The Fire Rescue Team

The Fire Rescue Team

We are the land based fire rescue team at Old Dominion University. What does that mean? Our team is focused on designing a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the Carova Beach fire department in North Carolina. We are building a quadcopter that will be able to give fire fighters a birds eye view of the ground to help find the location of a fire quickly and prevent wasting time and resources driving around looking for the source of smoke. There are no paved roads and most of the land is uninhabited at Carova beach. This comes with challenges though. There is a cell tower near the fire station that transmits such a strong signal that it causes the current quad copter used by the fire department to crash. To add to this, emergencies do not always happen when the weather is optimal. To solve these problems here is our team.




Brian Duvall

brian-duvallIn continuing my education for my Ph.D. in aerospace engineering I decided to take this class to increase my knowledge on UAV’s. I have a passion for anything that fly’s. I have been avid in model airplanes for several years now and have competed in several Society of Automotive Engineering  design build and fly competitions. More recently I completed my masters degree in aerospace engineering with my thesis topic on the reduction noise from model airplane propellers. By taking this class I hope to learn how to program with arduino’s and use Pixhawk flight controllers as data acquisition systems. Currently, I am designing a way to mount a Flir thermal imaging camera so our group can get the best performance. My task also include coming up with a way to shield the Pixhawk from radio frequency’s to prevent crashes at the Carova fire department flight location. So far this project has shown me the power of multiple disciplinary working together. As a team, the electrical engineering members are able to help the mechanical members and vise versa. I have found this to be a preview for future jobs.

David Black

I`m a Mechanical Engineering student at Old Dominion University with an interest in physics, computer programming and mechanical design.  My team is currently building a lifesaving drone for the Cavora Fire Rescue Team in which we are using cameras to search for lost people in wooded areas adjacent to the beach.  With this drone the rescue team will be able to utilize this drone to search and rescue missions for over the dozen personnel who go missing at Cavora Beach every year.  This real life project has many aspects which will be invaluable in my future career.

Steven Machamer

I am a Senior Electrical Engineering student at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA with a December 2016 graduation anticipation.  I have taken electives in in control systems, communication, power systems, and electric drives.  I decided to take this class to experience a different side to the classes I found interesting.  I hope to gain experience in the areas of control, integration, and testing dealing with drones and flight controllers.

Josef Morken

I am currently finishing up my undergraduate degree in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering and decided to take this course in an effort to gain more insight into how quad-copters operate. I also hope that the knowledge that I gain from this course can be applied to my quad-copter based senior design project.  My appreciation for all things automotive has grown over the course of my studies to include man and computer controlled flight vehicles. Not many individuals get to say that they are working on what they’re passionate about, and I consider myself lucky to be able to do so.  I believe that we will be able to exceed the Carova Fire Teams expectations and needs with the quad-copter that we will be assembling. Our team also has the benefit of having students with different fields of study andI believe that this will allow our team to exceed expectations as well as overcome any obstacle that we face while in this course. img_0260





Thomas Veness

I am in my senior year of school, projecting a graduation date of May 2017. I enjoy thermodynamics, hockey, and robots. I am a veteran of the Iraq war and have served my country in some fashion for 12 years. My brother is a firefighter so this area of interest has a deep personal impact for me as anything that can make him and his comrades safer as well as increasing his toolbox is very important to me.

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