American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at San Jose State University

Welcome to San Jose State University's American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) student branch's website. Here you will find valuable information regarding the club and its related activities such as events and project funding.

With more than 35,000 members, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the world's largest professional society, principal voice, and information resource devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. The purpose of our student branch is to support the success of San Jose State University's aerospace engineering students. AIAA will provide its members with access to events, workshops, club room resources, research projects, socials, and other related activities that will connect students with professionals and help prepare them for a career in the aerospace industry.

2014-2015 Projects

F-104 Starfighter - Taken from NASA Dryden Image Gallery (

Project Name: Cubecab, air-launched rocket to LEO

Contact Info: Zack Seider,

Members: Vivianna Tacussis, Shea Nyquist, Andrew Demarest, Justin DeCastro, Danny Piombo and Reiner Satrio

Description: Our project involves helping a company called Cubecab develop an air-launched rocket to LEO from under the wing of an F-104 Starfighter.  This system will be designed to launch from 50,000 feet altitude and Mach 1.8.  Currently we are trying to complete a design and scaled down model/prototype in semester one, and to build and static test a rocket engine in semester two.

Boeing VTOL X-Plane Concept - Taken from DARPA (

Project Name: VTOL UAV, Team Nebula, UAV Research Foundation at SJSU

Contact Info: Kyle Roh,

Members: Huy Vu, Zotique Morin, Michael Evans, Rick Reeser, Aaron Jung

Description: We are designing and building Vertical TakeOff and Landing UAV to deliver a 1kg package to a predetermined destination, and return to its point of origin.  

Design, Build, Fly Logo - Taken from AIAA DBF (

Project Name: Design, Build, Fly

Contact Info: Joseph Ruth,

Members: Christo Thottahil Joseph Ruth, Tyler Sanders, Matthew de Waal, Duong Tang, Paul Loya, Ivan Lu, Robin Dhillon, John Aguilar

DescriptionOur team is competing in the annual AIAA Design Build Fly (DBF) competition. The contest will provide a real-world aircraft design experience. We will design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft which can best meet the specified mission profiles.

Competitor UAV

Project Name: Project Petrichor

Contact Info: Brian Ha,

Members: Brian Ha, Aakash Patel, Aldrich D'Silva, Nick Meglich, Julia Bowen, Emmet Fox, + 24 more

Description: Project Petrichor is a multi-disciplinary project being carried out at San Jose State University. The goals of the project are to develop an aircraft with an autopilot system for the purpose of atmospheric research and weather modification.

Project Petrichor involves three organizations at SJSU, working in collaboration on separate projects to reach one end goal. Applied Engineering is designing an autopilot system, the brains behind the Petrichor. Spartan R&D is designing and constructing the physical aircraft itself, from the ground up. The Institute for Atmospheric Research provides the purpose to Project Petrichor, by designing a suite of sensors for atmospheric research, along with an innovative on-board cloud seeding system. Working cohesively together, these three smaller projects combine to form Project Petrichor.

The team currently consists of a diverse set of students, from the Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Meteorology, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering departments. These students come from all levels of experience within SJSU's student body.

   Rendering of TechEdSat-3p post-jettison from the ISS

Project Name: SCORPION

Contact Info: Rick Morrison,

Members: Rick Morrison, Abhra Dasghupta, Emily Leong, Omar Ainuddin, Arturo Villasenor, Arthur Lee, Aquiles Gomez, Toan Pham

Description: The purpose of this project is to test solar cells, radio modem, and which system for the TechEdSat series. The balloon will be detached from the CubeSat at 30,000 feet. The CubeSat will modulate the servo and receive commands via the data modem from a ground station, while the solar well supplement the battery. 

UltemSat 9085

Project Name: UltemSat 9085

Contact Info: Sean Christensen,

Members: Sean Christensen, Venkatraman Mushyam, Kris Nemirsky, Thomas Fenn, Don Nguyen, Daniel Aguilar, Louis Carleton, Ben Platner, Doug Lukanc

Description: The UltemSat 9085 senior project group is working to design, test, analyze and build a 3U CubeSat to be launched into LEO off the ISS NanoRacks launcher. The mission of the CubeSat is to investigate two experimental applications for 3-D printed Ultem 9085. Currently, this unique material is one of the very few 3-D printable materials allowed for use inside the ISS due to its flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) characteristics in addition to its desirable structural properties as well. 3-D printing has become an emerging technology due to its inherent ability to create geometries that were previously impossible with standard manufacturing processes. However, the technology has not been utilized to its full potential. The UltemSat 9085 will be serve as a demonstration for conducting the following experiments:

Project Name: Purple Parrots

Contact Info: Khiry Espino,

Members: Khiry Espino, Stephen Rose, Michael Santiago, Kim Lau, Jeffery Meadows, Julio Cruz, Supreet Sandhu

Description:  Design an aircraft that can carry a 5lb payload for a distance of 800m, drop the payload and return to the starting point. The aircraft will take off in 65 feet and land within 100 feet. The top speed is 100mph.