Tamil Nadu government has allocated Rs. 20 crore to Anna University to design unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The vehicle would be used to provide information to various departments to ensure effective relief works. It will also be useful to monitor and alert natural disasters and security threats,” said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
For the past three years, the Centre for Aerospace Research in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology campus of Anna University, has been helping the police in surveillance and rescue efforts.
An unmanned vehicle was recently used for crowd management during the death anniversary of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran at Paramakudi . Last year, a UAV along with thermal imaging technology was used to rescue workers trapped under the construction debris of a collapsed building in Moulivakkam.
The Centre’s director said, “Winning an international competition from among 153 countries in 2012 gave them the impetus. On the advice of former President Abdul Kalam we began developing vehicles for civilian applications. The UAV was used to manage crowds during Karthigai deepam in Tiruvannamalai. We also sent it to Uttarakhand for 20 days to help the military rescue people.”
Currently the vehicles are operated within a range of 10 km. But the goal is to expand it to 30km.
“It has a huge job potential as industries may come up to manufacture the UAV products. There are 80 colleges in the State offering aeronautical engineering. We can use the fund as seed money and look for national and international projects,” he added.