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A senior student design team in Auburn’s Department of Mechanical Engineering won the 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, University Design Challenge. The team developed a device to make it easier for special tactics battlefield airmen to deploy from a helicopter, in locations where the helicopter cannot touch down, using a technique known as fast-roping.

The AFRL narrowed the field to nine finalists from 17 universities to solve this year’s difficult problem. The mission was to design and develop a descending system that allows military personnel with heavy equipment loads to safely, rapidly and effectively exit a helicopter via a thick, braided rope. To learn more, visit the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering website.