The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech

Grand Challenges


Grand Challenge Projects are one of the primary teaching and learning mechanism for first year students at ASDL, and are modeled after DARPA's Grand Challenges. In the ASDL Grand Challenges, incoming graduate students are divided into teams of five to ten students, and each team is given a broad, open-ended problem to address. In addition to the graduate students, there are often undergraduate team members who participate in the Grand Challenges either as part of the Boeing Aerospace Scholarship Program or for course credit. The projects are conducted over the course of two academic semesters, concluding with a final presentation to ASDL's External Advisory Board. The scope of topics for these challenges are current and relevant to the aerospace industry, and are often inspired by sponsored research projects. Topics range from the integration of unmanned air vehicles into the national airspace, choosing a renewable energy portfolio for Naval bases, to the design of the next generation of revolutionary aircraft. In order to complete these challenges, students must become fluent in their problem area, learn what techniques and methods are available to assist them in solving their problem, determine the data and scope of modeling which is required, develop any necessary modeling and simulation, perform data analysis, and create a dynamic and flexible visualization environment to present results and support analysis, trade-offs, and decision making. Students must become experts in problem formulation, technical analysis, and reporting findings. From these Grand Challenges, students learn many needed skills that are not typically taught in a classroom, such as good research practices, how to address a new problem are with which one may be unfamiliar, how to manage time on a large scale research project, how to effectively communicate results, and many others.

2010-2011 Topics

GC-2011-APOJAM banner.pngGC-2011-CDEW badge.pngGC-2011-ERATO banner.pngGC-2011-HAMMERR.pngGC-2011-MInD.pngGC-2011-MAST.png

GC-2011-MATES.pngGC-2011-NEREUS banner.pngGC-2011-STRAFE.pngGC-2011-TRIDENNTS.pngGC-2011-UNITAS.pngGC-2011-UCLASS.png

2009-2010 Topics

  • A Systems Engineering Approach for the Reduction of Interference Effects of Wind Turbines to Air Search Radars
  • Manufacturing Influenced Design
  • Energy Optimized Thermal Management System
  • Identification and Evaluation of Technology Transfer Benefits in Support of the Strategic Development of NextGen Architectures
  • Novel Energy Concepts for Ships and Fleets
  • Mine Countermeasures System of Systems
  • Next Generation Aircraft Carrier Strike System
  • Design of a Truss Braced Wing Aircraft
  • Micro Autonomous Systems Technology (MAST) : Scalable Ensemble Microsystem Models for Mission Analysis

2008-2009 Topics

  • Conceptual Design of an N+2 Small Supersonic Airliner
  • More Electric Aircraft Subsystem Architecture Selection
  • Directed Energy Weapons on Future Combat Scenarios
  • Mine Countermeasures System of Systems
  • Micro Autonomous Systems Technology
  • Boost Phase Interceptor
  • Integrated Development & Evaluation of Architectures for Systems-of-systems (IDEAS)
  • Light Eco-Friendly Aircraft Framework (LEAF)

2007-2008 Topics

  • Affordable Low Fidelity Target Systems
  • Architecture Based Naval Topside Evaluation
  • T-CRAFT Parametric Tradeoff Study
  • Air Transportation System Technology Evaluation
  • NASA Aeronautics Design Competition
  • Life Cycle Analysis of Alternative Fuels for Turbine Engine Aircraft
  • Architecture for Integrating Technologies and Evaluating Conceptual Trade-offs - EOASys

2006-2007 Topics

  • Strategic Missile Design Competition
  • Theater Ballistic Missile Defense
  • Space-Based Radar
  • Investigation of Key Parameters Impacting the Conceptual Design of a Manned Mission to Callisto
  • A Systems of Systems Approach to Hurricane Modeling and Forecasting
  • Energy Optimized Aircraft Systems Architecture Design & Evaluation
  • Super Close Air Support (CAS) Aircraft Design (2007 AIAA Graduate Team Design Competition)
  • Development of a Disaster Management Methodology
  • Technology Benefits on the Environmental Impact of Commercial Air Transportation Fleet

2005-2006 Topics

  • Strategic Missile Design Competition Foreign Missile Target Surrogate System
  • Mars Scout Vehicle
  • Commercial Air Transportation System-of-Systems (CATS2) Probabilistic Air Travel Demand Tool
  • 2006 AIAA Undergraduate Aircraft Design Competition: Homeland Defense Interceptor (Undergraduate Members Only)
  • Systems Approach to Planetary Defense
  • US Coast Guard Integrated Deepwater System

2003-2004 Topics