India test-flies Nishant drone with new technology

Friday, October 29, 2010

BANGALORE - India has successfully test flown its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Nishant with new technology for monitoring its structural health in flight, a defence official said Friday.

“The trials were conducted at Kolar airfield in Karnataka, about 100 km from here, Thursday and the structural health of the UAV was monitored in flight,” Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist R.K. Gupta said in a statement.

Developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), the new system enables the structural health of aeronautical structures to be monitored on board.

“The system allows us to monitor the health of the aircraft online and take corrective action in flight without grounding it,” Gupta said.

The new technique will also avoid periodic grounding of the UAV for maintenance.

“The technique can also be used to monitor the health parameters of the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the proposed medium combat aircraft (MCA) and the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) besides drones,” Gupta noted.

The technique can also be used to reduce the operational cost of civilian aircraft and prevent danger of flights by pre-warning the occurrence of failure.

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