Bengaluru: India’s biggest e-UAV undergoing tests in city
The all-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (e-UAV) was brought to Bengaluru from Chennai in a special container truck. Incubated at IIT-Madras, it has been developed by The ePlane Company.
Published: 28th March 2023 10:11 AM | Last Updated: 28th March 2023 10:11 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: India’s biggest vertical take-off drone is now undergoing ground tests here. Its crucial “Cruise Test” will happen in two months. This vehicle was on display at an international conference on “Short Haul Mobility” here on Monday. The all-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (e-UAV) was brought to Bengaluru from Chennai in a special container truck. Incubated at IIT-Madras, it has been developed by The ePlane Company, founded by Prof Satya Chakravarthy in 2019. “This hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has a take-off weight of 200kg, including 50kg payload.
The huge plus point is that it can travel up to 200km powered by its lithium-ion batteries at a speed of 160km/hr. Drones operational in India now can carry only loads between 5kg and 10kg and fly a maximum distance of 30km,” senior aerodynamics engineer Mukundan Dakshinamoorthy, told The New Indian Express. This drone can land on any flat surface, unlike helicopters or flights which require a helipad or a runway. The vehicle has two thermal cameras in front of it like eyes to capture images.
The battery has been concealed in the drone’s body with tiny windows to let in air to keep it cool. The upper half has space to carry the load. Eight sets of propellers facilitate the vertical landing, while four sets of forward propellers enable it to cruise through the air. “Our drone has generated enormous interest since morning. We had representatives from courier concern DHL, ONGC, Army and Navy gathering details about it. Presently, drones are used extensively in agriculture.
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ONGC can use it to detect minute gas leaks in its huge pipeline network and it comes in handy for the Navy for surveillance activities,” Dakshinamoorthy said. Vishnu Ramakrishnan, a staffer at the concern said the lithium batteries imported from South Korea had a capacity of 9KW per hour.
Elaborating on the safety features, he said, “A trained Drone pilot programmes it for precision landing by mapping out the path it has to travel using a QR code.”