October 28, 2020

Webinar on ‘Systems Engineering Approach for Design and Development of UAVs’


Date of the Event 28.10.2020  
Title of the Event Webinar on ‘Systems Engineering Approach for Design and Development of UAVs’
Organized by   Department of Aeronautical Engineering, in association with the UAV LAB
Name of the Resource Speaker Prof. Srikumar Pullat Visiting Professor and Head, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP), at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), IISc. campus, Bangalore.

‘Systems Engineering’ is defined as a methodical, multi-disciplinary approach, for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system. A ‘system’ is the combination of elements that function together, to produce the capability required to meet a need. The elements include all hardware, software, equipment, facilities, personnel, processes, and procedures needed for this purpose; that is, all things required to produce system-level results. The results include system-level qualities, properties, characteristics, functions, behavior, and performance. The value added by the system as a whole, beyond that which is contributed independently by the parts, is primarily created by the relationship among the parts – that is, how they are interconnected. It is a way of looking at the ‘big picture’ when making technical decisions. It is a way of achieving stakeholder functional, physical, and operational performance requirements in the intended use environment over the planned life of the system within cost, schedule, and other constraints. It is a methodology that supports the containment of the life cycle cost of a system. In other words, Systems Engineering is a logical way of thinking.

The aim of the webinar was to project the importance of the Systems Engineering approach in the design and development of UAVs which are multidisciplinary systems. The major objective of the talk was to bring out the various aspects of Systems Engineering methodology to be adopted for successful realization and deployment of complex engineering systems.

The webinar was organized by the Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering. The event was conducted on 28.10.2020 from 10:30 AM to 01:15 PM. The Resource Person was Prof. Srikumar Pullat, Visiting Professor and Head, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP), National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), IISc. campus, Bangalore, where he is currently studying issues related to operation of Civil UAVs and Drones in National Air Space. His areas of interest include Systems Engineering and Systems Analysis of Aeronautical Systems.

An Aerospace Engineer with degrees from Punjab University, IIT Bombay and College of Aeronautics, Cranfield, he has made significant contributions to the design of Control, Guidance and Navigation system of UAV Nishant. He was Project Director and Chief Designer of India’s Subsonic Cruise Missile ‘Nirbhay’, successfully integrating indigenous technologies from more than 10 R&D laboratories in the country. He retired as Director of ADE, Bangalore, in 2015. He was conferred DRDO Performance Excellence Awards twice – in 2004 as a member of Nishant development team, and in 2014 as leader of Nirbhay development team. Also, under his leadership, ADE was awarded the Silicon Trophy, as the Best Systems Lab of DRDO in 2014. He is the joint winner of National Aeronautics Prize from Aeronautical society of India in 2014, and was also awarded the Eminent Engineer Award by Institution of Engineers, Bangalore Chapter, in the same year.

The webinar started at 10:30 AM with the inaugural address by Dr. P Mahabaleswarappa, Principal, MVJCE. He spoke about the relevance of the topic chosen for the webinar, before giving a brief introduction about the Resource Person. Mr. Akhil A Chandran, AP/AE, Chief Coordinator of the event served as the facilitator of the webinar. After the inaugural address by the principal, Prof. Pullat took over the platform, MS Teams, to deliver his lecture.

Prof. Pullat started his lecture with a formal introduction to the topic of the webinar. This was followed by important topics such as Concept of Operation and System Definition, where Prof. Pullat gave an overview of the Nishant UAV as well. Moving on, the Professor spent a good amount of time explaining in detail about Requirements Capture and Analysis, and how it is serving as the first milestone in the process of Design and Development of UAVs. Later the talk progressed into the topics of Critical Systems & Technologies, Technology Maturity & Development Strategy, System Configuration & Development Partners etc. Explaining these concepts, the speaker pointed out the various hurdles he had faced during the developmental phase of Nishant UAV and Nirbhay missile system, during his long tenure with DRDO.

The second half of the talk dealt with the concepts involved in the development of a new project, the sub topics here were Scope of Project and Stakeholders, System Development Process, Review Mechanism, Test and Evaluation, Integration and Flight Testing, where he mentioned the major roadblocks faced by the team responsible for the development of LCA Tejas during its testing and certification phase. The last topic of the talk was Quality & Reliability and Certification, where the speaker reminisced about the various challenges he had faced during his tenure in DRDO and the measures taken to overcome the same.

Following the presentation, the Q & A session was initiated by Mr. Akhil A Chandran. The attendees were told to put forth their questions or doubts via the Q & A chat window and the questions were discussed over the platform for about 50 minutes. A good number of questions were raised by the students from the Departments of Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering. The Speaker offered detailed responses to all the questions raised by the students as well as by the faculty coordinator for the event.

Concluding the session, was the vote of thanks by Mr. Chandran, where he thanked the Resource Person, on behalf of the Dept. of Aeronautical Engineering and MVJ College of Engineering.

The 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. The participants understood the relevance and criticality of Systems Engineering Approach and its relevance in the development of a multi-disciplinary system like UAV. The Q & A session as well as the discussion on the topic helped the students to enhance their understanding of the significance of Systems Engineering Approach