MIT students soar to new heights

October 08, 2011

Following the successes of Formula Manipal cars in competitions overseas, another team of MIT students brought back laurels from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) AeroDesign 2011 competition held at Lockheed Martin Corporation, Georgia, USA between April 29, 2011 and May 1, 2011. They displayed the unmanned aerial vehicle at the Innovation Centre of MIT here on October 4, 2011 for the first time.

AeroMIT team as they are called, built an unmanned aerial vehicle for the annual international SAE competition. SAE is an international body for engineering professionals in the aerospace, automotive and Commercial Vehicle Industries. Present on the occasion were vice chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dr K Ramnarayan and director MIT Dr Kumkum Garg. “Let the spirit of innovation, adventure and craving for something new take you to greater heights,” was the message from Dr Ramnarayan to the students.

Briefing the gathering, Ibrahim Kaleel, a third year aeronautical student said that the Team secured 13th in Oral Presentation Round and 15th in Design Round out of 75 teams. The overall position was 29th out of 75 after the flight rounds. The team received critical appreciation from NASA’s next-generation transport aircraft engineers for its systems engineering report and was one among the top five teams. In this regards, team received a Certificate of Completion from NASA Headquarters.

The AeroMIT Project started towards the end of 2009 and the team was successful in turning a mere concept into reality in time for the AeroDesign Competition, celebrating the silver jubilee this year. The competition features 3 classes: Regular, Micro and Advances. The team entered the Regular Class, where the aim is to carry maximum payload.

Seventy five teams from across the globe took part in the competition. The AeroMIT team started on a high note with successful test-flights at Cobb County Radio Control Modeler’s Club at Marietta. The competition kick started with technical inspection and design presentation at Hilton Conference Centre, Marietta, which the team cleared with great ease. The plane was evaluated by judges from US space agency NASA, aircraft manufacturers Lockheed Martin, Gulfstream and Dassault Systems.

The team comprises Parth Khare leader (fourth year, aeronautical) Shekhar Jha, (fourth year, mechanical), Samdarshi (fourth year, mechanical), Karan Bhise (third year, aeronautical), Ibrahim Kaleel (third year, aeronautical), Kumar Mrityunjay (fourth year, mechanical), Katayan Sinha (fourth year, mechanical) and Arun Kumar (third year, aeronautical). Sheikh Adil Anwar (third year, aeronautical), Pratik Mukherjee (Second year, mechanical) and Akash Budhia (fourth year, IT) looked into the management aspect. Dr. Ramamohan Pai and Mr. Manikandan M, Department of Aeronautical and Automobile were the faculty advisors for the team.

Project was sponsored by Aditya Birla Group and Anu Projects Consultants and Engineers. They sponsored an amount of 2.5 lakh and 1 lakh respectively.

The team is working to take part in SAE AeroDesign West 2012 to be held at California from March 16 to 18, 2012. Team has recruited new students to the team. This year the team is taking a great leap and would be entering two classes: Regular Class and Micro Class.