Team TU Delft wins award for best aviation innovation
The team ‘The Zero Heroes’ of TU Delft has won the finals of the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition. In this competition, 284 student teams from all over the world battled against each other to get the prestigious title of best aerospace-related innovation.
The TU Delft team convinced the jury with their idea for a completely battery-free and wireless sensor system that allows the aircraft to collect vital information about events triggered by the passengers and its crew. Team leader, Sujay Narayana, on the innovative idea of The Zero Heroes: ‘Each aircraft seat has a number of buttons with different functions. For example, with one button you can switch the lights on and off while another button allows you to ask the flight attendant for help. All these buttons are powered by large, heavy cables. Replacing these heavy cables with a wireless system would reduce the mass of an aircraft, make maintenance easier and save fuel.’
Just before landing, the cabin crew can also very easily see, for example, which passenger has not yet put his backrest upright or where in the aircraft there are still belts to be fastened. An innovative idea that fits in perfectly with the theme of the 2019 edition: creating smart solutions using digital technologies. The four-member jury, chaired by Marc Fontaine (Airbus' Digital Transformation Officer), praised the simplicity and technical applicability of the Delft idea.
The TU Delft team will receive (financial) support from Airbus to further develop the system and possibly bring it to the market. A challenge that the team members are all too happy to work with. Team member Niels Hokke: ‘Although we had a fantastic time in Toulouse, it is now time to get on with it. How cool would it be if we could actually take aerospace a step further? And that too with this very simple idea.’
The TU Delft team consists of students from three different countries – the Netherlands, India and Greece – and is a collaboration between the faculties of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science (EEMCS) and Aerospace Engineering (AE). The team members are: PhD students Sujay Narayana and Nikos Kouvelas, master students Niels Hokke and Ashvij Narayanan and bachelor student Maneesh Kumar Verma. They received guidance from Ranga Rao Venkatesha Prasad (Assistant Professor) and Vijay S. Rao (Post-doctoral Researcher).