The UAVs developed by Anna University were used to take photographs and videos of the stock yard and granite blocks there, spread across several acres. Gadgets have come in handy for the authorities who are probing the multi-crore illegal granite quarrying scam. The district administration had earlier used total station solution, an equipment to assess the quarries.
The UAV, weighing 1.8 kg, and fitted with a camera and GPS, is capable of flying up to a height of one km and capturing the ground below for a radius of five km. The UAV transmitted the images in real time to the ground where a team of experts from the varsity as well as officials viewed them on a laptop.
The officials have planned to compare the images by UAV with existing aerial images of quarry areas taken in the past to assess the extent of quarrying. The UAV tagged Dhaksha was developed by the Department of Aerospace Engineering’s Division of Avionics, MIT, Anna University. Dhaksha was aimed at providing solutions during rescue operations with real-time video and stable, high-resolution imagery.
Project director of Dhaksha K Senthil Kumar was also in Melur inspecting the use of UAV in the granite quarries. The UAV can move at speeds of up to 60 kmph.
The district administration, besides using the UAV, has also planned to go in for manual inspection of the quarries and will dig at places in the quarries suspected to have been covered to hide illegalities.