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Design, Manufacturing, and Testing of an Electric Multirotor for Personal Transportation

Status: Ongoing

Sponsors: NASA ($79,995), SD Space Grant Consortium ($65,903), Rabbit Raisers ($2,590), Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering ($1,200)

What: To design, develop, manufacture, and test a battery-powered multirotor capable of transporting a human passenger

1. Very simple design
2.Extensive use of commercial off-the-shelf components
3.Transfer technology from smaller drones
4.Use innovative 3D manufactured parts whenever possible
5.Build first a smaller drone (aka Hummingbird) as a proof-of-concept
6.Subsequently build the big multirotor (aka Albatross)

Team 1 (2019-2020): Isaac Smithee, Nick Runge, Ryan Twedt, Wade Olson, Sterling Berg, Anthony Bachmeier, Matt Berg

Team 2 (2020-2021): Nathan (Tux) Sydow, Josh Gross, Cody Blocker, Evan Steers, Andrew (Drew) Hanshaw

Advisors: Marco Ciarcià (PI), Todd Letcher 


Team 2 presenting ALBATROSS


Development of an ADCS Strategy for Fast and Accurate Pointing of a CubeSat for Hyperspectral Imaging.

Status: Ongoing


Design and Development of a Single-Axis Attitude Testbed for ADCS Strategies Validation.

Status: Ongoing


Control Strategy of a Light Manipulator for Multirotor Applications.

Status: Ongoing


Design, development, and assembly of a CubeSat as orbiting testbed for bio-experiments.

Status: Proposal under development

Team: Dr. Marco Ciarcià (SDSU, Co-PI), Dr. Anamika Prasad (SDSU, Co-PI), Dr. Gregory Michna (SDSU, Co-PI)


A direct method-based guidance strategy for multirotors.

Status: Completed

Team: Kidus Guye (Graduate Student), Dr. Marco Ciarcià

Related publications:


Multirotor Aerial Applicator. (Senior Design Project)

Status: Completed

Team: Derek Dilts (Undergraduate Student), Daniel Ostraat (Undergraduate Student), Brennen Walley (Undergraduate Student), Darin Zomer (Undergraduate Student), Dr. Marco Ciarcià (SDSU, Co-advisor), Dr. Jeffrey Doom (SDSU, Co-advisor)

Abstract: The goal of this project is the realization of a GPS guided multirotor for aerial precision spot crop spraying of agricultural liquid products. The multirotor has a 3.8 l tank, it can perform flights of about 15 min with full tank and the total cost is about $1100 (for parts only). The main advantages of such system, over the traditional airplane dusting, are: efficient and accurate product application, low costs for localized areas, risk-free operations for the operator.

"Multirotor Aerial Applicator"