William Pfouts

Engineering Analysis, Fabrication, and Programming
Crossbow Target

This project stretched our analytical and data collection abilities, modeling the shot of a crossbow bolt hiting a target inelastically, and modelling the target's response.

I came up with the concept, and did much of the initial analysis in both 2d and 3d spaces, as well as analyzing the data and creating graphs of data in MATLAB. We analyzed the mass and velocity of the crossbow bolt (using a homemade infrared based chronograph) and viewed the shot placement with a high speed camera. Our models were able to take into account the location on the target that the bolt struck, as well as friction between the metal components.

Skills that I had to learn to complete this project involved 3 dimensional modeling of kinetic forces, modeling of air resistance, friction, gravity, and other drains on energy, using high speed cameras and electronic compasses to get the exact angles of the target after they were hit, analyzing the data, and modifying the model to better match experimental data. Also included was presenting the data in a useful manner, both in a presentation and in a written report.