DRDO competition for students - Build us a micro-UAV

As part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations, DRDO has invited engineering students across the country to participate in a competition to build a micro-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Calling it a competition to identify the best "deployable low cost outdoor surveillance system with remote access to sensor imagery", the sweepstakes looks to dig deeper into a science that student communities across the IITs and other technical institutions have taken to with great relish in the last few years, some spawning real products in their post-degree incubation companies. Hopefully DRDO will truly use the results to further its own research in the field.

"This product will be a working model for providing situational awareness by obtaining real-time information in outdoor applications," says the DRDO's invitation for applicants who'd like to participate. It further adds, "This competition envisages development of a suitable lightweight system in which a sensor is airborne for carrying out surveillance. The sensor should remain airborne for a minimum of 2 minutes at a minimum height of 30m and above to do imaging of a proportionate area below. Sensor should be able to detect man-sized objects in above-mentioned conditions. Recognizable real time video information should be transmitted to the ground receiver point suitably located in the observation area. Proposed solution should take up design of configuration and identification of suitable options for sensor, data link, ground observation & control points and other support system(s)."

A committee of DRDO and external (thankfully) experts will evaluate the proposals "from the point of view of approach to the problem, innovation, originality, technical feasibility. The ten best designs solutions will be awarded Rs. 50,000 each, the DRDO has announced. "Suitable prototype based on the stage 1 approach paper, along with detailed design document will have to be submitted for design evaluation and demonstration trials. The best team will be awarded first prize of Rs 3 lakh and second best team will be awarded Rs 2 lakh."

Photo Copyright and of Micro-UAV by Seiko Epson Corporation

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