The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will participate in an international pioneering program for building Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) called Project Lotus.
Kyriakos Yakinthos, professor at the AUTH Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Fluid and Turbine Engineering Laboratory, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA):
“We have created a consortium to design and build an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, which will carry out surveillance and intelligence-collecting missions in general. It is a program in which several other Greek companies participate, along with Cypriot, Spanish and Dutch companies. ”
According to Dr. Yakinthos, Greek companies are involved in Project Lotus, which will undertake the construction of the hull and the drone wings for the autopilot system, plus the electronics, and so on, resulting in a large part of the total construction.
“The production will take place in Greece. The Greek contribution to the total construction will be over 80 percent,” the professor stated.
Regarding the design philosophy for the vehicle, Dr. Yakinthos explained that the prototype will be large, heavy drone with a wing length of 8-9 meters (26-29 feet).
“Greece, in a competitive context, submitted four proposals as a coordinating country and all four were given to us,” the the professor underscored to interviewers.
“The drones will fly for surveillance missions, humanitarian missions – and more. They have been designed based on the requirements of our country and can be used for other purposes as well,” Yakinthos said.
The deadline for the completion of Project Lotus has been set for 45 months and will be evaluated at certain points within this period by the Greek as well as the Cypriot Ministries of Defense.
“The top specifications of the construction of all subsystems of Project Lotus make it tempting for further sales to interested parties outside of Greece,” explained the AUTH professor, emphasizing that additional profits for AUTH will derive from the drone’s copyright.
“The AUTH will also collect rights for each drone that will be built. The money will then go to the university’s needs,” Dr. Yakinthos concluded.