|(Above) Dawon, the custom-made UAV built by MSRIT students. (Below) The team with US naval escort James Kerry (4th from left) during the UAV contest held at the Patuxent River Naval Airbase, Maryland in US.|
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Dawon, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) named after mythological tiger of goddess Durga, designed by city-based M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) students, has won rave reviews at an international event held in the United States recently. The seven-member team from MSRIT, Edhitha, competed with 50 universities from 20 countries during the event jointly organised by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the US Navy at the Patuxent River Naval Airbase, Maryland in US.
In an interaction with Express on Monday, M Akash, a 7th semester Mechanical Engineering student of the college said that the competition was backed by aerospace giants. "It was an eye-opener for the Bangalore team as representatives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were supporting the event. We secured 10th place in journal presentation, seventh in oral flight readiness review and 25th position in executing the mission. The jury appreciated the UAV's unique design and in-house fabrication," Akash said.
The competition demanded students to develop a UAV capable of autonomous GPS navigation, real time imagery system relaying information of strategic importance in intelligence and reconnaissance mission. In addition to the above requirement the UAV must also be equipped with a package drop mechanism for aerial drop task and Infrared imagery system for night vision. The Edhitha team was led by Vishnu B N.
"The UAV Dawon flew for 30 minutes and even undertook digital image processing mission. It also dropped an egg-shaped canister on an assigned target. The entire airframe, fabrication and electronics of the UAV costed us Rs 6 lakh," Akash said.
Dawon with a wingspan of 3 meter, 2.5 meter length, 90-minute endurance and one liter fuel-carrying capacity is currently kept at the college lab. The students are also exploring the opportunities whether the UAV can be put to military or civil use. "We are looking at the regulations controlling the UAVs in India. Having exhibited the capabilities of the UAV, we are keen to see it put to good use," Akash said.
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