City students’ drone creates buzz at US competition

Students from Aerosols team of Mumbai’s Anjuman-I-Islam’s M H Saboo Siddik College of Engineering won the second prize in the advance class and third prize in the micro class of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition. Seen in the picture, Fauzia Siddique, one among the team members displaying the plane in Mumbai.
 Fauzia Siddiqui, who is part of the Team Aerosols of the Anjuman-I-Islam’s M.H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering, is flying high these days as her team bagged the runner-up position in the ‘Advance’ category at the SAE Design East competition held at Lakeland, Florida in the United States. They also bagged the third prize in the ‘Micro’ category.
The event was organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International in cooperation with Lockheed Martin, USA and Dassault Systems, France. A total of 75 teams from all over the world participate in this annual event, where participants must design and build remote-controlled aircraft to varying requirements across three different vehicle classes (micro, regular and advance) while documenting their results in a design report and presentation.
Fauzia, a second year student in the mechanical department, says, “It feels amazing as it makes you different from rest of the girls. I like to face challenges as people say girls can’t cope up with an extra-curricular activities like this project, so it was a challenge. This allowed me to get great experience and made me capable of broader thinking.”
Shushruta Shetty, a third year student from the electronics and telecommunication department who was involved in developing the avionics of the plane, regrets that the two girls could not go with the rest of the team and said, “We were not able to personally go to the USA because we were less experienced and junior members of the team, but we aim to participate next year”.
Saqlain Siddiqui, mentor Team Aerosouls, said, “It is the first time in the history of the competition that any team from India has attained such an award in advance class design. The team’s stand-alone Data Acquisition System (DAS), code-named TADA (Team Aerosouls Drop Algorithm) impressed the judging panel comprising of engineers from Lockheed Martin and they strongly recommended that more research should be conducted on this system and an international paper should be published in the meantime for the same.”
The Advance class is the most challenging of all, where the students have to design an unmanned aerial vehicle, which should weigh not more than four kg and have a 7cc, two-stroke single piston engine with maximum thrust of 4.5 kg, and the UAV should be able to lift as much deadweight or payload and drop 1.5 kg of expellable payload to a specific location from an altitude of minimum 150 feet.
“Team Aerosoul’s aircraft met the specifications required and the Aircraft (UAV) weighed 3.8 kg empty (without any payload) and carried 24 pounds of static or payload and was capable of dropping three pounds of expellable payload to desired GPS location with an accuracy of 95 per cent. The plane had a drop system called TADA which was the most appreciated part of the Advance category plane,” Saqlain added.
He further said “There is a need to develop and deploy UAV technology throughout our country. There are lots of places where our design can be utilised and can be fruitful, since India just has very few UAVs available today as compared to other developed and under-developed countries.”