Published: 27th September 2019
Hyderabad based start-up moots small drones for border surveillance
Terra Drone India has come up with the solution by suggesting deployment of small drones for electronic surveillance across identified pockets on the international border.
An eye for an eye may make the world blind but a drone for a drone could actually be a solution at the international border between Pakistan and India, especially in the wake of Pakistan-backed terror groups using drones to airdrop weapons into Indian-side of Punjab.
Hyderabad-based start-up ‘Terra Drone India’ has come up with the solution by suggesting deployment of small drones for electronic surveillance across identified pockets on the international border. A camera mounted drone can be used to fly into a target drone and eliminate the threat immediately or used for simply spotting an enemy drone following which it could be shot down by ground teams, or it can itself be mounted with a gun.
“Drones can be mounted with a gun but that is yet to be developed in India. It’s not very difficult though,” says Wing Commander(retired) Sreedhar Polu, co-founder and chief operating officer of Terra Drone.
According to him, a drone for a drone will not only be cost-effective but highly impactful. “Airforce radars cannot detect drones. They are very small and slow-moving, usually launched from very close to the border under the camouflage of trees.
They could carry 8-10 kg payload and travel a distance of 10-12 km radius. Visual line of sight of a person on the ground is limited but the range of an airborne camera-mount drone to spot enemy drone could be 40-50 km,” he said, adding that a small drone for the purpose may cost only a few thousand rupees. Technology is available to track home drones to easily identify a rogue drone.
The modus operandi used by terrorists came to light after Punjab police arrested four Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorists from Tarn Taran on September 22. Based on information from them, police recovered the drone, that was allegedly used to drop arms and ammunition in Punjab. Reports suggest that Chinese drones with 10kg payloads were used to drop weapons.
“To track a drone using another drone is best suited for places like Tarn Taran which has unmanned porous border. There could be around 15-20 such locations along the border which are unmanned, isolated, river crossings, or dark in nature. By deploying two drones and a technical team, round-the-clock foolproof monitoring can be done by just changing the batteries,” the Wing Commander (retd), said. Technology is available to re-transmit video output from the drone to a command and control centre.
“Sitting in Amritsar, one can monitor the entire Punjab border round-the-clock,” he pointed out. On Thursday, Terra Drones showcased a range of unmanned, geo-intelligent solutions to the Army at Sapta Shakti Wartech Expo 2019 in Hisar, Haryana. “Today we have showcased an aeroplane that can fly up to 20km range and find a target of opportunity,” he added.