The DRDO today announced that it had demonstrated its indigenously designed and developed aerostat system to the Indian services. The system, a statement said, was capable of carrying electro-optic and COMINT payloads for surveillance. The statement added, "Trials of the system were concluded on Christmas. These included surveillance all over Agra and interception of variety of communications. ELINT and RADAR payloads are also being developed indigenously. This platform is a result of development of a number of high end technologies in the field of aerodynamic design of balloon, fabrics, fabrication, hydraulic winch, electro optic tether, high pressure helium cylinder manifold, active pressure control system etc in association with large and medium sized Industrial partners."
More from the statement: The complete balloon systems, ground based command and control systems, and payloads have been integrated for full exploitation. The gimbals, with 360 degree azimuth freedom and high degree freedom in elevation is highly stabilized and can carry out steering, scanning and tracking with high precision. The payload also carries thermal camera for surveillance during night and in low visibility condition. The electronic intelligence payload carries a communication intelligence system for capturing and analyzing all types of communications in air. Health monitoring of aerostat and simultaneous command and controlling of payload from ground control station has been demonstrated. The system will be useful for three services, paramilitary forces as well as have civilian applications including disaster management. This milestone comes in the wake of new generation high altitude aerostats/airships that will be developed by DRDO. Dr. Prahlada thankfully acknowledged the participation of other DRDO labs, industry and users (Army, Air force).
Photos Courtesy DRDO
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