DRDO director- general unveils Delhi Technological University’s Aarush X1

NEW DELHI: Delhi Technological University -unmanned aircraft System (DTU-UAS) AarushX1, was unveiled by Padma Shri Dr V K Saraswat, scientific advisor to ministry of defence and director general, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the India Habitat Centre on Friday. The students of DTU have designed and developed this next generation UAV for urban applications with the mentoring support from Lockheed Martin, a US avionic company.

The UAV is designed and developed by a 11-member student team from DTU headed by Jayant Malani, a fourth year BTech student of electronics and communication. The project Aarush X1 got a boost after the DTU entered into a MoU with Lockheed Martin in November 2009 for the design and development of the next generation UAV for urban applications. Initially Rochak Chadha and Gaurav Gupta (both graduated now) have led the design and development team of DTU UAS.

The event was presided over by R P Agrawal, former secretary, ministry of HRD and chairman of the Board of Management of DTU. Professor D N Reddy, chairman, RAC, DRDO and Sanjay Rai, vice president, Samsung Electronics India Ltd. were the guest of honour. John Sheehan, senior system manager, Lockheed Martin Inc, USA and Dr Peter Drewes, business innovation manager of Lockheed Martin USA, Roger Rose, chief executive officer, Lockheed Martin India Pvt. Ltd also attended the function.

The DTU UAV is capable of carrying a payload of 8-10 kg and is able to attain a flying speed up to 120 kmph. It has great potential and number of civilian applications. The applications of the vehicle are civil law enforcement, geomatics, metrological operations, pipeline surveillance, mining surveillance, disaster management, coast and border patrol and news and reporting agencies. Recently the DTU-UAV was placed overall third after Cornell University and California State University, Northridge amongst 35 international teams at the 10th Annual SUAS competition organised by AUVSI 2012 in Maryland in June 2012. The team has been awarded a trophy and a cash prize of $5100 did extremely well in all the mission, journal paper and oral presentation.

The UAV team has achieved a fully autonomous take-off, autonomous way point navigation and search area with autonomous imagery as well. DTU-UAS defeated some of the biggies of the competition like North Carolina State University, Mississippi, University of Arizona, Kansas State, among others, which had always been in the top five teams.

Saraswat said: “Innovations like these when pursued by the young under graduate students inspire great many other students in the country to pursue R&D as a career and support our national mission for innovation. The design and development of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Autonomous Submarines and Autonomous Ground Vehicle is an area of great interest to DRDO as this will strengthen our resolve to safeguard our coastal areas, provide a reliable support to the army by deployment of Autonomous Ground Vehicles as also strengthen our Air Force for strategic defence.”