Manipal: Ashley Mudaliar and Anish Pai, two final-year aeronautical engineering students from the Manipal Institute of Technology, MAHE won the second National Aerospace Conceptual Design Competition (NACDeC II) conducted by the Aeronautical Society of India and IIT Bombay. The students designed a Solar Powered HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
The competition, which started in November 2018, ended only recently with a final presentation round in Bengaluru where the winners were declared.
The second prize went to MVJ College of Engineering, Bengaluru and the third prize was awarded to IIT Roorkee. The teams were asked to design a LIDAR-equipped Unmanned High Altitude Platform (LU-HAP) vehicle to carry out mapping of coastal habitats, detecting shoreline changes and generating an accurate digital elevation model of the coastal areas for scientific studies.
There were a total of five rounds and 25 teams participated in the competition. The first four rounds involved the submission of reports based on the final design. The final round involved presenting the design in front of a panel of judges, who were eminent personalities from various institutions across India such as IISc Bengaluru, several IITs and DRDO.
Reacting to the achievement, MIT faculty member and mentor Dr Mohammad Zuber said, “MIT students have always been competitive. The teaching-learning process and the environment of experiential learning at MIT help churn a creative enterprise among the students. This competition was useful in converting classroom knowledge into a practical application under the challenging conditions imposed during the competition."
The overjoyed students also expressed their feelings. “We learnt many aspects behind designing a solar-powered UAV which in itself is a challenging task as we had to check the feasibility at every stage of the design to meet the mission requirements. Qualifying for 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 competition to be a great experience. "The competition's problem statement provided an interesting goal to be achieved and we did it by tackling various design problems which helped us improve our skills," he said.
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