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Jahnvi Singh | Staff Writer

SkyRush 2020 was the third edition of the National Aeromodelling Competition conducted as part of TechTatva in Manipal Institute of Technology. Despite being a field event for the past two years, the organisers were compelled to arrange the event online this time. They managed to host SkyRush in a virtual mode with Technical Submissions, Oral Presentation, and Simulator Flying as the scored rounds. Teams had to come up with innovative mechanisms and designs to complete their missions consisting of multiple payload drops.

Several teams in groups of one to seven members had registered for the event. They had to submit their Technical Design Report, 2D Drawing, Technical Data Sheet, and Aircraft CAD before they were called up for oral presentations. The Technical Design Report was the primary means by which a team conveyed the story of how their aircraft was most suited to accomplish the intended mission. The Design Report explained the team’s thought process and engineering ideas that drove them to their conclusions. Under Aircraft CAD, teams had to submit a 3D CAD model of their aircraft. For the obstacle course, a limbo was placed in the scene as teams attempted to take off from the runway. They had to fly the aircraft underneath the limbo as many times as possible in the given time limit and then successfully land the aircraft on the same runway within the given time.

The participants were ultimately given a score out of 100. 2D drawing, technical data sheet, and Aircraft CAD were worth five points each. The design report was worth 35 points, the presentation was worth 40 points, and simulator flying was worth 10 points. “This virtual format seemed testing. However, with the help of the team and the judges, it went on smoothly. Organising SkyRush was a great experience as aeromodelling teams from all over the country participated,” said Aditeya Guru, the event head for SkyRush.

Air Crash Investigation
Nilay Aundhe | Staff Writer

Air Crash Investigation—a unique event under Aeroverse—had three rounds. Participants had to figure out how a flight that took off from Bangalore Airport never reached its destination in Mangalore. In the first round, basic information about the flight and flight path was given. The contestants were provided with eye witness accounts, wreckage information, CVR transcript, Flight Data Recordings, pilot medical information, and maintenance account of the craft in the second round. Based on this, participants had to create a report of their estimate of what happened and how it might have happened.

Teams that qualified to the next round were sent other teams’ reports. They were to find loopholes and mistakes which may not rightly explain the disaster. The last round saw a discussion between teams as they defended their explanations and propounded their theories on the cause of the crash. The event was overlooked by Prof. Kamlesh Kumar from Aeronautics and Automobiles Engineering who chipped in with valuable inputs of his own.

Even though the online mode presented challenges of its own, it was a well-organised and smoothly conducted event. “We had over 350 registrations. That motivated us to put in a lot of effort into the problem statement. All of us loved the effort and creativity put in by each and every team. Round 2 on the last day was probably the most exciting. All participants actively defended their report and had great ethics. Listening to the teams debating and ripping their opponents to shreds over the minutest of loopholes was very thrilling for us and kept us on our toes. The competition was so close that we had to announce a tie for the second position as the score was tied to the last decimal!,” said Shraddha Sheshadri, an event head.

Srijita Banerjee | Staff Writer

One of the most interesting events of TechTatva, Quiz Aero tested the technical knowledge of enthusiastic aerophiles in an engrossing series of tests. Participants competed with each other in teams of one to three members over a period of two days.

The first round was held on a platform called Quizizz. Each participating team received a total of thirty-five questions comprising of objective type questions. Each question had a time limit of 30 seconds. These questions were based entirely on the aerospace industry and its related technology. “It was a different experience compared to conventional methods. The options helped in deciding the approach to the questions. The questions were really interesting. It was a fun-filled experience,” said Anuj Deshmukh, a participant.

The final round was held on Microsoft Teams. Separate meetings were held simultaneously so that teams don’t feel intimidated by others. Each team was asked to switch on their cameras to ensure fair play. Questions, with a time limit of three minutes, were displayed on the screen by the core-committee members and organisers. “I thought individual questioning would result in reduced competition. But after the session was over, I realised I was competing with myself. It was a good learning experience. I had a lot of fun in the process,” said Vignesh Anand, a participant of the event.

Battle of the Millenials
Swastika Shankar | Staff Writer

Online battles take place through words and words only. A similar situation was observed in The Battle of Millenials—an event aimed to familiarise students with advancements in aerospace as well as introducing them to new avenues in the industry.

The event consisted of four rounds spread over two days. The first round was centred on the basics of aerospace technology and a debate over the pros and cons of the impact of aerospace technology on society. The second round transported participants into the future as it dealt with the idea of Supersonic Transportation and its applications in the coming years.

The second day witnessed a lot more drama as participants were forced to think on their feet on how to tackle challenges thrown at them. They were divided into two groups and asked to give detailed plans of inhabitation once humans successfully landed on Mars. The contestants were evaluated by a panel of external judges. The last round was a rather interesting take on the views of famous personalities and their contributions to the aerospace industry.

The event progressed without any hitches. “We are pleased with the event and the participation for the event. We are thankful to the SC and TechTatva for the smooth conduct of the event,” remarked Aravind Karthik M and Nishtha Mathur, event heads for Battle of the Millenials.

Nilay Aundhe | Staff Writer

Aerophotography under Aeroverse gave budding photographers a chance to compete amongst themselves to click a perfect shot based on the theme ‘Aviation’. The event consisted of two rounds. The first round required each contestant to submit one to five images of their own via email. The best ten images were chosen by a panel of judges. Out of these ten, the top three were featured on the official Instagram handle of TechTatva’20.

Once the top three pictures were chosen, those three contestants had to publicise it for views and comments. The judging criteria gave a 40 per cent importance to views and a 60 per cent weightage to the judges’ scores. The photos were ranked on the basis of adherence to the theme, originality, uniqueness, and creativity. The participants had to digitally sign the photograph or use watermarks—a violation of which would have caused an immediate disqualification from the contest.

Despite being the debut year for such an event, conducting it online did not prove to be a big issue for the organisers. “The event would have been conducted in a similar fashion—using emails for submission—even if it was an offline fest,” said Tejas Joshi, an Event Head. This will surely set the tone for more such events in the future.

Featured Image Credits: Social Media and Graphics, TechTatva’20