Asir students’ drone design takes flight

An illustration posted on the King Khaled University's website shows progress of work being done by the university's engineering students on a drone.

An illustration posted on the King Khaled University’s website shows progress of work being done by the university’s engineering students on a drone.

Engineering students at King Khaled University in Asir have just completed the design phase of their program to build a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which they plan to use for aerial photography.

Professor Tawfiq Khatab, head of the research team, said the aim is to build the drone for practical use but also to teach students about the design and manufacture of high-tech equipment.

He said “most prestigious universities” are involved in such projects to acquire technical expertise in a particular field.

Khatab said research would be divided into three phases, which includes building a prototype.

“The first phase involved the design. We will then manufacture the drone in the second phase with fiberglass.” The manufacturing process involves making the body, motor, wheels and wings, he said.

The third phase will involve testing the drone for strength, measuring engine thrust, checking the remote controls, determining the machine’s point of gravity, the test flight and then writing the final report.

Khatab said the machine would provide mechanical engineering students with expertise on graphic engineering designs and calculation of the weight and thrust of such machines.

It would also be useful for electrical engineering students to learn about data transfers and developing automatic pilot systems and remote controls.

Khatab said the importance of this research lies in the advanced scientific and technical details used in electrical and mechanical engineering, and how they apply to daily use.

“A drone can be used in difficult situations where the life of a human being is threatened,” he said.

He said the students would equip the UAV with cameras to take aerial photographs.





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