Welcome to the official STWing-SEAS Blimp Project site!
We are an undergraduate student group at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to designing, building, and maintaining computer-operated blimps for research and education.
The Project is constantly changing! Be sure to check back often for updates and flight schedules.
- 3/20/2002 - The Blimp is going Electric!
Chicago Updates will be coming soon, but for now we're just awaiting some final
calculations and shipments from suppliers. Although the electric blimp will not
have the power and outdoor flight capacity of our current blimp, we will
have an interesting platform from which to practice control techniques. Jong-Woo's
research is now starting to be fed into the blimp, and rudimentary control layers are
Cost of building an electric gondola: $1000
Number of hours required soldering 120 D cell batteries: plenty
Number of fans required to cool the batteries so they dont burn while charging: 2
Being able to parallel-park a blimp between trees on Walnut Street: priceless
Yes guys, Electric blimp will be here soon, with even better software and sensors to control it. Are you ready?
- 1/20/2002 - The first training flight went
off successfully in Franklin Field today. Despite some hardware glitches,
the team was able to launch and fly the blimp without adverse effects from
the cold weather. Plenty of hardware and logistics work remains to be
done, but progress is encouraging.
- 1/12/2002 - The Blimp Team is gearing up for
serious action! The Blimp will make an appearance at the Visual Studio
.NET launch in Chicago on February 13—14. To get things rolling,
we've reorganized into four subteams: software, flight hardware,
control hardware, and logistics/marketing. Team chairs are: Vito Sabella,
software, Wendelin Michel, flight hardware, Reid Frasier, control
hardware, Chris Hoess, logistics/marketing. If you weren't at the meeting,
please contact your team head immediately—there's a lot to
be done, and fast!
- 11/14/2001 - The Blimp's gondola is
repaired. We have new, extremely LONG, high gain wireless ethernet
antennae that are ready to be mounted onto our baby for great range! We're
running an engine test marathon tomorrow night to test the new engine
mounts! The new .NET control layer is beginning to be operational and our
new fins are almost complete. Be ready for inflation test in the bitter
cold of November—hopefully with little little wind!
- 9/01/2001 - The Blimp Project would like to
thank Microsoft Corporation, the National Science Foundation, and the
University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for
their support of the blimp project for the 2001 SUNFEST Program. Thanks to
them our project was able to operate through the summer and generate
useful research data for airship modeling and control algorithms! We would
also like to thank Ms. Sue Smith of College Housing and Ms. Sandy Rathman
for covering our insurance situation for the year! Without them we would
still be grounded!
- 7/30/2001 - The blimp team's first trip to
Carnegie Mellon was a definite success! All participants got experience in
piloting the blimp, and much work was accomplished in debugging and
overhauling electronics and software. Another trip is slated for August
13—18; email Vito for
- 5/21/2001 - Despite heavy rain and wind, the
blimp team braved the elements on the morning of Commencement to prepare
the blimp for flight. Though slightly soggy, the blimp floated happily
around the graduates as they marched to Franklin Field. Congratulations to
the entire team! This flight is the realization of a dream and marks the
attainment of our first major goal. Special thanks to Paul Vernaza, Josh Doloff, Steve Richter, Chris Hoess, Pablo
Schklowsky, Vito Sabella, Sean Cusack, Will Lovas, Constantin Friedman,
Frank Di Maria, Ben Tang and Mike Bruni for preparing the blimp and
standing in the pouring rain!!
- More news