Why a drone is the best solution to tackle security threat by an illegal drone
Industrial drone startup Terra Drone India is at the forefront of innovation with its research and development facilities, Centre of Excellence and introduction of new drones that are ideal for tactical missions like search and rescue, convoy protection, battlefield monitoring and border patrol
Hyderabad-based drone startup Terra Drone India, offers industrial drone solutions, and is an an associate company of Japan’s Terra Drone Corporation, a leading global drone service provider. Founded in 2018, the company has already crossed a few notable milestones within a short span, namely partnering with Roter Group to sell German-engineered, India-manufactured professional drones; established a Centre of Excellence for drones at IIT Hyderabad; helped Maharashtra to update decades-old agricultural maps for efficient water management; enabled Andhra Pradesh to map flood-affected areas in Polavaram and set up drone lab at Vignan University to foster UAV innovation in India.
“We provide a complete solution set to governments and enterprises, right from supplying them with state-of-the-art drone hardware based on their specific project requirements to acquiring UAV data in the most challenging environments and then delivering real, tangible value to the customers through advanced IoT-driven data analytics and image-processing,” says Prateek Srivastava, CEO, Terra Drone India.
The company’s product portfolio includes two survey-grade UAVs designed to take-off and land autonomously in the most challenging environments – Tron90+ and Trinity90+. The drones come equipped with features like ADS-B technology for collision avoidance, high payload capacity, and longest-in-class flight time (more than 90 minutes), informs Srivastava, adding that Tron90+ and Trinity90+ leverage a technique called Post Processing Kinematic (PPK) to correct GPS signals to achieve accuracy up to 2cm. This capability is critical for applications like 3D mapping in smart cities, mining operations, infrastructure monitoring, forestry, etc.
The startup is seeing huge traction from the mining sector which is witnessing time and cost savings by using drones for volumetric calculation, reserve analytics, inventory analytics, and maintenance analytics. “We are also looking to support Modi government’s Smart Cities initiatives through intelligent data acquisition and analytics. For example, the Transport Ministry under Nitin Gadkari has fixed a target to build 40 km of roads per day. This kind of growth is not possible without using cutting-edge technologies in every sphere, right from planning and execution to maintenance. Terra Drone India’s smart data analytics has the power to act as a key decision support system for stakeholders across a wide variety of industries,” affirms Srivastava.
Terra Drone India will also introduce vertical take-off reconnaissance UAVs called Vector and Scorpion in the Indian market in the coming months. “Optimised for use in adverse conditions with extreme temperatures, these drones are ideal for tactical missions, such as, search and rescue, convoy protection, battlefield monitoring, border patrol, and traffic surveillance,” says Srivastava.
When questioned about the recent security apprehension concerning drones, and if there is a solution, Srivastava replies that the best solution to tackle the security threat posed by an illegal drone is a drone itself. “For example, in a place like Tarn Taran which has unmanned porous border, you could deploy drones for round-the-clock foolproof monitoring. While the visual line of sight of a person on the ground is limited, the range of an airborne drone can spot an enemy drone from 40-50 km away. We recently showcased a range of unmanned, geo-intelligent solutions at Sapta Shakti Wartech Expo 2019 in Hisar. We proposed to the Army a connected solution to track every activity in restricted areas – right from the movement of aircrafts to ground vehicles and soldiers,” he explains further.
“Our most recent strategic partnership has been with Ansari Precision Instruments, part of the Roter Group of Companies, to sell their Quantum Systems GmbH German-engineered professional long-range drones in India,” says Srivastava, adding that Quantum is known globally for introducing the most innovative and efficient concepts in the unmanned aviation market. Its Trinity90+ drone is being used by the Survey of India to digitally remap the country.
He further points out, “Also, let’s not forget that as part of Terra Drone Group – which has a local presence in more than 30 countries – we are constantly exposed to the best UAV technologies from around the world. Being a part this ecosystem gives us the unique advantage of bringing those solutions to India that have already been tried and tested at a global level and are known for their efficiency and reliability. By using these proven core technologies to develop customised industrial drone solutions for the Indian market, we can help both public and private organisations to attain their goals swiftly.”
Innovation and R&D
Srivastava reminds that since the basic premise of his company’s drone-based solutions is to provide the users with better data at a lower cost and to save time and risk to human lives in the process, innovation is central to his business. “We have an in-house drone research and development cum manufacturing unit which supports the Government’s ‘Make in India’ program,” he informs.
To promote the research and development of drone-based industrial solutions in India, the company co-established a first-of-its-kind Center of Excellence for drones at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. “There, we are facilitating collaborative teaching, training, and research activities for upskilling young professionals in the country,” adds Srivastava.
At Vignan University in Andhra Pradesh, the startup has co-established a drone laboratory to foster innovation in both unmanned aerial platforms and geographical information systems (GIS). Terra Drone India is actively offer internship programs to talented students and prepare them for real-world drone technology applications.