A Space-Based Solution to Improve Roadway Safety and Efficiency in Virginia: Real-Time Winter Weather Data for Navigation;The Ethics of Precision Autonomous Drones in Warfare

Castillo-vieira, Xavier, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Goyne, Chris, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Rogers, Hannah, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The combined work on both STS Research Paper, The Ethics of Precision Autonomous Drones in Warfare, and my Capstone Technical Paper, Space-Based Solutions to Virginia’s Roadway Problems Real-Time Weather and Traffic Data Integration, has proven a challenging and enlightening endeavor. The topics themselves are very dissimilar, the STS research explores an ethical debate on autonomy in warfare, while the technical portion is an in-depth design and analysis of a satellite constellation system to integrate weather information into traffic data. Each of the two projects had its own advantages and together, they formed a rigorous coursework that explored both aspects of engineering.
The STS Research Project consisted of no engineering technical analysis. Rather, it explored the ethical and social implications of engineering. This aspect of engineering is often overlooked in modern society, where newer, more efficient technology and development are valued most. Through this research, I learned to consider the risks associated with engineering and how to balance that analysis with actual engineering development and innovation. Most people are invested in the advancement of technology and our society and nation, but this must always be balanced by a diligent analysis of associated risks and consequences.
On the other hand, the Capstone Technical Project was strictly hand on engineering design and analysis. The most important portion of engineering is the technical development and analysis of ideas. This portion of my thesis was fundamental in my development as an engineer. It consisted of a deep dive of a problem to address, analysis of a variety of associated factors, and the development of a solution from the idea phase to a preliminary design review. This portion of the thesis allowed the team to learn all that goes into a large project, from budgeting, to
licensing, to prototyping, and I personally gained a lot of context and appreciation for the magnitude of planning and coordination that goes into large projects.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
drone ethics, roadway safety, risk society, Ulrich Beck, autonomy

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Technical Advisor: Chris Goyne
STS Advisor: Hannah Rogers
Technical Team Members: Arianna Asquini, Isaac Burkhalter, Mici Cummings, Andrew Curtin, Andrianna Daniels, Ian Davis, Luke Dennis, Cooper Dzema, Kyle Ebanks, Shane Eilers, Graham Fitzgerald, Kevin Fletcher, Rikia Freeman, Raeann Giannattasio, Brandon Ghany, Jalen Granville, Alex Griffin, Allen Lang, Dorothea LeBeau, Dominic Pinnisi, Colin Purcell, Bailey Roe, Khamal-Karim Saunders, Anisha Sharma, Jimmy Smith, Pranav Sridhar, Elias Topp, Nana-Ayana Tyree, Anish Vegesna, Ethan Vicario, Avery Walker, Ian Wnorowski, Victor Yang

Issued Date: