To provide a boost to the growing indigenous drone industry, Defence Minister had launched the “MEHAR BABA COMPETITION-II” on April 6, 2022 at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan). The competition is aimed at developing technology for a "Swarm Drone Based System to Detect Foreign Objects on Aircraft Operating Surfaces". The competition is named after the legendary Air Commodore Mehar Singh, MVC, DSO - affectionately also known as Mehar Baba. The first edition of the competition was launched in October 2018 and had culminated in October 2021.
All aircraft operators face a challenge in keeping the aircraft operating surfaces clean and clear of Foreign Object Debris (FOD). Very often, this is a labour-intensive task that needs to be repeated over a day. This manpower could be more gainfully employed if personnel could focus solely on their core tasks. Furthermore, visual spotting of FOD in low light conditions becomes rather challenging.
Hence, the IAF is seeking innovative solutions towards detection of FOD without physical employment of manpower on the aircraft operating surfaces. Registration for this competition is open to Indian citizens and Indian registered entities only. The last date for registration is October 2, 2022. All relevant details regarding this competition have been placed at https://indianairforce.nic.in/mehar-baba/#.