ABU DHABI, U.A.E., 24 April 2013. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) has opened the 2013 Innovation Challenge Flying Competition, which the company sponsors and holds in coordination with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI), and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
The event features unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) designed and built by United Arab Emirates (UAE) student teams who were mentored by Northrop Grumman engineers. The flying competition, which is open to the public as spectators, is taking place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
"Innovation Challenge is a significant opportunity for students to apply mathematics and science knowledge to a real-world engineering project," explains Gene Fraser, corporate vice president, programs, quality and engineering at Northrop Grumman. "Through this competition, Northrop Grumman helps contribute to Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030. The program allows students to combine their academic knowledge with practical experience as they prepare to enter a competitive work environment. We are proud to sponsor this event and look forward to an exciting competition."
In 2010, Northrop Grumman signed a memorandum of understanding with HCT to develop initiatives in the UAE related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Innovation Challenge is a result of this partnership, and ADASI and AUVSI formalized their participation in the event by signing memorandums of understanding in February during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference.
During the 2013 Innovation Challenge, 11 teams of HCT students, who have been mentored by Northrop Grumman engineers, gained hands-on experience by designing, building and testing an unmanned aerial vehicle.
Each team will be evaluated based on an oral presentation about the design and build of its UAV, in addition to the aircraft's flight, which must meet specific criteria. The student team that finishes first in the competition will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the annual AUVSI convention in Washington, D.C., in August, courtesy of Northrop Grumman.
The AUVSI convention will provide the winning team with the opportunity to present its aircraft to an international audience of industry representatives, government officials and educators.
ADASI will provide the second-place team with a trip to one of the company's subsidiaries. The organization also intends to provide academic scholarships to selected students.