India plans to develop solar-powered UAVs

"We are looking forward to develop solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a long range and endurance capability as we plan to diversify our expertise in UAV technology," DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta told PTI here.

The one-of-its-kind UAV will be designed and developed to endure long-range sorties ranging up to a month in all weather conditions, Gupta said.

The flying machine will have specially-designed solar panels to keep it airborne even in nights and cloudy weather conditions with the help of power generated and saved during the day.

Keeping in mind the payload that would be fitted on these UAVs and the nature of missions, special attention would be paid to keep their frame light but strong enough to endure different weather conditions.

The UAV would be capable of providing real-time information and data of the area through a secure data link, DRDO officials said.

The Rustom-1 UAV, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), can remain airborne for 24 to 36 hours while Nishant has the capability to remain airborne for nearly five hours.

These UAVs can carry a variety of cameras to look deep into the enemy territory for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes.

Besides the armed forces, paramilitary personnel engaged in anti-Naxal operations are also looking forward to procure UAVs to snoop deep into forests inhabited by Left-wing extremists.

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