Ashley and Anish of MIT bag first prize for UAV design

Manipal: Ashley Mudaliar and Anish Pai, final year aeronautics engineering students of Manipal Institute of Technology, MAHE emerged winners of the Second National Aerospace Conceptual design Competition (NACDeC II) conducted by Aeronautical Society of Indiaand IIT Bombay. The students designed a Solar Powered HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
The winners were declared at the final presentation in Bengaluru recently. The second prize went to MVJ college of Engineering, Bangalore and the third was awarded to IIT Roorkee. The teams were to designa LIDAR-equipped Unmanned High Altitude Platform (LU-HAP) to carry out mapping of coastal habitats, detecting shoreline changes and generating an accurate digital elevation model of coastal areas for scientific studies.
The competition which started in November 2018, ended recently. There was a total of five rounds and 25 participating teams. The first four rounds were in the form of a report submission of the proposed design. The final round involved presenting our design in front of a panel of judges. The judges included eminent personalities from various institutions across India- IISc Bangalore, IITs and DRDO.
Reacting to the achievement Dr Mohammad Zuber, the faculty mentor said, “MIT students have always been competitive. The teaching-learning process and the environment of experiential learning at MIT helps churn the creative enterprise among the students. This competition was useful in converting the classroom knowledge into a practical application under the challenging conditions imposed during the competition”.
The overjoyed students too expressed their feelings. “We got to learn many aspects behind designing a solar powered UAV which itself is a challenging task as we had to check the feasibility at every stage of the design to meet the mission requirements. Qualifying to the final stage was a challenge and we managed to finish first despite the competitors being from premier institutes,” said Anish Pai.
Ashley Mudaliar found the challenge to be a great experience. “The Problem statement of the competition provided an interesting goal to be achieved, by tackling various design problems and provided a great experience which helped us improve our skills and knowledge, ” he said.