Testing the ‘eye in the sky'

Staff Reporter
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A micro unmanned aerial vehicle in flight in Bangalore.
A micro unmanned aerial vehicle in flight in Bangalore.

With the successful flight trials of Micro- and Mini- Air Vehicles at Hoskote on the outskirts of Bangalore on Wednesday, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) hopes that the bird's eye perspective delivered by these vehicles would translate to a tactical advantage for the Indian Armed forces.

Equipped with a miniature video camera, ADE said, these air vehicles were suited for surveillance in low intensity conflicts, counter-terrorism operations and even for rescue operations during natural calamities. The video would be transmitted in real time to a portable Ground Control Station (GCS).

The three Micro Air Vehicles — christened Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak — are a few centimetres long, and have a maximum weight of 500 grams. Also tested were two Mini Unmanned Air Vehicles (Imperial Eagle and Sly Bird), which weigh under two kilograms.

Micro Air Vehicles can fly for a maximum of 30 minutes, while the mini UAV can fly for one hour.

The products, which are launched by hand, can fly to an altitude of 15,000 feet. This versatility would make them perfect during missions where they could be mounted on a soldier's back, said a release.

The flight demonstrations were witnessed by Subhananda Rao, Distinguished Scientist, Chief Controller, Research and development (Aero), and P.S. Krishnan, Distinguished Scientist, Director, ADE.

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