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Indo-US Workshop on Mirco-Aerial Vehicle (MAV) and Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Technology

Principal Investigators:

A.R. Upadhya, National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India

Sam G. Sampath, US Army International Technology Center-Southeast Asia, Singapore

Date & Venue: 10-15 March 2008, Agra, India

The first US -Asian Demonstration and Assessment of Micro-Aerial Vehicle (MAV) and Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Technology was held at Agra, from 10 -15 March 2008 sponsored by the US Department of Defense (US Army Research Office) in partnership with Indian, ADRDE (DRDO), NAL (CSIR) and the binational IUSSTF. This was the first of its kind event held in India with a participation of more than 300 delegates including 15 international competing teams from US and Asia and 25 speakers from US and India covering a multidisciplinary spectrum of cutting edge areas of aeronautical engineering. The purpose of the event was: to showcase next-generation, COTS enabled prototype systems of MAVs and UGVs that are almost ready for end use thus hasten their induction; identify areas for further development of critical technologies; and evolve ideas and strategies for countermeasures.

The twin events consisting of airborne model display by the competing teams and a scientific conference were aimed to spur development of systems that meet certain minimum criteria using commercial off the shelf components and also to identify critical technology shortfalls that will need to be addressed for improvements in MAV capabilities. The prototype demonstration systems had embedded technologies which would have wide civilian and military applications in areas like disaster management, urban traffic management, information processing and rescue operations, etc.

The event demonstrated that significant progress had been made in technologies of constituent systems of MAVs. Achieving a physical size of less than 300 mm was now possible. Issues of system integration, reliability and robustness, sensing and efficient communication between MAVs and MAVs and ground systems (including UGVs) were brought to focus. Some technology areas have been identified for possible cooperation between concerned agencies in India and the US. These include power sources for endurance and covert operations, collision avoidance, communications, onboard processing and autonomous decision-making capabilities and increasing the sensitivity of biosensors to detect explosive substances with low vapor pressure.

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