Boosting the quest for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” – which aims at reducing foreign dependency in defence and aero technology further, a North Tech Symposium was held at Udhampur, Jammu – which showcased a variety of innovations in technological advancements.
Amongst various tech that was on display, “VIBHRAM”- a High-Efficiency Dissimilar Coaxial Helicopter, designed by a team of postgraduate students from the Aerospace Engineering Department of IIT Kanpur, was showcased as well.
A brief history
Back in August of 2017, ‘Vibhram’ won the third prize in the 34th Annual Student Design Competition organised by the American Helicopter Society.
Four years hence, the design was shown to the late Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat on the occasion of Army Technology Day, on January 8, 2021. It was then shortlisted and displayed on Jan 15th on Army day for the Honorable Prime Minister of India in New Delhi.
Tech and specs
Designed to accomplish a variety of tasks, “VIBHRAM” is a high-endurance multi-role gasoline-powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
With a maximum hovering endurance of two hours, it features a day and night camera payload that can be useful for purposes like surveillance, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosives detection, crowd monitoring, pipeline inspection, and forest fire detection among others.
It is capable of carrying four kilograms of payload at sea level at a speed of 70 km/h for long-range payload delivery and surveillance from a long standoff distance.
Installed with a fully functional and robust autopilot system, it additionally features multiple redundant fail-safe measures, which makes it a reliable tool in critical applications.
Apparently, this design has resulted in a new configuration for helicopters which is predicted to consume 5% to 20% less power than any existing helicopter concept in the world.
The fact that it is said to be around 20 per cent more efficient than the existing motor design like the traditional single main rotor and tail rotor and touted to consume less fuel in comparison to traditional helicopters, makes it worthy to be used by the army and the Air Force.
Team Vibhram from IIT Kanpur
The project, which was carried out under the guidance of Prof Venkatesan and Prof Abhishek, was headed by Karthik S, who is pursuing MTech while Rahul Ramanujam is the technical leader, (PhD). The team further comprises Ramdas (PhD), Diksha Aggarwal (MTech), Sakshi Gupta (MTech), Avinash Shet (MTech), Vishesh Kumar Singh (MTech), and Naba Kishore Routray (MTech), all postgraduate students from Aerospace Engineering Department of IIT Kanpur.