India conducts flight trials of Air Vehicles
Bangalore: Flight trials of Micro and Mini
Air Vehicles designed and developed to meet many requirements
including countering low intensity conflicts, counter
terrorism and for rescue operations during natural calamities,
were conducted at Hoskote near here, DRDO said on Wednesday.
These small vehicles are capable of flying in full
autonomous mode and transmitting live day and night video to
the portable Ground Control Station in real time, Defence
Research and Development Organisation said in a statement.
Aeronautical Development Establishment, a laboratory
under the aegis of DRDO, conducted the flight trials on
These products are developed jointly by ADE and National
Aerospace Laboratories and supported by private vendors.
Three Micro Air Vehicles named Black kite, Golden Hawk
and Pushpak with varying sizes ranging from 300 to 450 mm with
a maximum weight of 300 gms to 500 gms were flight
These vehicles have an endurance of 30 minutes and carry
a miniature daylight video camera as payload that relays the
imagery of the gaming area to the GCS during its flight. The
video and telemetry range is about two kms.
Two mini UAVs called Imperial Eagle and Sly Bird, which
are categorised under two kg class vehicles and having an
endurance of one hour, were also demonstrated.
These vehicles carry either a daylight camera or thermal,
night vision camera (one at a time) as payload and thus has
the capability for both day and night surveillance, it said.
Flying at an altitude of one km above ground level, they
are hand launched and recovered through soft landing from sea
level to 14000 feet and have a service ceiling altitude of
These vehicles are fully autonomous with 'programmed way
point navigation' and the way points can also be changed
through tele-command during the flight, the statement said.
The video and telemetry range is about 10 km and with a
ground tracker system is capable of providing continuous
imagery of the on-board camera irrespective of the attitude of
"The logistics support and skills required for operating
these vehicles are very minimal and one or two persons can
easily deploy them. This can also be carried as Soldier's back
pack", the statement said.
The USP of these projects is the involvement of private
Industry from the development phase. The Autopilots developed
indigenously by Idea Forge, Mumbai, have been integrated with
both mini and Micro Air vehicles. It also took responsibility
of integrating the 'gimbal mounted thermal camera.'
Aurora Integrated Systems was also associated in the
development of Auto pilot and production of MAVs. It also
integrated its auto pilot with ADE's data link and single axis
tracker developed by Badave Engineers, Pune.
Seagul Technologies, Bangalore, was involved in the
fabrication of carbon composites based airframes.
V S Chandra Shekar, Programme Director, National
Programme on Micro Air vehicles (NP-MICAV) said a number of
activities/projects have been initiated under this programme
across various R & D labs and the academic institutions.
He reiterated that it is possible, in due course, to
demonstrate cooperative missions using multiple heterogeneous
air vehicles and possibly acting as a force multiplier.
The flight demonstrations were witnessed by Subhananda
Rao, Chief Controller, R& D (Aero) and P S Krishnan, Director