GIAN course on DEVELOPMENT OF DRONES FOR FAST GOODS TRANSPORT ACROSS HILLY MIZORAM TERRAIN
December 17 - December 28
The course introduces an approach for developing specifications for UAV platforms for selected mission requirements, and for matching/modifying existing UAVs to selected missions. Of particular interest will be the transport of packages across wooded mountainous terrains. Starting with general requirements and a survey of existing fixed and rotary wing drones, multiple potential UAV applications will be considered. These will then be subject to additional constraints driven by availability, technological maturity and cost of critical components. One or more solution will then be selected for detailed design and prototyping. To minimize cost, the prototyping will involve using selected off the shelf components typically used by radio-controlled aircraft hobbyists and do-it-yourself drone enthusiasts and using ready to fly quad copters and fixed wing configurations. Components include flight motors, controllers, auto-pilots, sensors/telemetry equipment and cameras. This will be followed by developing and executing a flight test plan. Test data from the flights and in particular the analysis of mishaps and crashes will be especially emphasized. The goal will be to teach the students how to use such data to remove design flaws and demonstrate through re-tests an improved final prototype.
Several areas of India, such as Mizoram, have hilly forested terrains that make ground transportation slow and expensive. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can provide an economic alternative, by delivering 1-5 kg packages across straight line distances of 10 km within 10 minutes or less, without requiring runways. This can be a game changer for growers of time-critical high-value specialty crops, but requires developing an appropriately trained workforce for implementation. Therefore, this course aims at offering students a hands-on training with current practice of UAV design, and experience actual flight operations with payloads under challenging terrain and gusty weather. It will be a conceptualize-design-build-fly-modify experience through group projects with deliverables.
Dr. Sumon K. Sinha, a B.Tech., in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and MS and Ph.D. in Fluid Thermal Sciences from the University of Miami, is the Founder and President of Sinhatech, an Aerospace and Fluid Dynamics Research and Development company based in U.S.A. Dr. Sinha has over 30 years’ experience in academia and industry investigating turbulent and unsteady flows and in devising solutions to practical flow problems using his inventions. His solutions have been used for enhancing performance of FAI record breaking “green” electric aircraft, increasing fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, reducing broadband wind noise and maximizing heat transfer in compact heat exchangers. His publications and patents range from aerodynamic flow control, heat transfer enhancement, quantitative unsteady full-field flow diagnostics, aeroacoustics and turbulent mixing in environmental flows. He is a former tenured professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Mississippi. He has also held faculty posts at the University of Nebraska, Florida International University and the University of Miami. Dr. Sinha’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, US Army and Air Force as well as large and small corporations. Dr. Sinha is now focusing on developing UAV systems for acquiring much needed meteorological data during weather events, as well as UAV based rapid transport of critical items over challenging terrain and under gusty weather conditions.