The aim of World Drone Challenge is to create an environment of simultaneous cooperation and competition that invites leading organisations and global experts to push the boundaries of drone technology beyond its current limits. We are seeking to identify new drone capabilities by exploring the potential applications made possible by increasing weight carrying capacity (Payload) and endurance. The immediate foreseeable applications include humanitarian aid, search & rescue, and emergency relief supplies to rural and regional communities in a post natural disaster environment.
The unmanned drone that the Daksha team had built has reportedly created several records including flying non-stop for 6 hours and 7 minutes.
The Team Dhaksha of Centre for Aerospace Research, MIT Campus, Anna University, has performed various missions for surveillance using their indigenously designed and developed UAVs for disaster management in the state during the Chennai floods in 2015, Moulivakkam building collapse, Chennai Oil Spill, Kurangani hills forest fire, and crowd management activities in Marina Beach during New Year, Makarajyothi in Sabarimala to name a few.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, popularly known as UAVs or Drones. The utilization of UAVs for defence by various countries is predominant. The Centre for Aerospace Research, MIT Campus, Anna University is spearheading the developmental activities of unmanned Aerial vehicles in the country focusing on societal applications for immediate and future needs of the nation.
>As an attempt of recognition for continuous research and development activity in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems, the group of researchers and engineers from Centre for Aerospace Research made an initiative to create a world record for long endurance autonomous hovering flight of the indigenously developed Multirotor UAV on 11 July 2018, in the sports complex of College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University. The World record initiative was clubbed along with the Society of Automotive Engineers India Southern Section (SAEISS) event “Aero Design Challenge 2018” conducted jointly with Anna University on the same day.
>The SAEISS was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, The honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu, Thiru. Banwarilal Purohit and Guest of Honour Thiru. R. Rajagopal I.A.S., Additional Chief Secretary to the Governor of Tamil Nadu. The welcome address was given by Prof. Dr. M. K Surappa, Vice Chancellor, Anna University. Dr. S. Thamarai Selvi, Director, Centre for Technology Development and Transfer, Anna University, Dr. K. Senthil Kumar, Director, Centre for Aerospace Research, MIT Campus, Anna University, Dr. S. Senthilkumar, Champion – ADC and Thiru. Shanmugam, Vice-Chairman, SAEISS were also present in the inauguration.
>The world record was for the duration record under Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which is the world governing body for air sports and Records. The event was monitored by Mr.Yogendra Jagirdar, member Aero Club of India, National Airsport Control representative of FAI. The existing unofficial record was 4 hrs 40 minutes and team Dhaksha has created a new world record of 6 hrs 7 mins and 45 seconds. The record will be claimed as a new world record in this category. Further the record would be sent for the review of Guinness world records.
>The governor witnessed the world record initiative and congratulated Dr. Thamarai Selvi and Dr.K.Senthil Kumar for their endeavours in their research and development activities. He also wished the pilot Dr.A.Mohamed Rasheed and Co-pilot Mr.S.Arul for the success of the world record. He also congratulated the Jury Mr. Mr.Yogendra Jagirdar and Aero Club of India for their support in the initiative.
The indigenously developed Multirotor UAV is powered by a Gasoline based 2 stroke internal combustion engine which acts as an on board generator for the UAV. It is also one of the factors that support the UAV for a long duration flight. The UAV has a unique design of airframe and fuel tank which supports the aerodynamics and stability of the UAV during flight. The avionics and control systems are programmed to help in the safe autonomous flight and communication with the ground station. The UAV also has features for emergency landing, vibration control so as to conserve energy for longer flight missions.
The UAV was developed with a vision of utilization in long endurance and long range missions like Surveillance and Air Ambulance. The UAV has a capability of lifting 5Kg payload with a long endurance. This capability can help in the missions like transportation of medicines, blood samples to remote areas in the initial phases.
The team Dhaksha also cleared two rounds of the UAV Challenge Medical Express 2018, which is a competition for transporting blood samples from the control station to a remote area and back. The team was selected as one of the 21 teams from 19 countries. The team will be heading to Australia for the third round of the challenge.