$1.9M research grant aims to help military in austere environments

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A $1.9 million cooperative agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Army Research Office will enable researchers from Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering to launch a project aimed at supporting military.

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A $1.9 million cooperative agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Army Research Office will enable researchers from Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering to launch a multi-tiered project ultimately aimed at supporting military operations in austere environments.

Dr. Daniel Schrage
Director of IPLE

Beginning today, scientists from Georgia Tech’s Integrated Product Lifecycle Engineering (IPLE) lab and the Aerospace Systems Design Lab (ASDL) will run a two-year project dubbed CREATE (Collaborative Repository for Engineering and Technology Education).

The goal of the CREATE project is to enable students, hobbyists and military personnel to understand, diagnose, repair and adapt high technology electro-mechanical systems that are often used in isolated or challenging environments. The work is funded by the MENTOR2 program, run out of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office.

“The CREATE team is in a unique position to develop and demonstrate innovative methods and tools,” said Dr. Daniel P. Schrage, whose IPLE lab led Georgia Tech’s work on the original MENTOR program and will also lead Georgia Tech’s effort on MENTOR2.

“We can build on and integrate key innovations from previous work and implement new innovations.”

Dr. Dimitri Mavris
Director of the ASDL

Georgia Tech researchers will partner with the University of New Haven to evaluate the project demonstrations, which will use a combination of classroom teaching, camp practicums, unique simulation software, and distance learning to train users in all aspects of electromechanical system design, manufacturing, and support.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate on this project,” said ASDL director Dr. Dimitri Mavris. “Our main focus will be on developing the curriculum through the development and use of an education project kit.”

Impetus for MENTOR2 comes from the experience of the U.S. military, where defense readiness is largely dependent on the ability to maintain and adapt high-tech equipment despite limited resources. Personnel require specialized training to ascend the learning curve for new technologies and deploy them under trying conditions.

CREATE seeks to tackle this problem, first by providing a learning environment that improves users’ overall understanding of high technology systems, and then by providing ubiquitous access to educational/design materials and tools that will support the employment of that knowledge in practical situations in austere environments.

While other contractors will be responsible for developing simulation, design, and prototyping tools, CREATE will focus on the development of project kits and MOOCS (massively open online courses) for high school and college students. CREATE will evaluate the effectiveness of its approach during scheduled periodic demonstrations. Finally, Georgia Tech will serve as the overall MENTOR2 contractor for demonstrations and evaluation.

“Georgia Tech’s work under the CREATE project will deliver the sort of feedback that will improve the way we educate those who must repair and adapt electomechanical systems without access to the supply chain,” said Schrage.

“Our emphasis on project-based learning and technical skill development will also attract support from educators, as well as from industry.”

Additional Information


School of Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace, Student and Faculty, Research
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ADSL, aerospace engineering, create, IPLE
  • Created By: Britanny Grace
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jul 16, 2015 - 9:08am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:19pm