New Delhi: The DRDO has successfully test
flown the indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant,
which was used to try out the breakthrough technology of
monitoring the UAV`s health in-flight.
The trial was held yesterday at the Kolar airfield by the
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the
country`s premier defence R&D agency.
The DRDO said in a press note here that the Aeronautical
Development Establishment (ADE), a laboratory under it, had
used the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technology
developed by it along with the National Aerospace Laboratories
(NAL), a CSIR establishment.
"The SHM monitors the structural health parameters online
while the UAV is in flight and help take corrective action.
This enables the UAV to be flown without unnecessarily
grounding them for inspection," the release added.
The analysis algorithms for the SHM were developed to
predict onset of failures, which would be perfected using the
data obtained through the trial held yesterday.
"The usage of such techniques will avoid periodic
grounding of the aircraft and make the maintenance schedules
to be more like `on condition maintenance` with the condition
being detected even before the failure occurs.
SHM can be used for other indigenous developments such as
the `Tejas` Light Combat Aircraft, futuristic Medium Combat
Aircraft, the Indo-Russian joint development of Fifth
Generation Fighter Aircraft and other UAVs, the DRDO said.
"Such techniques are going to be extensively used in the
future in order to cut down the operation costs of the
aircraft and can also lead to reduction in airfares. Such
techniques can prevent ensuing danger of the flights by
pre-warning the occurrence of failure," it added.