Indian UAV maker off to a flying start

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 27, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI

    Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuster Interstellar might just have given a glimpse into the future when it showed the film’s protagonist chasing down an Indian-made drone.

    Although the country is yet to manufacture large unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) like the ones used by the US in military combat, the first steps are being taken by both the industry and Government.

    Om UAV Systems, a company started about a year ago, is one of those aiming for a head start in the business. As one of the companies to get a licence for manufacturing UAVs in India from the Telecom Ministry — spectrum is needed for flying the UAVs — the company has attracted investor interest. The company’s licence is for producing 100 drones.

    The other players to get the licence are Dynamatic Technologies, Ashok Leyland, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation, Avaana Software and Services, Basant Aerospace and SasMos HET Tech. But so far only Om UAV has developed its own firmware—software that is specific to a hardware—which will help the company cut down costs.

    Ravindra Singh and Atul Khosla, graduates in engineering from Punjab University and batchmates of late astronaut Kalpana Chawla, started out from their own savings and have managed to offer a range of mini and micro drones, primarily used for surveillance.

    “We have developed the firmware for our autopilot systems on the drones. Hardly any other Indian manufacturer has this. As compared to international products, ours comes at one-fifth of the cost,” said Khosla, who is Director-Marketing of the firm.

    Finishing touches
    “Right now, we are perfecting the product, receiving inputs from all the Indian defence forces. We also want some tangible sales under our belt before we accept the funding. Maybe in another six months, we would raise some funds,” said Singh, promoter and Director of the company. Khosla added, “When it comes to funding we are assessing whether we want angel investors or a strategic investor.” Om UAV Systems’ micro and mini drones have a range of a maximum 50 km and are primarily being marketed to various Indian defence forces for surveillance of border areas.

    Khosla is excited by the potential civilian uses, but he admits meeting the regulations for such use will take time. The company’s products are manufactured locally.

    Being small, the biggest differentiator for the micro and mini UAVs, compared with remote controlled aircraft is the autopilot capability.

    “Our products can be programmed easily for the flight route, using the ground station which runs on a Windows-based laptop and uses Google Maps or other such maps,” said Khosla.

    The products are being tested by the Border Security Force, the Army and Navy. Khosla said the feedback has been positive so far. “Our hope is to rack up some sales and have them in use,” he said. “After getting a round of funding and having our products in use, we can then look at seeking a licence for manufacturing more.”

    Indian UAV maker off to a flying start | Business Line
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  3. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    One of the maker has facebook page.

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