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NCKU Professor Named AIAA Fellow:The First Professor in the Aeronautic Field in Taiwan Receives Top Honor

Dr. Fei-Bin Hsiao, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at NCKU, has been elected as a 2006 fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The AIAA appointed Hsiao as a fellow for making notable contributions to Fluid Mechanics, Applied Aerodynamics, Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System, Nanotechnology Applications, Space and Microsatellite System Design, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Design and Applications. AIAA is the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. The AIAA honor is given to people who have completed important engineering or scientific work, or who have contributed greatly to the arts, science, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics. This distinction is given to no more than one in every 150 AIAA members annually.


Professor Hsiao is the first AIAA Fellow whose research base is in Taiwan, but with respect to nationality, he is the second Taiwanese to be named. Apart from research, his academic achievements also lie in promoting international academic cooperation for aeronautic-and astronautic-related research in Taiwan. The AIAA fellowship shows the international recognition of his dedication, which in turn helps raise the international reputation of NCKU.


Soon after Professor Hsiao received his PhD from the University of Southern California in 1985, he was recruited to NCKU and was named Distinguished Professor by the university in 2004. For more than 20 years at NCKU he has devoted himself to both teaching and researching. In the aspect of research, he has applied theories of Fluid Mechanics, Aerodynamics and Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System to the application and design of unmanned aerial vehicles, nanotechnology and microsatellite systems. He has won many honors from domestic academic institutions, such as the Distinguished Research Award and Outstanding Research Award from the National Science Council (NSC) many times, along with those from foreign institutions, such as Best Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems in 1990.


Research on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle


An unmanned airplane which were researched and designed by Professor Hsiao’s team has successfully made the maiden flight covering the distance of nearly 24 kilometers this summer. The professor plans that the flight distance will be increased to 60 kilometers next year.


This aerial vehicle is one of the four remote-controlled planes, constructed collaboratively by NCKU, the Department of Engineering at Yuan Ze University and RMRL Laboratory in Project SWAN (Surveillance, Watch, Autonomous and Navigation), has the functions of surveillance and monitoring with feature of automatic navigation and autonomous operating system. All the hardware and software of the SWANs are designed and manufactured in Taiwan.


SWAN is different from other remote-controlled planes, explained Professor Hsiao F. B. of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at NCKU, because it is not controlled by people but by the satellite messages processed through the computer onboard. Moreover, the distance it can cover is much farther than other, similar aircraft. It weighs 10 kilograms, carries up to 5 kilograms, and has 2.7 meters wingspan, which is a bit bigger than normal, with a maximum altitude of 4000 meters and flight distance 80 kilometers. Each aircraft costs 150 thousand NT dollars.


Professor Hsiao’s success today has been built up through enormous efforts. His attempt to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle was once considered as an unworthy pursuit. However, he never gave up, and his determination in making his efforts lead to success means that his name is forever linked with the field as a pioneer and an inspiration. By his achievements Professor Hsiao has moved the aeronautic and astronautic technology in Taiwan a step forward.



(The article is extracted from The China Times, December 6, 2005, and the

Photo is from the website of Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at NCKU)


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