Sky View '96
Participants Selected

The following Schools have been selected to participate in this year's Sky View Competition. You can click on the school name to learn more about what they are planning to do at this year's program.

Kelly High School
Killeen High School
Langham Creek High School
Perryton High School
White House High School

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Kelly High School
Sponsor: Mrs. Terri Clark

Project Summary :

One of the many problems facing the Texas coast is shoreline erosion. As a result of erosion in the past decade, portions of State Highway 87 have been closed down. This has caused great difficulty to those who need this highway as major route between Port Arthur and Crystal Beach. It is our intention to explore and investigate coastal erosion along Highway 87. In an effort to ease the problem which erosion has caused we are investigating the past histories of other states in similar situations. We are interested in finding an alternate route which will be more economically efficient than the present one.

The Texas shoreline is currently eroding at a rate of sixty percent a year. By studying the impact of this erosion we will be able to determine the best solution for the transportation problem caused by shore line erosion. By modifying the camera platform that was used in our remote sensing project last year in conjunction with the four foot by three foot parafoil that we have. We will be able to take area photographs of the beach. When combining these photographs in a mosaic fashion and comparing them with area pictures from previous years that can be found in the Jefferson County Court House we will be able to visually document the amount of erosion that has occurred on the beach front that was previously Highway 87.

If we are to receive the grant, it will be used toward the purchase of a new camera with a timer in order to ease the process of taking aerial photographs. The seed money will also be put toward purchasing materials to modify or build a new platform which will house the camera.

Application in the remote sensing project will be applied extensively throughout the math and science department. We have found advanced trigonometry useful in discovering the altitude of the apparatus and the length of the photographed site. Our various ranges in the science department will be used to provide background information concerning geology and marine life.

The results of our research will serve many purposes. Owners of beach front property will benefit from additional knowledge of coastal erosion since their homes and businesses are threatened by the presently shrinking shoreline. We have been invited to make a formal presentation covering beach erosion at Lamar University to the Southern Association of Societies of Geology. The studies we conduct while performing our project will allow us to give a thorough presentation to these scientists.

Killeen High School
Sponsor: Mr. Michael Sibberson

Project Summary :

I. Objectives

The students will use math, science, and engineering knowledge to construct a vehicle to take remote sensory photos. The preliminary design for this year is a rocket with a camera mounted on it which will take the pictures when the nose-cone is deployed. The focus of our research using the aerial photographs will be the analysis of the varying characteristics of the Lampasas River Basin.

II. Methods

The students will have to use their knowledge in engineering to construct the rocket with the specified requirements that will perform the best. This year's rocket will use the Estes Astrocam rocket along with the lookdown method to take pictures as it is rising. They will also use their physics and math knowledge, along with a rockets program loaded on the computers, to calculate the proper placement of the rocket for launching in order to obtain the best pictures during flight.

III. Significance

This project poses a real world engineering problem that the students can see and use what they have learned in school to solve and actually be able to see their results and adapt the project according to the results they get. The students will get a taste of what it is like to be an engineer outside of school. Without the grant, it would be virtually impossible for the students of Kileen High School to participate in Sky View '96.

Langham Creek High School
Sponsor: Mr. David Herlinger

Project Summary :

Our objective in this contest is to observe and photo flocks of migratory flocks of geese on the Katy Prairie. We are going to photograph them while they are on the ground to see if our method is a valid technique for a geese census. Our method involves flying a remote control model airplane over the flock to take pictures. It will be carrying a remote controlled self-winding, auto-focus camera controlled by a servo. The plane's location will be determined by spotters that will raise signal flags as the plane passes by. Knowing the density and overall number of geese in an area is important to be able to identify and save outbreaks of avian cholera. If the geese are dense in the area, preparations can be made ahead of time to try to prevent the disease.

Another reason our survey will be useful is because an airport is being proposed for construction on the Katy Prairie, and if people know how many geese rely on the prairie, they might rethink the plan. The flocks also present a danger to the airport. If one were to hit the windshield of the small craft, it could injure of impede the vision of the pilot, causing devastating crashes. The geese, being one of the largest migratory flocks around, are an economically important natural resource from the stores that sell guns and ammunition to the hunters to the gasoline stations providing fuel to arrive at the hunting grounds.

Perryton High School
Sponsor: Mrs. Bobbette Doerrie

Project Summary :

The Team from the Northland proposes to expand on last year's project. We plan to use our experience in weather balloons and infared photography to monitor the health of growing crops.

The economy of our area is primarily agricultural; we intend to use our technology to monitor the health of growing crops under different conditions, since this application could have practical importance. Infrared film will be used to identify differences in portions of an experimental plot of winter wheat, a crop that is planted in the fall and can be monitored in the winter. Once we have refined our techniques, we hope to be able to tell a farmer the exact portions of a field that are stressed, enabling him to take early measures to improve his yield.

The photography team will be taking aerial photographs by means of a camera attached to a helium filled latex ballon. The camera will take pictures automatically every sixty seconds, using a variety of films. The black and white films in the visual and infrared spectra will be developed, enlarged, and printed by team members in our darkroom, a chemistry storeroom specifically adapted for the purpose of SkyView competition. We hope to add color infared, which will be developed elsewhere

The engineering group will experiment with the design and production of the camera platform and its attachment to the balloon. We will construct two prototypes, one consisting of a pulley-hinge configuration, and one a robotic platform with the main function of stabilizing the camera. We will also include beacons and parachute in case of accidental loss of the balloon.

Non-flight related lab activities will include use of a donated gas chromatograph to test field samples of gases from the plants, in order to check our conclusions on plant health. We will take a base-line sample before we begin our applications of water and fertilizer on the plants, then begin to collect samples from various sections of the plot. These records will be compared to the photographs to better understand the plants' conditions.

This year we will still scan our pictures and color the infrared with the computer. Our special goal this year will be to learn which computer program is the best to use in the programming of the robotic platform, learn the programming language, program the on-board computer, and use it in our application. We will also be using the computer again this year in our presentation.

White House High School
Sponsor: Mr. Allen Lewis

Project Summary :

Objectives: To monitor soil erosion from water over a period of time.

Methods: The team will inflate a balloon with helium and have a camera suspended from the balloon to take pictures. The pictures will be taken over a perod of three months. The team will also use different color filters.

Purpose: The purpose of the project will be to monitor the effects of rainfall on the erosion of the soil. Also, to monitor the different types of vegetation and how it is affected by the water runoff and seasonal changes.


Sunday, 29-Aug-1999 21:41:31 CDT