Dr. Douglas Isenberg

Dr. Douglas Isenberg

Assistant Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Isenberg completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His interests are in the areas of robot control, space robotics, system theory, and the application of quaternions to problems in dynamics and control.

Some of his current research activities include the investigation of a force-feedback manipulation approach to recreating free-floating space robot dynamics, the development of quaternion attitude dynamics and non-linear control methods, and development of on-orbit space robot manipulation control systems. In addition, Dr. Isenberg has been involved in several projects related to the development of systems for high-altitude gondolas .



Email: douglas.isenberg@erau.edu
Office Location: King Engineering Center, Rm 146
Mailing Address: Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301-3720
Office Phone: (928) 777-4206
Fax: (928) 777-6945




Projects:


High-Altitude Flight Package for the BeagleBone Black


Chad Reinart

Email: reinarc1@my.erau.edu

The objective of this project is to develop a cape for BeagleBone Black development board that consolidates all of the hardware utilized in the Experimental Space Systems Laboratory onto a single printed circuit board and also provides additional features. The cape will consist of a GPS module, a 9-axis IMU, 16 thermistor channels, a pressure sensor, 5 DC motor drivers, 5 quadrature decoders, 16 channels for a sun-sensor array, and 4 low-side MOSFET Drivers. The cape will be utilized to replace the current experimental hardware in the laboratory and will also allow for the development of new experiments that involve multi-sensor fusion (particularly with machine vision), actuation, and feedback control. The same hardware will be utilized for the laboratory's high-altitude gondola flights as well as for other space systems and robotics related projects.

This project is supported by an ERAU Ignite Grant.





A Low-Cost Attitude Determination System using Multiple Sensors for High Altitude Balloon Flights


Ankit Jain

This research investigated a low-cost attitude determination system for high-altitude balloon gondolas. The system is based on Markely's solution to Wahba's problem which requires measurements of two non-parallel vector made with respect to two coordinate frames. A 3-axis accelerometer and a sun-sensor are utilized to take these measurements. The sun-sensor is comprised of a geometric array of flexible thin-film solar panels that are tuned for a near-linear voltage versus flux response. The sunlight direction vector, as measured in the gondola-fixed frame, is found by solving an over-determined system of linear equations as a function of the panel voltages. The system was tested by comparing the angular velocity associated with the calculated attitude to the angular velocity of the gondola as measured by a strapdown rate gyroscope mounted to the gondola. The results were presented at the 2014 Academic High-Altitude Conference.

This project was supported by the ERAU College of Engineering, the Arizona Space Grant, and with donations from PowerFilm Solar Inc.


  • A. Jain, D.R. Isenberg, "A Low Cost Attitude Determination System Using Multiple Sensors for High-Altitude Balloon Flights", Proceedings: 2014 Academic High-Altitude Conference, Grand Forks, ND, 2015.