Student team takes first place in FAA competition
Professor Tim Ropp and students Jin Young Kim and Keaton Aktay receive their first-place plaques from Randy Fiertz, director of airport compliance and field operations, during the EAA Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisc., this summer.
As part of an ongoing research project to design the Hangar of the Future, three aviation management students were honored for innovative design in a recent Federal Aviation Administration competition.
Kory Aktay, Keaton Aktay, and Jin Young Kim won first place in the Airport Management and Planning category of the FAA’s 4th Annual National Design Competition for Universities.
Their concept design was an Automated NextGen Taxi System (ANTS) to help conserve fuel and control aircraft congestion during taxiing. They designed ANTS after extensive research and discussions with professionals in the airport management field. The system allows a battery-powered electric robot to tug large passenger aircraft to and from airport terminals and runways. To work, the robot needs to integrate ground navigation, communication, and control technologies.
The students were recognized by the FAA for their “exceptional design reflecting a high degree of integration.”
The concept will be incorporated into ongoing research at Purdue and the Department of Aviation Technology. Funding is being pursued to develop the concept into a working prototype.
The competition was created by the FAA to engage students at American universities, working under the guidance of a faculty mentor, to address airport operations and infrastructure issues and needs. Students were presented with a number of technical challenges relating to airport operations and maintenance, runway safety, airport environmental interactions, and airport management and planning. The competition requires students to perform basic concept research and to reach out to airport operators and industry experts to advise them in their proposals and to help them assess the efficacy of their proposed design solutions.
The competition is administered by the FAA Office of Runway Safety
and is managed by The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Hampton for the
See an image of how the ANTS system would work.