The political aspect of 2019 was marked by cold conflict between the nations of India and Pakistan. Especially after the Indian BSF guards recovered drones crossing the border with arms. However, Terra Drone India, a Hyderabad based company, has come up with a solution. The company suggests preparing smaller drones for surveillance across known pockets on the international border. To eliminate the threat immediately or used for merely recognizing an enemy drone, a camera mounted drone can be used to fly into a target drone.
“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. Terra Drone is known as one of the world leaders in drone solutions. The company had recently made a large investment in a UTM provider called Unifly.
A cost-effective and impactful solution
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.
The routine utilized by terrorists was known after Punjab Police arrested four Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorists from Tarn Taran on September 22, 2019. Also, the drone that was allegedly used to drop arms and ammunition in Punjab was recovered. According to the reports, Chinese drones with 10kg payloads were used to drop weapons.
A drone for a drone
“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 center.
“Sitting in Amritsar, one can monitor the entire Punjab border round-the-clock,” he pointed out. 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 airplane that can fly up to 20km range and find a target of opportunity,” he added.