REU Seventh Week

This was a big week. We were able to make it to Colorado last Friday to begin the week of flying as we profiled the atmosphere for a better understanding of the production of storms in the San Luis Valley. On Saturday, we had a media day at a small local airport just outside Alamosa, Colorado where the people of the valley had the opportunity to come and see all the unmanned aerial vehicles that were going to be flying around the valley. They were several schools here all with their own design of vehicles, whether it be a fixed wing aircraft or a multi-rotor aircraft like the vehicles that we took. The design of the housing that we put on the Matrice M600 interested a lot of people not only because of its very distinct appearance, but because Ashraful, a graduate student in the lab, designed it in such a way that reliable data could be collected on the ascent and descent. This differed from most designs on multi-rotor vehicles as they had to disregard the descent data due to mixing of the air. Moving into the week we flew every morning from Sunday through Thursday. It was a lot of fun and exciting to see the effects of the summer’s work in action even though the mornings became extremely earlier and earlier throughout the week. We began on Sunday by leaving at 6:30 in the morning to leaving at 4:00 in the morning on Thursday. The week flew by and we were even able to fit a little hiking in on Thursday and Friday. We hiked up four miles to a little lake that is buried in the mountains on Thursday, and it was worth all the pain I still feel in my legs as it was a pretty amazing site. Safe to say, I slept pretty well Thursday night and turning around Friday morning and early afternoon we all went on another hike in the sand dunes that formed near the mountains. This was a very interesting hike, and I learned that the straightest path is not always the easiest or best one. Overall, it was a great week filled with a lot of learning and fun times.

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