December 4, 2020

Webinar on ‘Drone and Societal Applications’


Date of the Event04.12.2020  
Title of the EventWebinar on ‘Drone and Societal Applications’
Organized by  Department of Aeronautical Engineering, in association with UAV LAB
Name of the Resource SpeakerDr. Ramaseshan Satagopan COO & Board Member General Aeronautics Pvt. Ltd., Start-up, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Drones are more formally called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Essentially, a drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled, or that can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. Today, drones have become an increasingly popular choice for hobbyists around the world. While drones used to be limited to military use, they are now used for both consumer and commercial uses. The very popular applications of UAVs are aerial photography, surveillance, delivery, and a variety of applications in the agricultural domain.

Our webinar aimed to create an awareness about the current scenario in the UAV Start-Ups in our country, the opportunities ahead, and the challenges. The webinar broadly covered the concept of Drones and their societal applications. The talk comprehensively covered topics such as business potential, challenges, applications in different walks of life, employment opportunities, interdisciplinary aspects etc., related to drones.

The webinar organized by the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, was conducted on 04.12.2020 from 02:30 PM to 04:15 PM. The Resource Person was Dr. Ramaseshan Satagopan, COO & Board Member, General Aeronautics Pvt. Ltd., Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Dr. Satagopan holds a Ph.D and Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He also acquired an Executive Diploma in Digital Business from ADBL, UK. He has 34 years of experience in the Aerospace domain, 20 years in R&D military aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems and certification (DRDO). He was the Head of Airworthiness Organization, Regional Director (aircraft), DRDO, Vice President and Global Head of Aerospace Business & Digital Business in Tech Mahindra. Dr. Satagopan has shared ‘Thought Leadership’ in NASSCOM and in different journals like Aviation Week, Flight Global etc. He was awarded the ‘Path Breaking Research’ award by DRDO, and the ‘National Aeronautical Prize’ by Aeronautical Society of India, and during his graduate studies he was conferred the ‘Best Thesis Award’ by IISC (Sabitha Chaudhuri Memorial Medal). He also has numerous publications to his credit, in reputed journals.

The webinar started with the inaugural speech by Dr. P Mahabaleswarappa, Principal, MVJCE. He applauded the constant efforts made by the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in improving the practical knowledge of the students. He welcomed the Speaker and mentioned the contributions of the Management in the successful conducting of such events. Following the Principal’s address, Mr. Akhil A Chandran, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and Chief Coordinator of the event presented a brief introduction about the lecture and also introduced the Speaker to the attendees. He then handed over the platform to Dr. Satagopan.

Dr. Satagopan started his lecture with a brief history of the aerospace domain and the evolution of the UAV systems. Following this, he outlined a brief history of the start-up, General Aeronautics, with which he is currently associated, from the time of its incubation at IISc to its current products and services. He spoke extensively about the various products General Aeronautics has created over the years. He also pointed out the contributions of General Aeronautics in aiding the government in curbing the COVID–19 pandemic. The drones with the sanitization and public awareness speakers were displayed and explained. After taking a couple of questions from the students (which were collected using an MS Form and routed to the Speaker by the Chief Coordinator), the second half of the talk begin. This section of the lecture focused on the business development aspects of the start–up. In the final part of his lecture, he spent a significant amount of time talking about the several initiatives in the drone delivery domain in the country.

Following the presentation, a Q & A session was initiated by Mr. Akhil A Chandran, which went on for about 50 minutes. A good number of questions were posed by the students from the Departments of Aeronautical & Aerospace Engineering. The Speaker provided a detailed response to all the questions raised by the students as well as the Faculty Coordinator for the event. After this, a vote of thanks was proposed to the Resource Person by Prof. S C Gupta. HoD, Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and also by Mr. Chandran, on behalf of the Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and MVJ College of Engineering.

Feedback was collected from the participants and the event was highly appreciated.

Outcome of the event

All the participants found the event interactive and effective. They understood the relevance and criticality of the development of drone systems, as well as the challenges involved with incubating and developing a drone start–up. The Q & A session as well as the discussion on the topic helped the students to enhance their understanding of the significance of UAVs in addressing societal needs.