India’s indigenous drones ready to fly but concerns remain: Experts

Image Source : PTI (file image)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flies a drone at the inauguration of the India Drone Festival, at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi.

Highlight

  • India’s drone industry expected to play key role in public services
  • The popularity and adoption of drone technology is gaining momentum across India
  • India recently organized its biggest drone festival in the national capital.

With a growing indigenous base of manufacturers, India’s drone industry could play an important role in future in public services such as agriculture, defence, health care and infrastructure maintenance, say experts who are concerned about the safety and privacy of these unmanned aerial vehicles. Some concerns have also been highlighted about , Drones are mini pilotless aircraft that are operated by remote control and can be accessed through simple devices such as a smartphone app. These unmanned vehicles require very little effort, time and energy, and can reach remote and difficult terrain, while being controlled remotely by a single person.

The popularity and adoption of drone technology is gaining momentum in all sectors and sectors and India is no exception. Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said last month that India will need around one lakh drone pilots in the coming years. To showcase the potential of the indigenous drone industry, India recently organized its biggest drone festival in the national capital. Over 1,600 delegates, including government officials, foreign diplomats, PSUs, private companies and drone startups, participated in the two-day event, the India Drone Festival, held in the capital on May 27 and 28.

The companies showcased unmanned vehicles designed for sectors such as defence, agriculture, survey mapping, as well as state-of-the-art projects of the future, such as drones carrying patients in emergencies and delivering large-scale goods and essentials. Will play a big role. New Delhi-based drone manufacturer Theta Analytics in association with Vega Aviation Products showcased its endurance and hard body drones at the festival. “These drones can be used for various purposes like agriculture, forest management services, city and town planning services, revenue and planning departments, police services, public sector smart cities and industries, power plants, mining companies, construction companies Something,” said Karan Dhaul, president and co-founder of Theta Analytics.

Dhaul said, “Our drones are made entirely of composite materials which are capable of flying more than any other drone in its class. Our Theta Falcon can fly for 150 minutes in a single flight and weighs up to 1 kg. Can carry sensors and payloads.” told PTI. He said the ‘Theta Falcon’ is ideal for applications, surveillance and mapping of border security. The drone takes off vertically like a helicopter and then transitions to horizontal flight like an airplane. Another drone displayed at the festival, ‘Hexacopter Theta Lotus’, can carry a payload of up to 10 kg under ideal conditions and can also be used to string guidewires for transmission lines, ropeway bridges and cable cars.

“The Lotus can fly for up to 70 minutes on a single charge,” Dhaul said. Many of the drones showcased at the festival have a distinctive and strong use case and will do well due to the growing demand in the country, said Suhas Chandak, owner of Karnataka-based Vega Aviation Products. “Drone companies in India are already providing services worth 100 crores, and are poised to grow tenfold,” Chandak told PTI. Drone technology expert Dharmendra Singh agreed saying that there is a huge market and the demand for drones is coming very fast in the country.

Singh, Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, said, “Nowadays, there are a lot of private players coming up in this field, which will certainly reduce the cost of drones as well as the services of drones for various applications. will do.” (IIT) Roorkee told PTI, “Therefore, it may be possible that in the near future India may have very cost-effective services in various places like agriculture, delivery system, project monitoring, health sector etc.” As India aims to become a global hub for drone technology by 2030, Singh said that highly stable and accurate drones with good coverage capability can play an important role in public services. The professor said that India has adequate infrastructure, good supply chain and excellent technical capability to deploy drones, however, some concerns remain.

“Privacy, covert surveillance or espionage and the collision of drones are some of the concerns that may hinder their large-scale implementation,” he said. Chandak said the government is well aware of these issues and dividing the country into green, orange and red zones has resolved most of the apprehensions and concerns, especially around privacy. “However, as an industry we must ensure failure against equipment failure or human error as a single accident can change the fate of any operator,” Chandak said. “As a deterrent to rogue drones, it will be helpful if the government facilitates indigenous manufacturing and deployment of anti-drone systems and jammers to help protect infrastructure against anti-social elements,” he said.

Read also | Drone Festival: India has potential to become a global drone hub: PM Modi

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