SMU Lyle team places second in drone competition


The SMU Lyle team won second place in the 2022 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) University Innovation Showcase. This autonomous drone competition is an event sponsored by Raytheon Technologies to challenge students to develop solutions for various problems in the realm of unmanned aerial systems. Each team in the competition is given four challenges to be completed through autonomous flight. Teams are given a budget to select what tools they will use to accomplish these tasks, and the freedom to develop novel approaches to complete each challenge. The same drone must be used for all challenges for each team. 

On April 23, 2022, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) University Innovation Showcase was held at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Stadium. The six teams were from University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and SMU. The SMU Lyle team received Second Place in the competition. 

This is the first time SMU participated in the Raytheon Technologies Showcase. The team members are from three different departments in the Lyle School of Engineering. 
Team members Andrew Brkich (CS), Andrew Havard (CS), Chris Wood (CS), Peter King (CS), Riley Galante (CS), Arman Sanatinia (ECE), and Morgan Castleberry (ME) were guided by Computer Science Professor Klyne Smith, Mechanical Engineering Professor Steven Lerner, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor J.-C. Chiao, who teach the respective senior design capstone courses. The project was financially supported by Mr. Kent Pride, University Partnerships Director, at Raytheon Intelligence and Space. Working closely with Ms. Meredith Burke, who is an SMU Lyle alumna and Raytheon engineer, the students spent two semesters gaining hands-on experience learning about the technical issues of hardware design, software design, construction, and operation of autonomous aerial navigation systems.