Researchers at IIT-Kanpur have developed India’s first low-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that could be used for anything from patrolling the border to traffic and crowd monitoring. The aircraft, called P1, is commanded by a computer pilot on the ground. It can fly for more than 10 hours continuously at an altitude of up to 5,000ft and has a wide operating radius of 150km. The UAV had its first field trial on August 14 and can be used for highway patrolling, traffic and crowd monitoring (in case of riots) or crop and pollution surveillance. The armed forces are also keen to test the aircraft for their use.
“We anticipate both civilian and military applications. The system could even carry environmental sensors like Chromium sensors on it and fly over river Ganges to measure the pollution levels,” co-principal investigator, Dr. Deepu Philip said.
The project was started in January 2014 and is jointly funded by IIT Kanpur and the Prabhu Goel foundation.