Giving wings to innovation,a team of under-graduate students at Delhi Technological University (DTU) has designed and built a light Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that can be used for urban surveillance purposes. The project,conceived in August 2009,has been funded by defence industries giant Lockheed Martin.
The aircraft,Arush X1,has a high-definition camera which can transmit images in real-time to a ground-based station,and is being flight tested by the students.
The UAVs currently available in India for defence purposes are large ones which cannot be transported easily. Some IITs are working on models which are small but can only fly for about 15 minutes. The model we have built is roughly 37 kg and can fly for up to 8 hours. It has a wide range of applications and is suitable for security surveillance,disaster management and pipeline management in both urban and difficult terrains, said Gaurav Gupta,a final-year student of Mechanical Engineering at the university,heading the 11-member team.
The team comprises first- and final-year students from different branches of engineering at the University.
The aircraft is made of a composite of carbon and glass fibres and has been assembled using parts made in India,most of them sourced from Delhi. The engine and the software have been sourced from outside Delhi,Gaurav said. The vehicle has now completed six flight tests,attaining heights of up to 700 feet. The model can work on auto-pilot mode and transmit signals to ground stations in a 30-km range. It can take off and land in a runway length of 10 feet.
After every test,we have made improvements and the final model looks very different from what we started out with. Now the team is looking to build Arush X2,which will be lighter and will incorporate the improvements made so far,along with a higher-resolution camera and a shorter runway requirement, Gaurav said.
The UAV was exhibited at the DRDO expo,which concluded in Bangalore in February this year,and is now set to be exhibited in Student Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS),an international competition for UAVs,to be held in Maryland,USA,in June 2012.
The project was launched after a UAV assembled by the team won Directors Best Effort award at SUAS 2009 and impressed representatives from Lockheed Martin who visited DTU to fund and initiate the present project,said
N S Raghava,Faculty Advisor.
The aircraft has been completely designed by students. After the preliminary design was arrived at,there were periodic reviews by faculty. The vehicle can can be used for urban surveillance needs, Raghava said.
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