Although all of the other teams participated in the competition with plane projects, Turkish students went for a 160 cm long unmanned helicopter. Only 15 universities were approved for the contest.
The competition, organized by the biggest organization in unmanned aero vehicles sector, The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), was organized in a military airbase in the US between June 30 and July 2.
The helicopter system was prepared by the team advised by Professor Rustem Aslan and has increased the level of studies that has been continuing for three years.
The members on the team, Murat Bronz, Nihat Karatas, Savas Sen, Ezgi Karacaogu and Ahmet Oranoz liked the attention they received from the organization.
Karatas said they were a good advertisement for Turkey in the competition. “Our participation with such a complicated system took great acknowledgement. They did not expect Turkey to develop this kind of a complex project.”
The Turkish team had an unfortunate accident a day before the competition. The helicopter crashed during a test flight. Despite that, the ITU students ranked 7th in the flight category and University of Texas ranked number one.
The biggest success for Turkish students was that the system they prepared would be used by other universities in competitions in the future.
Karakas, who is a junior at Aeronautical Engineering Department, said the helicopter, which costs $30,000, could find five targets in an area of given coordinates. “We use autopilot control. There is a modem that provides a connection with the land.”