The week of Nov 4-10, 2019 is National Drone Safety Awareness week. We push the envelope in our UAS research in order to make advancements for the public good. BUT, it has to be done safely, something we take very seriously. Monday, Nov 4, 2019 at 12:00 in the Schorr Center conference room NIMBUS will hold an event “Ensuring Public Safety When Pushing the UAS Flight Envelope” going over safety documentation from the FAA, showing videos on what NOT to do, and reviewing and updating our own safety materials and processes. Please come by and visit the lab to learn more about drone safety and get tips on how to be safe while conducting drone research.
We’re VERY proud of our safety record in NIMBUS over the past decade of research. We do push boundaries, try new things, and encounter numerous failures. But with the help of the FAA, UNL, and a strong internal safety culture we’ve had very few incidents.
This past week was the final week of our REU program. On Monday I submitted the rough draft of my final project report. On Tuesday we had a practice poster session with a few other REU groups and then Wednesday afternoon it was time for the real thing. Overall, I thought the poster session went pretty well and luckily I didn’t get as nervous as I was expecting to. Afterwards, Alex and I received a farewell gift and some final words of wisdom from Ajay and Ashraful. The banquet and the rest of our final day in Lincoln was nice, but it was also hard saying goodbye to everyone. It feels like I’ve known everyone a lot longer than the two months we’ve been here. I’ve had a great summer in Lincoln and have learned a lot including ROS, coding Arduinos, 3-D printing, LaTex, and a bit about building circuits. I was sad to leave Lincoln and UNL, but I am definitely hoping to be accepted for graduate school here in two years so maybe I’ll be back someday. For now, I plan to spend the next two weeks enjoying some free time before school begins and finishing the final draft of my project report.
In the final week of the workshop, I put the finishing touches on my research poster and began to practice for my spoken presentation. The UNL College of Engineering hosted a practice research symposium on Tuesday, which was good practice for the following day. Wednesday’s official SRP symposium was great – I was able to see the work that other students in the program had put together.
In the following days, I put together a rough draft of my research paper to thoroughly summarize my project. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the Jetson computers to work, but our research still turned out pretty well. This summer has been a lot of fun, and I learned so much. Thanks to the Nimbus Lab and the SRP program for the great experience!
This was my last week at the Nimbus Lab, UNL, and Nebraska. I had a wonderful experience and my prototype actually worked! Jacob programmed it Monday and we finished building it Tuesday and tested it that night and got some sweet video footage. Tuesday morning, I participated in a practice poster session and then in the afternoon Paul, Chris and I drove to Omaha and all passed our drone pilots exams! Wednesday was my last day in Lincoln, the symposium went really well for me and the banquet was a nice end to all.
Recreational activities this week:
There was nooo time for that! I drove home Wednesday night and all day Thursday.
This week was spent building the
prototype! It is all starting to come together, but…… I had a huge misfortune
this week when the last 3D printed part I needed failed overnight. It was in
the middle of a 23 hr print when I went to lab at midnight to check in on it. The
print was fine when I left work at 6, but some unknown error caused a
dislocation. This was the second time that this particular print failed this
week and I was starting to lose hope. It will be left over the weekend and hopefully
it will succeed when I come back next Monday. Here is a picture of the disaster…
Recreational activities this week: I went Rock Climbing at the Outdoor Adventure Center a few times, and even hit the gym once. This weekend I am going to the Sioux Falls Empire County Fair to see Keith Urban and Leann Rimes!
This was the final week of the REU summer experience. Over
the weekend and on Monday, I was preparing and practicing my poster
presentation. On Tuesday, we all got to practice our poster presentation. The
symposium and banquet wrapped up the program on Wednesday.
As I am traveling back, I realize that I am excited to start
the Fall semester and my final year of undergrad. I am looking forward to my
new classes and the nice, cool weather. On the other hand, I am also missing the
great people that I met this summer. It was enjoyable to experience life in
Becoming a pilot may be one of the coolest things someone can do. I recently learned that some of our lab directors are also pilots and fly aircraft locally in Lincoln fairly often. While I already thought they were cool, the overall cool-factor certainly spike a bit. While I can’t fly planes (yet), this week I passed the FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot test! Early in the semester, the lab offered to fund our test and a group of us can now call ourselves certified drone pilots. This means that we can legally operate small UAVs in an official capacity. Studying for the test was actually super interesting because I learned a lot about airspace regulations, something I knew nothing about prior to entering the program. While this was a great way to start our week, there were certainly many bittersweet moments toward the end.
I learned so much this summer. I worked with Robot Operating System (ROS), learned Python, explored neural networks, and dove into a huge data set. I also learned so many important pieces of the research process, from writing effective papers to understanding how research is funded. But for me, I think the relationships I developed will be the thing I value most. Our cohort was eleven people from all over the country (and the world!). While the majority of us studied computer science, we also had people from multiple engineering disciplines and even psychology. We worked really well together and I think our diverse backgrounds helped us to that end. I also appreciate the relationships I developed with my graduate student mentors and faculty advisors. From navigating graduate school to identifying impactful research topics, my mentors have helped me imagine my own future in research.
Thursday was our final day in the SRP program (I’m currently writing from Philadelphia!) and it was certainly an exciting day. We began in the morning with our culminating research symposium. During the first hour, I spent time judging my assigned posters (it was a competition) and the second hour presenting my own work. The energy was so great in the room and I was glad for the opportunity to learn about some of the great research being done around campus! We ended the evening with a formal banquet, which was a great way to finish out the program. All of the faculty advisors got up to say great things about their summer researchers and awards were extended to those who did superior work. I am proud of one of our own cohort members who was awarded second place out of the entire SRP program for his poster presentation! While the banquet was great, afterward we all had to do the hard work of saying goodbye to one another. After lots of great pictures, I went home to pack up my thing and get ready to leave.
This summer I made amazing relationships and I can’t believe how much I learned in such a short time! My experience in the NIMBUS lab was absolutely amazing and has certainly helped drive my goal for a future career in research.
Departure day. I am so sad, yesterday I said goodbye to all my friends and Nimbus staff. All of us shared incredible moments and I strongly believe that our group “Unnmaned System” was the best ever. Especially, the Nimbus lab is AMAZING and I recommend all of you guys to apply for this program the next year. Personally, I am really motivated to come back to the States the next year for grad school.
This week finally we present our posters in the SRP symposium. It was a really good experience. In the beginning, I was scared to present it but after the practice presentation, I got the confidence needed to feel comfortable during the presentation.
After that, we attend the closing banquet. That was our last dinner together with the “Nimbus” guys. I enjoyed the food and the rest of the event but I did not when we took the last pictures together at the end of the event.
Finally, I just want to thank the people who made my participation in the program possible and all the Nimbus staff. It was glad to spend my summer with you.
During this week I continue with my investigation, this time on redundancy.
I found a publication on the basic understanding on triple modular redundancy for FPGA -based computer systems.
The basic idea is that TMR is when you have three processors working simultaneously, and their outputs have voters. The voters select the most popular output. TM is implemented relative to the architecture structure of the FPGA. The publication explains that the biggest area of the architecture such as the registers for example will require a very strong TMR since it is more vulnerable to radiation effects. This is to avoid overhead and also to avoid to make the system prone to radiation effects.
During this week I continued to work on my final paper, and finished my poster presentation.