University of Kyrenia Developed the TRNC’s First Domestic “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”
Date Added: 04 May 2023, 11:20

TOPEL-1, the TRNC’s first indigenous UAV, designed by the students of the Pilotage, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technologies and Aeronautical Engineering departments of the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Kyrenia, has successfully completed its test flight in the sky.

From software to prototyping, TOPEL 1, which bears the signature of University of Kyrenia students, has been designed with all the features that can be used in reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Drawing attention with its automatic flight control system, TOPEL-1 can be remotely controlled with devices such as IFF, GPS and instrument flight display, as well as goggles designed for the operator to see the image more easily. With its wireless image transfer technologies, TOPEL-1 can instantly transfer the image to the operator during reconnaissance missions. TOPEL-1 is aimed to be used especially in search and rescue operations.

The TRNC’s indigenous UAV, the first prototype of which was designed and produced by the University of Kyrenia, bears the name of Pilot Captain Cengiz Topel, who was martyred on 8 August 1964 during the operation carried out by the Turkish Air Force to support the Erenköy Struggle in Cyprus.

TOPEL-1 is the product of 1.5 years of work
Ahmet Furkan Laz, a second year student at the Department of Pilotage, Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences, University of Kyrenia, who is the leader of the team that designed and produced TOPEL-1, said that they worked for more than 1.5 years to develop, design and prototype the TOPEL-1 unmanned aerial vehicle and added: “The successful completion of the test flight of TOPEL-1, which we completed with the facilities provided by our university and with the work of a large team of 22 people, made us all feel a great pride.”

Ahmet Furkan Laz said that they developed TOPEL-1 with intensive labour at all stages, from design, software and production, and added: “We continued our classes during the day and spent the night in the laboratories. The project enabled us to gain knowledge and experience in the field of aviation with the contribution of the practical training we received at the University of Kyrenia Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences.”

Emphasising that their project is an example of the successful work of the University of Kyrenia in the field of aviation, Laz said, “I would like to thank all our professors, especially our Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu, who always supported us during the development process of TOPEL-1.”

Our biggest dream is mass production!
Describing TOPEL-1 as “a low-cost and multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicle with a domestically developed automatic flight control system”, Ahmet Furkan Laz said that their biggest dream is the mass production of TOPEL-1, especially for use in search and rescue activities. Ahmet Furkan Laz also stated that they will represent the University of Kyrenia and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in national or international events such as TEKNOFEST in the coming period with TOPEL-1.

Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu: “We are proud of our students!”
University of Kyrenia Rector Prof. Dr. İlkay Salihoğlu emphasised that the successful test flights of TOPEL-1, which was developed with great effort by 22 students studying in the Departments of Pilotage, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technologies and Aeronautical Engineering of the Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences of the University of Kyrenia, is a great pride not only for the University of Kyrenia but also for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Stating that University of Kyrenia Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences prepares its students for the future with 2 training aircraft, Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD), Computer Based Training Room, Mechanics Laboratory and many other facilities, Prof. Dr. Salihoğlu said, “TOPEL-1, which was developed and successfully flown by our students, is a very good example of what Turkish youth can achieve if supported. We will continue to stand by all students studying in 15 faculties of our university with all our facilities.”