The Central Texas Section Joint SMC-AES Chapter met on Monday, September 19, 2016 at Southwest Research Institute for a technical presentation on “Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) Systems” by Michael L. Fortenberry, Principal Engineering in the Department of Space Engineering. The presentation covered several LTA programs and technologies including the HiSentinel stratospheric airship, the Autonomous Tactical Aerial Surveillance and Communications platform, the Tactical Aerobotic Launch System, and Adaptable Lighter-Than-Air vehicle technology. Following the technical presentation, the participants toured Southwest Research Institute’s LTA Systems Laboratory. The meeting was attended by 24 people, including 8 IEEE members and 16 guests including a few by webcast.
The IEEE Central Texas Section Joint SMC-AES Chapter met on Friday, September 30, 2016 in the Tom Slick Memorial Library at Southwest Research Institute to hear a presentation on “Aerodynamics to Aeronautics” by Ron Mathis. Man's attempts at achieving flight have taken various forms and shapes. Oftentimes the basis for their designs rested on a sound and rational basis, other times their actions appear unexplainable. The persistence and achievement of these early inventive and creative individuals sometimes advanced aviation while other times set it back. These individuals, their concepts, failures, and successes were presented and discussed in an overview spanning the beginnings of aerodynamics to the start of aeronautics in the twentieth century. The presentation covered excerpts from early books from the Institute’s Rare Book Collection that were instrumental in enabling the Wright brothers to achieve powered flight in 1903. The meeting was attended by 30 participants.