AREND Global TeamAREND stands for Aircraft for Rhino and ENvironmental Defense. “Arend” is also Afrikaans for “eagle”. Our international student team, Team AREND, is building an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to support wildlife conservation. The AREND UAS is unique in several aspects:
- UAS designed following payload system requirements and mission objectives
- Payload modularity for defined operations and future technologies
- Implementation of input from anti-poaching rangers and wildlife scientists
- International collaboration with diverse student team
The student team is lead by Dr. Jean Koster at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and includes teams from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; the University of Pretoria, South Africa; and the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Each university adds specialty skills to the team. The University of Pretoria in South Africa, specifically their CSIR Aeronautical Group and the Centre for Wildlife Management have access to South African discussions and firsthand information on wildlife poaching termed the “African Crisis”. Team AREND is composed of aerospace, mechanical, electrical, and software engineers, skilled in the following technical areas: structures, composite materials, fabrication, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, controls, (power) electronics, sensors and instrumentation, communications, software, etc. Primary local academic advisers at each of the four universities are faculty members. Also collaborating with and supporting or sponsoring this student team are technology industries and organizations such Helios Torque Fusion, Inc.; National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST); First RF Corporation of Boulder, Colorado; SkySentry LLC of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Four Winds Interactive, LLC. of Denver, Colorado; Lockheed Martin Corporation of Denver, Colorado; Cargolux of Luxembourge; members of the Arvada Modelers club and many technology experts from the region. The team also benefits from active participation from wildlife management groups and concerned wildlife organizations such as Wildife Protection Solutions of Denver, Colorado; the Pachyderm group at the Denver Zoo; and the Centre for Wildlife Management at the University of Pretoria. Finally, Team AREND is competing in the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to design, build and fly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in support of anti-poaching operations in South Africa.