Dr. Subrahmanyam Saderla

Department of Aerospace Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Research Interests:

  • Real Time Aircraft Parameter Estimation
  • Aerodynamic Charecterstics of UAVs using flight testing methods
  • Aircraft Instrumentation and Control
  • Aircraft Simulation
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Design
  • Experimental Flight Dynamics
  • Drone Design and Development
  • Exploring AI based controller design for UAVs for UAVs operating in difficult terrains
  • Controller reconfiguration of UAVs using online system identification


My active research areas are Application of Real time system Identification for online fault diagnosis of an aircraft under distress, Online system identification of aircraft undergoing icing condition, Application of parameter estimation for UAV certification, and Adaptive Control using Realtime System Identification.

Assistant Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering

  • Website: https://home.iitk.ac.in/~saderlas/
  • Phone: +91-512-259-2009
  • Degree: PhD (IIT Kanpur, IN)
  • E-mail: saderlas@iitk.ac.in

Course taught:
Fight stability and control (AE648A),(2019,2020,2022)
Flight dynamics (AE647A), (2019,2020,2022)
Experiments in flight mechanics (AE421A), (2020,2021,2022)
Aircraft design (AE461A), (2019,2020,2022)

NPTEL Courses taught:
Design of fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
UAV design Part II

New courses introduced:

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles system identification and its applications
  • System Identification for Flight Vehicles and Optimization techniques for UAV design
  • Development

    UAV Lab


    Personal and Professional Information


    Subrahmanyam Saderla

    5+ years of teaching experience.

    • UAV Laboratory, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India
    • +91-512-259-2009
    • saderlas@iitk.ac.in


    Doctor of Philosophy


    Thesis Title:Parameter Estimation using Flight Data of Unmanned Flight Vehicles at Low and Moderately High Angles of Attack Using Conventional Methods

    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India

    Master of Technology


    Thesis Title: Aerodynamic Characterizatin and Trajectory estimation of guided projectiles.

    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India

    Bachelor of Technology


    Institute of Aeronautical Engineering

    Hyderabad, India

    Professional Experience

    Assistant Professor

    Jan, 2018 - Present

    Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Sep, 2016 - Dec, 2017

    Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea

    Chief Technical Officer (CTO)

    Oct, 2015 - Aug, 2016

    Srashta Automation Labs Pvt. Ltd., India

    Project Scientist, Flight Dynamics

    Jul, 2015 - Sep, 2015

    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India


    VU-Dynamics Private Limited

    Start-up incubated at IITK-FIRST under Faculty Entrepreneurship Program

    Role: Director

    Since 2022

    LAB Facilities

    Useful in developing the cutting-edge unmanned systems

    UAV Testing and Prototyping Facilities

    • Dynamic thrust calibration test bench for microjet engines, mini IC engines, Electric Ducted Fans and Brushless Motor
    • Static Coaxial Thrust bench for BLDC motors
    • UAV rapid prototyping setup using 3D printing
    • Ground control Station for UAV communication and flight testing
    • Drone battery pack testing and development setup (Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer)
    • Composite curing ovens with vacuum bagging facility (4m x 2m x 2m)
    • UAV mold fabrication facility using 3axis CNC router (2.8m x 1.5m x 0.25m)
    • Non-metallic template machining facility using laser cutting (1.5m x 1 m x 0.012m)
    • Miniature calibration dynamic test rig facility for drone UAV ground station

    Developed Technologies

    • Real time crowd monitoring/surveillance solution using Aerostat
    • Remote pilot training module for UAVs
    • Software in the loop simulator for Kamikaze drone
    • Tandem wing catapult/canister launched Kamikaze drone
    • Hand launch flying wing drone for surveillance
    • Pneumatic Catapult Launcher for UAVs
    • Pneumatic Canister Launcher for foldable fixed wing UAVs


