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September 3, 2009

DTU ties-up with Lockheed for Unmanned Aircraft System

DTU ties-up with Lockheed for Unmanned Aircraft System

New Delhi: The Delhi Technological University (DTU) has entered into an agreement with the internationally renowned Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, United States for the development of a next-generation Urban Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The tie-up was announced by Founder Vice Chancellor of DTU, Prof. P.B. Sharma and Dr. Ray O Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Lockheed Martin Corporation, in the capital recently.

Lockheed Martin is a multinational aerospace manufacturer, global security and advanced technology company based in Maryland, US. The corporation will provide grant to the student group of DTU with Lockheed Martin-generated design space to structure their efforts. The team will be required to conduct initial design and then developing a flying prototype.

The planned Urban UAS will be an improvised version of the UAS, called ICARUS, designed by the undergraduate students of DTU headed by Rochak Chadha, 3rd Year Student of Electronics and Communication Engineering, which recently won 'Director's Special Award for the Best Team effort' at International Aerial Robotics Competition, Georgia, US.

It is being re-designed with a view that it can be deployed within an urban environment to provide persistent Intelligence and Strategic Reconnaissance (ISR) capability with a future potential for payload deployment and joint operations with other ground, sea and air assets as well.

"The UAS will be capable of controlled flight within the obstruction, electromagnetic and atmospheric (turbulence and wind shear) environment of typical urban environment. The design shall moreover, provide for the lowest possible probability of severe injury to general public resulting from operation", said a DTU official.

According to Prof. Sharma, "The focus of DTU will be on industry relevant research and innovations. The DTU shall develop itself on the strength of the DCE comprising of its intelligent student community, qualified faculty and its distinguished alumni presence worldwide. The tie-up with Lockheed Martin shall open a new chapter in our University Industry Partnership for cutting edge technologies and innovative product development."

The new design will have a Gross Take-Off weight of less than 80 lbs from the present 100 lbs. It will have a WENKEL Engine, which provides high efficiency and consumes less fuel.

The Dash speed of the vehicle will be increased from present 60 mph to 80 mph by using a 75 cc engine in place of the earlier 24 cc engine. The take-off and landing distance of the improvised UAS will also be reduced from the present 200 ft.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ray O Johnson said, "Lockheed Martin Corporation will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University and Student Group for work on the Urban UAV Design. The Corporation will provide the broad parameters of the design requirements to be implemented by the students." While congratulating the students Dr. Johnson also said that, "this partnership is one more example of Lockheed Martin's long-term commitment to India and the partnerships which we seek to develop and nurture."

Dr. Johnson was in India to support the Technology Expo organized in Hyderabad where winners' of the DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Programme showcased their technologies. http://www.indiaedunews.net

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