West Point Class of 2011 Cadet James Raub sends the UAV on its way as the team conducts a test on campus. Photo Credit: U.S. Military Academy photo

Soldiers sometimes operate in remote locations where maps are either outdated, or lack adequate resolution. Mission success could weigh heavily on whether a unit relies on low-quality resources or waits indefinitely for higher-quality imagery.

A team of West Point cadets worked on this problem and developed a senior capstone design project which garnered three awards in recent weeks. Class of 2011 Cadets Mike Weigand, Anthony Rodriguez, John Rollinson and James Raub built STITCH, or “Supplying Tactical Imagery to Command Headquarters,” a low-cost, lightweight, fully autonomous unmanned aerial system.

The UAV can collect and stitch together terrain photos to create a current, high-resolution geo-rectified photo-mosaic map over a range of several miles.

The team, with advisors Col. Grant Jacoby and Chris Okasaki, earned second place at the 11th annual Rochester Institute of Technology Student Design Contest May 7, 2011. Judging at this event was based on presentation, project demonstration, teamwork, quality of technical content and innovation.

“The significance of STITCH is that it addresses a longtime need of ground troops in a simple, inexpensive and readily implementable fashion,” Jacoby, director of the computer science program, said. “What I’m most proud of, though, is their motivated attitude. Right now they feel that they can conquer any technical challenge, so odds are they will probably continue to contribute in this capacity to the Army.”

Source: Mike Strasser for West Point Public Affairs.

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