The Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center wins first place in the 2003 American Helicopter Society Annual Student Design Competition for the sixth consecutive year. | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

The Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center wins first place in the 2003 American Helicopter Society Annual Student Design Competition for the sixth consecutive year.

The project this year was named UM911-Aeneas, a multi-role disaster rescue vehicle. The primary goals specified by the RFP, sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft and NASA, included the ability to evacuate at least 1,200 people from rooftops and at least 800 people from windows in one hour, with the capability to fight fires at any floor of the building using an on board water source or ground based water pumps, and the capability to deploy 15 firemen at a time on the rooftops. These missions were to be coordinated by a sophisticated command and control platform with access to real time data on the fire, building and city maps.

Aeneas features a single helicopter-multiple module design philosophy, enabling the same rotorcraft to perform different missions specified by the RFP when equipped with the appropriate mission module. A three engine configuration was chosen to enable the helicopter to continue operations even in the event of an engine failure. This requirement is critical while operating close to buildings. The design team worked closely with the Clark School Fire Protection Engineering department to obtain three-dimensional profiles of temperature and other environmental properties around the building.

The design team consisted of nine members, Shreyas Ananthan, Vinit

Gupta, Sudharshana Koushik, Wei Hu, Celestine Wakha, Anand Radhakrishnan, Maria Ribera, Jayasimha Atulasimha, Aubrey Goodman and Joe Whitt (from the Department of Fire Protection Engineering). They were advised by Prof. Chopra, Dr. Nagaraj and Dr. Tishchenko (MIL Design Bureau) and received constructive comments from Prof. Leishman (Aerospace Eng.) and Prof. Brannigan (Fire Protection Eng).

Published August 21, 2003