In early 2019 the Aero India show in Bengaluru was a spectacle for all. The air show comprised of some breathtaking aerial stunts. Also, some of the most incredible aircraft and drones were exhibited at the five-day event. Additionally, Aero India hosted the ‘Drone Olympics’ in association with the Drone Federation of India on 21st February 2019. Surveillance competition, weight drop challenge, and the UAV formation flying challenge were the three drone competitions hosted by the organization. Altogether, a team of Cranfield alumni won the inaugural competition at the show.

Drovengers bagged the first and second places

The team from INDrone Aero Systems participated under the name of Drovengers. They were returning to Aero India after an alumni meet-up in Cranfield University. They won the first and second places in the Surveillance competition. The team participated in the Fixed VTOL Multirotor (>4 kg and <4kg) categories of the competition. Furthermore, they received medals and cash prizes along with a Lockheed Martin AlphaPilot Drone Development kit and an opportunity to visit the company in the US. Aero India is Asia’s largest aviation exhibit event. Thus, winning the top two places in the inaugural event was a big feat achieved by the graduates.

The Surveillance competition tested the surveillance capabilities of the participating drones. To begin with, the participating drones had to find human-size targets to score points. Additionally, the participants were evaluated based on their drone’s flight time and the live transmission rate.

Cranfield alumni win drone olympics
Several airplanes, fighter jets, and helicopters were on display at the Aero India show.

Anurag Joshi, Managing Partner and Co-founder of INDrone, said “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) entrants for the surveillance challenge needed to be light, have maximum endurance and be able to detect human-sized objects. We were the only team to identify all targets and showcase high endurance as necessary.”

Anurag Joshi and Abhishek Somanagoudar (both Cranfield MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design 2015 graduates) created INDrone Aero Systems in June 2017. The company uses drones to collect data to aid many industrial sectors. That data helps in improving the planning, monitoring, and execution of projects for a range of businesses including transport infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and disaster management. Unquestionably, their drones have shown their capabilities in the field. Moreover, industries in India will be looking forward to including drone technology. Especially, after drones were made legal in the country.