Asia Multirotor

‘3 Idiots’ UAV inducted into counter-insurgency operations

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), that awed viewers in the Bollywood hit ”3 Idiots”, has been officially inducted into the paramilitary forces. The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) are using the drone, titled ‘Netra’, in counter-insurgency operations.

The autonomous UAV for surveillance and reconnaissance was inducted into the paramilitary forces last month while the army, navy and several state police forces have shown a keen interest in acquiring it, say its makers.

It was developed by Ideaforge Technology Pvt Ltd, a company floated by a group of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Mumbai alumni, and the Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

DRDO, after watching the 2009 Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots”, tied up with IdeaForge to refine the Netra.

It is designed specifically for anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in forested areas. It can be used in hostage situations like the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, border infiltration monitoring, local law enforcement operations, search and rescue operations, disaster management and aerial photography.

“Ten units of Netra have already been taken by the DRDO for research related works in their laboratories like Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in Manali while less than a dozen have been provided to paramilitary forces,” IdeaForge vice-president (marketing and operations unmanned systems) Amardeep Singh told IANS.

Netra is light-weight (1.5 kg) and portable, constructed using carbon fibre composites, allowing a user to carry the system along with the control station to field locations. Each unit costs around Rs.15-20 lakh.

The operator simply selects the locations from a graphical interface showing the map of the area and specifies the heights with command either to hover or traverse through them.

“We have developed 10 prototypes of Netra that can suit the requirements of paramilitary forces, police and defence forces. We have now given the right of production to IdeaForge and those interested in buying it can directly get in touch with the company,” Alok Mukherjee, head of the robotics division of DRDO, told IANS.
Talking about its usage in paramilitary forces, Singh said Netra can help in catching the images of the mass movement of Maoists hiding in difficult terrains and alert the forces about their presence.

“We have also demonstrated the Netra during a political rally in Chandigarh at the request of police and several other state police forces have shown keen interest in procuring it,” said Singh.

The company is now working on the next version of Netra in order to increase the flight time from the present 30 minute per battery charge. It can fly in a radius of 1.5 km at an altitudes of around 200 metre.

“Netra flies using four high-speed propellers that allow vertical take-off and landing and provide the power to soar through the skies. It has a wireless video transmitter and high resolution CCD camera with pan/tilt and zoom that sends images back to the operator,” said Mukherjee.

The built-in intelligence in the controller allows for fail-safe operations wherein in case of either a communication failure with base station or low battery, the UAV returns to take-off position automatically.

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One thought on “‘3 Idiots’ UAV inducted into counter-insurgency operations
  1. The Expert forum of RCIndia (RC Stands for Remote Control) comments on this.

    Verious top level Govt. Officers, Scientists, HAM, DGCA licenced personnels, Engineering students are already uses this platform and this quad-copter is not new to them. But as India have lacked in technical Hobby based Education in School levels, this may look new to common people when shown in movie. Due to lack of knowledge, some people feels this may harm. But to defeat terrorist activity, our motherland needs more education in those technical fields and knowledge is only solution. Aero-modeling and HAM is the Hobby level Education that have to be introduced in every top level schools so that more people know the rules and regulations and our motherland will be reach in resources. Strangely the main items Tx/Rx are not still manufactured in India and most importers experiences twisting by some Customs personnel (IL-Motivation or lack of knowledge, controversial) as this is India, though the hobby grade Tx/Rx are considered as toy as per Wireless Planning & Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Ref: Some negative minded persons may ban Common Salt even as electrolysis and some easy reactions may generate banned Explosive chemicals with them.
    However, the scenario is improving rather than past. 2G Scam analysis got some positive results. Ignoring the communication education gone completely. WPC have already type approved most popular Tx/Rx models in India, applied to them for “Type Approval” and are those are legally available to local hobby shops.
    And WPC already started restricted grade license which is very much effective for HAM.
    The only hope is “Better late than NEVER”.
    Our nation still have a long path to travel.
    EDUCATION and KNOWLEDGE is the key.
    If you are interested, just Read the Beginners portion and you will know the world of RC.

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