily researched in the first semester.


This project is currently in the second semester and is in the electronic component testing phase. Determining the size of the electronics housing will lead to the confirmation of the final prototype design. I am leading the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic flows over the propellers and vehicle body, utilizing the software Star CCM+. I am also utilizing Ansys to perform structural analysis on the preliminary structural design of the Damselfly drone. This project will conclude in April 2024.

Undergraduate Researcher

As an undergraduate researcher, I manufacture microfluidic devices for experiments assessing the behavior of micro fluids in different gravitational orientations. This research with the Computational Fluids and Aerodynamics Laboratory at UCF partners with the UCF College of Medicine to closely examine how fluids behave in zero gravity environments. The results yielded from this study will help us understand how osteoporosis would look in astronauts.

Various geometries with different channels were considered to get as close as possible to simulate fluids and bone marrow flowing through bones. These geometries were 3D printed with a resin printer and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was poured into the molds to create microfluidic channels for the fluid to flow through. The PDMS is cut into individual geometries and adhered to a glass slide.

A fluid and micro-bead solution is pumped through one end of the channel through to the other side. A Lens-Free Imaging device (LFI) is used to take several images in rapid succession to observe this behavior. This experiment was included as a science payload onboard the Blue Origin New Shepard flight in December 2023.

L’SPACE Mission Concept Academy

Lead Systems Engineer

The NASA L’SPACE Mission Concept Academy is an extracurricular workforce development program designed to give college students hands-on experience with planning space missions. Students are randomly assigned to teams of 15 and are given various roles and responsibilities. The project follows the NASA Mission Lifecycle format. The academy is a student led project where teams go through major design reviews and are given technical feedback on their Mission Concept Review (MCR), Spacecraft System Review (SRR), and Preliminary Design Review (PDR) documents. I participated in this academy as a student where I was the Lead Systems Engineer for my team and responsible for a sub team of six engineers. This sub team was responsible for designing the vehicle and its various subsystems. My team’s final PDR was over 300 pages in length and earned praise during the final presentation from the panel of subject matter experts for the excellent technical writing and engineering team management, which I directly contributed to. After my semester as a participant concluded, I was selected to return as an Engineering Mentor, where I led two teams of students as well as mentored the entire 300+ students in the academy with Command and Data Handling systems and components in space missions.

Technical Writing Sample – L’SPACE Preliminary Design Review (PDR)

Level 1 High Power Rocketry Certification

In spring 2023 I designed, built, and successfully launched a Level 1 High Power Rocket and earned my certification. This project required the utilization of the programs Open Rocket and SolidWorks. I designed fins for the rocket in SolidWorks and ran simulations in Open Rocket to determine the stability and efficiency of my rocket design. Once the desired stability threshold was reached in the simulation, the rocket was ready to build. The rocket was constructed out of custom fins, cardboard body, and 3D printed nose cone. I built the rocket, installed the H219-14A motor, set it up on the launchpad and connected the igniter to the motor.

It successfully launched it at a Tripoli certification event. It reached a max apogee of over 2100 feet and the parachute successfully deployed and the rocket was recovered completely intact and passed the certification. This project was a great opportunity to become familiar with high power rocketry, rocket simulations, and SolidWorks.  

NX Nastran Analysis of Airplane Wing Flap

In my Design of Aerospace Structures class worked as part of a team to analyze the trailing edge flap on the Northrop F-5E aircraft using the NX Nastran software.

Wind Tunnel Analysis Project

In my Aerospace Engineering Measurements lab, I worked with a group to design, 3D print, and test a vehicle’s aerodynamic properties under a load in the lab via a wind tunnel.

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