    Published Articles

    1. Kumar, N., Kishore, G., Saderla, S., and Kim, Y., 2023. An adaptive law based online system identification of cropped delta unmanned aerial vehicles from flight tests, Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 141. 108526, ISSN 1270-9638, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2023.108526

    2. Kumar, N., Saderla, S., and Kim, Y., 2023. Aerodynamic characterisation of delta wing unmanned aerial vehicle using non-gradient-based estimator. The Aeronautical Journal, 127(1314), 1435-1451. https://doi.org/10.1017/aer.2023.2

    3. Samuel J, J., Kumar, N., Saderla, S., and Kim, Y., 2023. Parametric model identification of delta wing UAVs using filter error method augmented with particle swarm optimisation. The Aeronautical Journal, 127(1312), 982-1008. https://doi.org/10.1017/aer.2022.100

    4. Kumar, N., Saderla, S., and Kim, Y., 2023. System identification of cropped delta UAVs from flight test methods using particle Swarm-Optimisation-based estimation. The Aeronautical Journal, 127(1307), 76-96. https://doi.org/10.1017/aer.2022.46

    5. S. Saderla, Dhayalan R, Kirtiman Singh, Neetesh Kumar and Ghosh, A.K., 2019. Longitudinal and lateral directional aerodynamic characterization of reflex wing UAV from flight tests using ML, LS and NGN methods. The Aeronautical Journal, 123 (1269), 1807-1839.

    6. Gwang-gyo Seo , Yoonsoo Kim, S. Saderla, 2019. Kalman-filter based online system identification of fixed-wing aircraft in upset condition. Aerospace Science and Technology, 89, 307-317.

    7. S. Saderla, Yoonsoo Kim, A K Ghosh, 2018. Online system Identification of mini cropped delta UAVs using flight test methods. Aerospace Science and Technology, 80, 337-353.

    8. S. Saderla, Rajaram, D., Ghosh, A., 2018. Lateral directional parameter estimation of a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle using maximum likelihood and Neural Gauss-Newton methods. The Aeronautical Journal, 122 (1252), 889-912.

    9. Dhayalan R., S. Saderla, Ajoy Kanti Ghosh, 2018. Parameter estimation of UAV from flight data using neural network. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, 90 (Issue 2), 302-311.

    10. S. Saderla, Dhayalan, R., Ghosh, A., 2017. Non-linear aerodynamic modelling of unmanned cropped delta configuration from experimental data. The Aeronautical Journal, 121 (1237), 320-340.

    11. S. Saderla, Rajaram, Dhayalan, Ghosh, A K, 2017. Parameter Estimation of Unmanned Flight Vehicle Using Wind Tunnel Testing and Real Flight Data. Journal of Aerospace Engineering (ASCE), 30 (1), 04016078.

    12. S. Saderla, R. Dhayalan, A. K. Ghosh, 2017. Parameter estimation from near stall flight data using conventional and neural-based methods. Defense Science Journal, 67 (1), 03-11.

    13. S. Saderla, R. Dhayalan, A. K. Ghosh, , "Aerodynamic parameter estimation using neuro-fuzzy model based method," 2017 First International Conference on Recent Advances in Aerospace Engineering (ICRAAE), Coimbatore, India, 2017, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/ICRAAE.2017.8297220

    14. S. Saderla, Rajaram, Dhayalan, Ghosh, A K, 2016. Longitudinal parameter estimation from real flight data of unmanned cropped delta flat plate configuration. International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems, 4(1), 2-22.


    List of current students/staff

    Ph.D. (On-going)

    Neetesh Kumar


    “Real-time System Identification for Reconfigurable Control of Marginally Stable High-speed Aircraft.”

    Gulivindala Kishore


    “Fault Detection, Isolation, and Reconfiguration Methods for UAV”

    Sagar Ghosal



    M.Tech. (On-going)

    Surya M

    2022 - 2024 Batch

    "Terminal guidance of Fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle in Real time estimation"

    Sonam Chorol

    2022 - 2024 Batch

    "System Identification with software-in-loop simulation using gain tuning in PX4 algorithm for non-linear flight envelope."

