DRDO Develops Mini UAV

By admin • July 12th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi — A collaborative development project between the Mumbai-based private firm IdeaForge and the Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE) has created an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that will be a part of the Indian Armed Forces.

The UAV called “Netra” will aid the Indian Armed Forces in counter insurgency operations as well as anti-terrorist operations and is currently undergoing trials. The UAV “Netra” is expected to be inducted by early 2011.

The R&DE is a laboratory under the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) while IdeaForge is a company which consists of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumini. The UAV “Netra” can be used in varied conflict scenarios and provide valuable security management.

“Netra” is equipped with a resolution CCD camera with a pan/tilt and zoom to facilitate wider surveillance. It can also be fitted with thermal cameras to carry out night operations. The operational altitude of the UAV is 200 meters maximum, having a vertical take-off and landing capacity (VTOL) and is equipped with a wireless transmitter. In addition to that, the in-built fail-safe feature allows “Netra” to return to base on loss of communication or low battery.

According to R&DE scientists and IdeaForge officials, the “Netra” UAV weighs about 1.5 kilogram and will cost about $80,000. However, the cost of the UAV could vary depending on various customisations that will be incorporated to suit the needs of the Indian Armed Forces. Currently, the team behind “Netra” is trying to make the UAV an all-weather resistant equipment.

Earlier this year in April, IdeaForge Technology had claimed to have developed a pioneering UAV which would be the world’s smallest and lightest and will prove useful in various tactical operations for the Indian forces. The UAV could be used for various anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations besides disaster management and aerial photography.

According to IdeaForge Technology, the mini UAV ‘Carbon’ flies with the help of four high-speed propellers called a quadrotor which facilitates for its vertical take-off and landing. The UAV has a built-in intelligence which enables it to return automatically to the starting point. This ultra compact UAV has been manufactured using carbon fibre composites. The ‘Carbon’ has 1.5 kilograms of weight with a range of one kilometre. It accommodates swappable Li-Pc batteries that makes it fly up to 30 minutes per charged battery. The UAV’s intelligent auto-pilot controller receives inputs from GPS, magnetometers, gyros, accelerometers and altitude sensors that provide On-board stabilisation to the vehicle.

The UAV ‘Carbon’, made by the highly innovative private firm IdeaForge technology, has already won an award for the Best Autonomous Hovering Vehicle from among 16 international teams in a US-Asian UAV demonstration and assessment exposition.

source: India Defence Online

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