The flight training tool for ECE graduate students, Aura, selected as finalist of the national invention competition


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Mahdi Al-Husseini, a graduate student at Purdue University, believes his innovation in flight training may help the U.S. military save millions of dollars by reducing the training time for helicopter pilots in the army.

Pursuing graduate studies at Purdue’s Elmore Family School of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Al-Husseini and his Stanford University teammate Joshua Barnett were named finalists for the 2021 college inventors competition.

Their dynamic flight training solution, called Aura, analyzes instrument displays using a pipeline of computer vision and machine learning techniques, then identifies the maneuver in progress and creates performance reports in consequence for an in-flight and post-flight review.

Al-Husseini and Barnett estimate that their system can lead to a 10% reduction in training time for US Army helicopter pilots, which could save the military $ 106 million per year.

“As an active-duty aeromedical evacuation officer for the US military, I pilot an HH-60M Sikorsky Black Hawk to evacuate wounded soldiers to nearby hospitals,” said Al-Husseini, first lieutenant of the United States. US Army, serving as an active officer. Aero-medical evacuation officer on duty with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii.

“My ability to fly not only affects myself and my crew, but also patients who may require life-saving care. Aura was developed to ensure better execution of aviation missions and to reduce the number of aircraft accidents caused by pilot error.

Their startup Aura Training Systems won $ 25,000 at Purdue’s 34th Annual Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition in May.

Now, the duo join five other teams in the Graduate Division of the College inventors competition. The finalists were selected based on the originality of the idea, the process, the level of initiative of the students and their potential value and usefulness to society.

“Pilot training is an intensive process that ensures safe operation of airplanes and helicopters,” Al-Husseini and Barnett wrote in their brief. “However, the pilots of most aircraft, especially non-commercial and non-passenger aircraft, do not have real-time access to meaningfully processed flight data. Aura is the first tool that enables pilots to dynamically track flight data. maneuver data in flight.

The Purdue-Stanford team will present their invention on October 13 in a virtual format to a panel of final round judges made up of members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and officials of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The winning teams will be announced on October 14.

“I am honored to have been selected as a finalist in the 2021 College Inventors Competition and to represent Purdue University,” Al-Husseini said. “Most importantly, I look forward to continuing to design and prototype new inventions that support the best in our country – our military.

Established in 1990, the competition is a program of the NIHF and is sponsored by the USPTO and Arrow Electronics.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s most difficult challenges. Ranked in each of the past four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative Universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and extraordinary discoveries. Engaged in hands-on, online learning in the real world, Purdue provides transformative education for everyone. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-2013 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap to

Source: Contest for collegiate inventors:

Media contact: Brian Huchel, [email protected]

Source: Mahdi Al-Husseini, [email protected]

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