    Mohammad Sadeeq Shah

    2022 - 2024 Batch

    "Design optimisation of VTOL UAV."

    Abhishek M

    2023 - 2025 Batch


    Vamshi Krishna R

    2023 - 2025 Batch


    M.Tech. (Completed)

    Pokar Monil


    Design Optimization of UAV Propellers for Hover Performance Using Particle Swarm Optimization.

    Gaurav Kumar


    Attitude Stabilization and Command Tracking of a Delta Wing UAV using Adaptive Sliding Mode Control.

    Tadesse Yohannes


    Design of Autopilot for Delta Wing UAVs.

    Samuel Jenkins Paul J


    Controller in Loop System Identification of an Unstable Combat UAV.

    Aishwarya Rani


    Dynamics and Control of Canard Guided Artillery Shell Projectile.

    Alvin Sebastian


    Modelling, Simulation, and Control of Active Side Stick in Modern Combat Aircraft.

    Shivam Goswami


    System identification with software-in-loop simulation using gain tuning in PX4 algorithm.

    Challa Sai Kumar


    Implementation of Formation Control for a manoeuvring Swarm of Fixed-Wing UAVs.

    Omkar Babasaheb Rajmane

    2021 - 2023 Batch

    "Obstacle detection and avoidance for a fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicle using machine learning."

    M. Shiva Teja Reddy

    2021 - 2023 Batch

    "Real Time power-plant fault identification of an electrically powered UAV"

    Lab Members

    Ashish Kumar

    UAV Lab

    Project Associate

    C. Bhushan Vishwakarma

    UAV Lab

    Project Associate

    Jaya Suriya K

    UAV Lab


    Ven Leonin K

    UAV Lab


    Rishi Pandya R

    UAV Lab


    Vishal Verma

    UAV Lab

    Technical Assistant

    Laxmi Kant

    UAV Lab

    Technical Assistant


    UAV Lab

    Technical Assistant


    UAV Lab

    Technical Assistant


    UAV Lab



    On-going and completed projects

    On-going Projects

    Real-time Flight Vehicles Distress Management using Online System Identification

    Agency: Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)

    Reconfigurable control of fixed wing high speed unmanned aerial vehicles

    Agency: Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)

    UAV Laboratory

    Agency: IIT Kanpur

    Payload dropping drones for defence applications.

    Agency: Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor

    Completed Projects

    Miniature pneumatic recoil management mechanism for micro-UAV

    Agency: DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory (DYSL-AT)

    Design optimization, prototype development and wind tunnel testing of a foldable Tandem wing UAV

    Agency: Asymmetric Technologies, DRDO

    Development of Crowd Monitoring Solution Using Aerostat

    Agency: Govt. of UP and IITK

    Development of Solar and VTOL Air Taxi

    Agency: VTOL Aviation India Ltd.

    Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles

    Agency: Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority

    Flight Demonstration and Flight Data Collection For Latest Ghatak Configuration Irc 2.3 Rd

    Agency: Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)

    Design, Development, and testing of Tandem Wing

    Agency: DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory (DYSL-AT)

    Design, Development, and testing of Aerostat

    Agency: Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor

    Analytical Study Of A Supercavitating Projectile Including Stability Analysis In Different Mediums

    Agency: Navel Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), DRDO

    Modification of Conventional Artillery Rocket to A Guided Rocket With Freely Spinning Tail


    Autonomous Flight Test of a Low RCS Aircraft Configuration with Ducted Fan for Multiple Flight Modes

    Agency: Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)

    Prototype Development of Cloud Seeding Equipment

    Agency: IITK and Govt. of UP

    Indigenous UAV Developments

    Agency: Larsen and Toubro Limited

    Initiation Research Grant for System Identification

    Agency: IIT Kanpur



    UAV Laboratory, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur, IN, 208016

    Please feel free to contact me!