Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DRDO Demonstrates Indigenous Aerostat

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

19 comments :

Anonymous said...

Fitting this with a radar to track cruise missiles will be a big boost to anti-cruise missile defence. We can then fire the AAD's and Akash missile to take the cruise missiles and fighter/bombers down along the western and eastern borders.

DHRUV said...

dont know much abt these but think it may be working as fixed awacs!

Anonymous said...

Oh please, this is what we spend millions on the DRDO for? The private sector is quite capable to producing this level of technology.

The defence sector REALLY needs to be liberalised.

Anonymous said...

Great achievement. Kudos to DRDO and those hard working scientists.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers DRDO. Way to go.

AWACS can't be up in air indefinitely even if we continue to aerial refuel them. Next year crude prices are forecasted to reach 100$ a barrel. With such high aviation fuel prices we can't afford to fly AWACS for a very long time.

Aerostat radars are the 1st step. 2nd step in this direction must be HAA or High Altitude Airships or an even better solution will be balloons. They will be far less expensive to build and operate as they will get all their power from solar energy. Such airships and balloons can remain indefinitely in the air thereby curtailing the need for highly expensive and vulnerable AWACS.

I would also request DRDO to seriously consider developing Hybrid Airships as very heavy cargo carrier. DARPA's Walrus is projected to carry upto 500 to 1000 tons whereas, the world's largest cargo plane An225 can carry load upto 250 tons. Airships don't need runways and they can drop cargo virtually anywhere, whereas cargo planes need expensive runways which will be the 1st casualty when war breaks out.Airships also need far less fuel than conventional jets.

Anonymous said...

is it goin to be static in air or have autonomous flight system.and upto how much alltitude it can fly.

aatish said...

They should hv put all payload inside an aesthetic looking aerodynamic tub. this payload is a sore to the eye.

aatish said...

Was the graphics on the second pic someone's idea of a joke..

Adi said...

well Aerostats have always been economically viable and a very efficient(since compared to other means the operational costs are almost negligible) unit when it involves tasks like , homeland surveillance and long-range radar .. highly evolved stratospheric balloons can also be used as a better and more efficient form of surveillance or comm satellites that dont need a rocket to be deployed.

Mr. Ra said...

How much high their elevation can be raised for increasing the maximum range.

{{Pl do not reply about this data, if Sinopaki are benefited by it }}Lol...

Anonymous said...

Any information on the payloads.

Is the RADAR ready or is under development?

Mirza said...

Good going, and i think story just start here and this Aerostate can be used for variety of application like coastal surveillance, static radar, intelligence gathering and weather monitoring.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:17

For testing they are putting it at an altitude of 1KM for 2-3 days.

Don't know if that is the maximum it can reach.

Anonymous said...

FYI

DARPA's Walrus HULA has been cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Egads, India is going really slow. We are developing aerostats while our northern neighbour is (most likely) on the threshold of beginning flight testing of its 5th generation aircrafts. I really and sincerely hope we come somewhere close to them in development of air, sea and space technology

Anonymous said...

The tether/support vehicle looks nice and well designed.

I do hope
they improve the fit and finish of the payload mount.At this moment looks a bit'tinny'and less than robust.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10.30 PM

DARPA's Walrus may be cancelled bcoz they have learned whatever they wanted to learn from that project. But HULA is definitely alive as Lockheed Martin is seriously involved in hybrid Airships. Other countries (Germany and Australia) are also working on similar projects.

Mr. Ra said...

At an altitude of 1 Km it can view the horizon up to 112 Km.

Anonymous said...

India is empowering its defense
we also need to made internet more safer.. http://bit.ly/ev7RmB