RAPTOR (Investigation of Rotorcraft Applications for Bay-Area Public TranspORtation)
I worked with eight other NASA Ames Academy students on a group oriented research project focused on investigating the feasibility of incorporating an aerial mass transit system in the San Francisco Bay Area using a fleet of quadcopters to supplement current commuter services, such as the BART and Caltrain transit systems. The purpose for this research was to determine whether the inclusion of a complementary aerial mass transit network might add greater capacity, range and operational efficiency to the existing public transportation system in the San Francisco Bay Area that is nearing full capacity. The project consisted of both an experimental and theoretical study. As leader of the theoretical aspect of the project, I oversaw an investigation of regulations and logistics related to unmanned aerial vehicles in the national, and Bay Area airspace. I developed simulations of the theoretical aerial network in Simio, an object-based simulator program, to determine the capabilities and mission profiles of the quadcopters. I designed the air network between all proposed stations. Lastly, I designed the quadcopter interior vehicle architecture, passenger seats, and vertiport concepts and provided nomenclature for passenger logistics.