IAF launches Mehar Baba Competition-II for Drones | The Financial Express

IAF launches Mehar Baba Competition-II for Drones

The IAF has started the second edition of Mehar Baba Competition, evaluating the parameters defined as per the critical operational requirement of the forces. The competition is aimed at developing technology for a “Swarm Drone Based System.

IAF launches Mehar Baba Competition-II for Drones
Drones for ISR for the Indian armed Forces

The IAF has started the second edition of Mehar Baba Competition, evaluating the parameters defined as per the critical operational requirement of the forces.

To provide a boost to the growing indigenous drone industry, Defence Minister had launched the “MEHAR BABA COMPETITION-II” on 06 April 2022 at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan). 

The competition is aimed at developing technology for a “Swarm Drone Based System to Detect Foreign Objects on Aircraft Operating Surfaces”. The competition is named after the legendary Air Commodore Mehar Singh – affectionately also known as Mehar Baba. The first edition of the competition was launched in October 2018 and had culminated in October 2021. 

All aircraft operators face a challenge in keeping the aircraft operating surfaces clean and clear of Foreign Object Debris (FOD). Very often, this is a labour-intensive task that needs to be repeated over a day. This manpower could be more gainfully employed if personnel could focus solely on their core tasks. Furthermore, visual spotting of FOD in low light conditions becomes rather challenging. 

In the first edition of Mehar Baba Competition, IAF constituted a panel of domain specialists and experts known as the Committee of Experts (CoEs). The CoEs guided the teams during the entire course of the competition and evaluated the operational requirements and the objectives of the competition, the flying and technical parameters of the fielded products. At final stage, prototypes were evaluated in a realistic environment at Air Force Air to Ground ranges.

The competition culminated with five finalists showcasing capabilities which took place in Pokhran. Along, the design and development cost of the prototypes was compensated by IAF.

THE IAF is seeking innovative solutions towards detection of FOD without physical employment of manpower on the aircraft operating surfaces. Registration for this competition is open to Indian citizens and Indian registered entities only. The last date for registration is 02 October 2022.

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