Education

Flying high

The team with their winning model.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

We are a group of aviation enthusiasts who admire the Wright brothers and their journey in the aviation industry. Taking inspiration from their name, we founded WRise in 2019. The name stands for ‘We Rise’.

We have always been inspired by the idea of participating in a humanitarian mission and getting a chance to solve a real-world problem. Thus, when we came across the IMechE UAS Challenge on social media, we quickly enrolled for the competition. The mission was to design, build and demonstrate a small automatic UAV to fly a mission modelled on the real-life humanitarian aid scenario in which a natural disaster has occurred.

To begin with, a team structure was adopted. The mentor was chosen from the university, according to the field of interest and team lead and the co-lead appointed. Team was divided into four departments — Aerodynamics, Structures, Electronics, and FC & IP — so that the work could distributed evenly and deadlines could be met. The leaders coordinated with every department to ensure that the work was carried out proficiently and the tasks were completed on time.

A major part of the team’s overall score was the X-Plane model. A working model of the inside of the X-plane simulator had to be created (which could carry out payload delivery and would also be able to demonstrate our UAV’s flight performance and abilities). One advantage was that, when this mission was announced as part of the virtual competition, was that a fully textured CAD model of our UAV was ready and was used to shape the X-plane model.

Due to the pandemic, the competition was cancelled in 2020, and everything went virtual. The team too went through its share of challenges. The members were unable to gather at one place and this delayed and compromised the manufacturing process. Also, the planning, undertakings, and working pattern of the team had to be adjusted. Another issue was than an X-plane model task was introduced. As we did not have prior knowledge about this, it was challenging.

However, what took us through was our team spirit and enthusiasm to work and learn. Our collaborative environment helped us overcome the difficulties of virtual workplace. Online meetings and discussions were held to critically analyse the problem statement and innovative solutions were thrown up. Since we wanted to achieve perfection, analysis was key to our meetings. Not only did working online teach us all new skills but we also worked to help each other as we gave our best shot for the competition.

The writer is the manager of Team Wrise and a student of the department of Aerospace Engineering, UPES School of Engineering


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 7:10:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/how-students-from-upes-won-the-uas-challenge-2021-organised-by-the-institution-of-mechanical-engineers-the-uk/article36605442.ece

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