AeroMIT, a team of interdisciplinary students of Manipal Institute of Technology working to design, fabricate and test Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) and research modern drone technologies, secured the first place in the Technical Design Report category at the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Florida recently.
The team was placed third in the oral business presentation category, fifth in the flight scores and 7th overall among 25 teams in the category, including university teams from India. Incidentally, AeroMIT was the best performing Indian team in the competition.
"Considering the challenge of a new problem statement, our team encountered a few hurdles, but overcame them," said team leader Amartya Gupta, a Mechanical Engineering student. "The problem statement saw a change this year. Being three-pronged, it revolved around the aircraft carrying a large amount of low-density payload fixed as PVC payload pipes while minimising empty weight, making the aircraft modular to fit all components in a small box of fixed dimensions and assembling the entire aircraft in under three minutes," he said.
"These conflicting requirements posed a great challenge and thoroughly tested the engineering ability and production management of the team," Amartya said. "But our biggest challenge this year was the availability of resources. India has a very young and limited RC culture and the customs laws do not support our project. As a result, a lot of the material had to be imported which cost us significantly in terms of time. However, the support from the college went a long way in helping us accomplish our goals," the team leader said.
The team members are Amartya Gupta, Samarth Agarwal, Kaushik Chavali, Brian Dsouza, Vishnu Priyatam, Adithya Ramesh, Gibert Soyus, Joel Dsouza, Lavanya Vij, Ashwin Varkey, Gautam Menon, Aaron Sequeira, Kiran Luke, Bhanu Prakash, Shakti Habib, Joshua Jose, Kaustubh Bhujbal, Subham Datta, Ameya Shahane, Ullas Bhat, Ashley Mudaliar and Anjay Subramanian.