WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is hosting the winning teams from the 2013 United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Innovation Challenge at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) annual conference and exhibition. During the conference, taking place Aug. 13-16 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the student teams are exhibiting their aircraft and discussing their competition experience.
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"Northrop Grumman is very pleased to be providing the top two Innovation Challenge teams with the opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., and participate in the 2013 AUVSI conference," said Dave Perry, corporate vice president and chief global business development officer, Northrop Grumman. "During the conference, these talented students will be able to interact with leaders in the field of unmanned systems, as well as witness live air, ground and maritime demonstrations."The 2013 U.A.E Innovation Challenge flying competition took place April 23-24 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Prior to the competition, Northrop Grumman engineers spent several months mentoring students from the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the U.A.E. as they designed and built unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In 2013, the third year of the competition, there were 11 teams comprised of 77 students. For the competition, student teams were judged on aircraft design and construction, systems integration (autopilot) and technical presentation. The first place team, Emirates Robotics, is from HCT's Dubai Men's Campus and the second-place team, Spirit of Al Ain, is from the Al Ain Campus. "It is a great honor and pleasure to welcome both U.A.E. teams from the Higher Colleges of Technology to Washington, D.C., to participate in the AUVSI annual conference" said His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, the U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S. "Such initiatives, where you have a world-class company like Northrop Grumman Corporation, and an entity that practices their philosophy of Learning by Doing, like HCT, with exceptional mentors, teachers and students, provide great benefits to the country. These types of highly technical, multidisciplinary projects in aerodynamics and aerospace will help shape the U.A.E.'s future capabilities, contributing to the design, engineering, project management and systems integration that the development of unmanned technologies demands." During the UAE 2013 Innovation Challenge briefing to the media at AUVSI, student representatives from the first and second place teams presented their team's aircraft and answered questions about the design and development process. Additional panelists included Jeremy Alonso, the Northrop Grumman lead engineering mentor, and Daryl Davidson, executive director of the AUVSI Foundation. The student-built UAVs were displayed in the student pavilion along with photographs and video footage of the 2013 competition. The teams will also present their aircraft to industry representatives, government officials and academia during "Beyond the Booth" presentations Aug. 15. The success of the 2013 U.A.E. Innovation Challenge was due to the partnership between its four sponsors: Northrop Grumman, HCT, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Inc. (ADASI) and the AUVSI Foundation. Northrop Grumman's participation in the event reflects its commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives for students and its desire to strengthen relationships with Emirati institutions and organizations.