A lot of deep-rooted research is needed in educational institutions with regard to aero design in the country, said G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, DRDO Ministry of Defence, New Delhi.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Aero Design Challenge 2017’ organised by SAE India Southern Section and the Centre for Aerospace Research (CASR), MIT Campus, Anna University.

“The DRDO is working on the development of an aircraft ‘Rustom’ for defence and security purposes, which will be on par with international aircraft in its category. For such developments and innovations, basic research coupled with design capabilities, which will pave the way towards innovative manufacturing technologies, is needed,” Mr. Satheesh said.

The three-day design challenge will see students from 93 institutions across the country participating to conceive, design and develop a prototype of a fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

As a part of the competition, the students will be expected to present the workings of their UAV model theoretically to a panel of judges and will also have to exhibit their model in action on the college grounds.

Rising demand

“UAVs have become extremely important and useful in recent times as they have been in demand during both military and civilian emergencies. In Chennai, UAVs conceived by CASR were used to help reach areas that were completely inundated during the December 2015 floods,” said K. Senthil Kumar, Director, CASR, MIT Campus.

In 2016, CASR received a grant of ₹20 crore from the State for the design and development of UAVs for societal applications.

“Participating in a design challenge like this will help students get involved in all the aspects of design and development, as well as hone their skills towards building up prototypes. As this is done in a very short time frame, this will prepare them for the industry that they will be a part of in the future,” said S. Sriraman, chairman of SAEISS and senior vice-president (R & D) TAFE, Chennai. The design challenge will culminate on Saturday with a valedictory event, which includes an air show where students will display their models.

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