The Delhi Technological University’s team has won the third prize in SUAS competition this year.
The Team UAS-DTU’s hard work paid off very well. The team bagged the third prize this year at the 10th Annual Students’ Unmanned Aerial Systems competition and won the cash prize of $5100.
The competition consisted of a journal submission, oral presentation and an actual mission flight which decided the rankings of the team. For the first time since the inception of the team in 2008, the team did an autonomous take-off and navigation with its UAV, named Garuda , and had one of the best imagery systems in the competition. The robust communication system and high definition live imagery feed from the camera on-board the UAV can be used in the urban environment for civil purposes like traffic control, fire control, etc.
At the Delhi Technological University (DTU), the team UAS-DTU, comprising undergraduate students is devoted to developing indigenous technology for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and it functions with the goal of reducing India’s reliance on commercial products and foreign Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
The Team UAS-DTU is made up of students from first year to final year, and is supported by the faculty and the mentors from the industry. The team was constituted in 2008, to take part in the Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) competition organised by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), in Maryland in 2009. Since then, the team has been recruiting new members annually.
The experience of the selection practice and preparation for the competition by the team has been truly eventful. Working on accelerated schedule, keeping in mind the budget and time constraint, the team had to go through a lot of sleepless nights, missed classes and heated debates. Due to lack of flying fields in and around the campus, members of the team had to take regular test flights of their UAV at locations such as Sohna and Karnal which were three hours drive from DTU. This meant that the team had to sacrifice a bit on academics and social life.
Lockheed Martin, world’s largest defense contractor, was impressed by the team’s effort at the 2009 SUAS Competition. And in spite of the fact that DTU has no courses on aeronautics and aerospace, Mr. Martin signed an MoU with the university in 2009, to develop a Next Generation Urban Unmanned Aircraft System. The UAV, designed and built by the team, with funding and mentorship from Mr. Martin along with the continuous support of DTU vice-chancellor Prof. P.B. Sharma, and faculty advisor N.S. Raghava, has been named Aarush X-1.
Working on projects like these provides us tremendous insight into the world of engineering, which a classroom never can. Working as a team helps students realise their interests towards research on computer vision, and image processing. From being a team of passionate students, the team has grown to become one of the most professional and successful teams of undergraduate students in India.
The writer is III-year student, Computer Science,
Delhi Technological University