Lewis University Students Develop Aviation Safety Device

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Lewis University Students Develop Aviation Safety Device

Published: July 14, 2015.

A Lewis University Aviation student and a Computer Science student recently teamed up in an effort to enhance aviation safety. They designed and built a device that may help prevent runway incursions, a potential hazard at airports without control towers. Incursions occur when an airplane is prepared for take off but another airplane is in the process of landing.

Mark Wolfrum, a graduate student in Aviation, initiated the project and served as the project manager. Brandon White, an undergraduate student in Computer Science, designed and built the device. White designed a hardware system around the FLIR camera that included a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino microcontroller, and a miniature lamp. He then wrote the software that interconnected the various pieces.

ďMark was the instigator of this work and negotiated the logistics. Brandon was the technical wizard who built the device that powered it,Ē commented Dr. Ray Klump, professor and chair of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, who served as an investigator on the project. Dr. Randy DeMik, director and professor of graduate studies in Aviation and Transportation at Lewis University and Dr. Stanley Harriman, assistant professor of Aviation and Transportation at Lewis University, provided support to the students as well.

They performed initial testing on the device in June. Initial test runs produced positive results that show the device could lead to a solution for this critical issue. The students will continue the testing in order to make the appropriate adjustments necessary for different environmental conditions and landing approaches.

This research was sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Colonel Stephan S. and Lyla Doherty Center for Aviation and Health Research. The Doherty Center funds research and scholarly initiatives and provides opportunities for research experiences for students with faculty mentors. Investigators supported by the Doherty Center have focused on several areas, such as cardiac therapy, wound management, flight deck laser illumination, the environment, diabetes, MRSA, and alternative fuels for aviation.

Lewis University offers a bachelorís degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Computer Science majors can pursue formal concentrations in Cyber Security, Video Game Development, Web and Mobile Development, Computational Theory, and Data Science. Internship and hands-on learning opportunities are plentiful. The university is nationally recognized for its Master of Science in Information Security program, which includes an innovative fast-track that enables students to earn both a bachelorís and a masterís degree in five years. A master's degree in Data Science is also available.

Since 1932, Lewis University has led the field of aviation education by preparing students from around the world to succeed in the aviation industries. Lewis Universityís Aviation program one of the most respected in Illinois. It features an on-site airport, experienced faculty, personalized learning, degree programs that provides specialized experience and a well-rounded business, management and liberal arts education. In addition to eight undergraduate programs in aviation, Lewis University offers a masterís degree in Aviation and Transportation in-person and online.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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