Aero Design Challenge

Photo: NASA

Reimagining urban delivery

Leveraging Digital Twin design for UAV Optimization


Our undergraduate team is rising to the challenge of designing, building, and optimizing a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for the purpose of urban delivery. We will be building a UAV that can achieve vertical take-off and landing while also maximizing payload. Additionally, we will also be programming a digital twin for the UAV. This digital twin will take the form of a live interface that utilizes in-flight data to gain insight into the current state of the UAV and its surroundings.

Mission Goals

  • Design and build UAV that meets NASA design goals for function and payload

  • Collect and analyze detailed in-flight data about environment and state of UAV

  • Write research paper summarizing our design and testing results

Related Skills

  • Electrical Engineering: Circuit design of UAV

  • Mechanical/Civil Engineering: Design for vertical take-off and landing, maximize payload of UAV

  • Aeronautic Engineering

  • Computer Science/Engineering: Create digital twin to control physical UAV and analyze performance feedback

  • Physics/Math


  • NASA Aeronautics University Design Challenge 2016-2017: Low Noise Subsonic Challenge 1st place [link]

Mission Directors


Olivia Chow

SEAS 2020

Computer Engineering


Malik Drabla

SEAS 2020

Computer Science and Applied Math