Micro vehicle to ward off another 26/11

Adding to India’s plans of having an elaborate security system along her coastline and in its territorial waters, a group of scientists is getting closer to developing an intelligent micro vehicle that can man the coast 24/7, reducing the dependence on human intelligence.

Some time in mid-2011, the Coast Guard had encountered “Al Salam,” a suspicious boat bearing the registration number “VRL 3141” near Diu, after local fisehermen alerted them on it. The Coast Guard then conducted a search operation and issued necessary alert advisory to all the security agencies. But the operation was called off as no further inputs were received in this regard. The boat which transported terrorists to India in 2008-to execute what we today call the 26/11- is still a mystery.

However, the new micro air/amphibious vehicle (MAV), being developed as an offshoot of the National Programme for Micro Air Vehicles (NP-MI CAV), is expected to help prevent such incidents in future. The project envisages an intelligent, unmanned vehicle which holds the promise of greatly benefiting security forces in gathering intelligence.

And, once developed, the technology will be equipped with programmed sensors to detected any foreign body approaching the shore, capture images even when they are two-three kilometres away and send it to the control room in a few seconds, thus enabling appropriate action.

Speaking to Deccan Herald NP-MICAV CEO K Ramachandra said the MAV would be mounted with an optical video camera to begin with, intelligent sensors and data storage chips apart from a “processing algorithm to assist it in counting the number of foraying vessels and do other calculations.

The device can also be equipped to detect sea mines and chemicals used to sabotage Indian property. It can also provide underwater surveillance for the armed forces.

The MAV, Ramachandra said: “...Can be deployed from land or from ships/boats. Given that they will be underwater (not be visible) and very small they can prove to be very efficient in gathering information. If required, they can also attach themselves to the foreign ship, thereby allowing us to detect the movement real time.”

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