‘Tremendous transformation taking place in unmanned systems and associated technologies’

Unmanned vehicles would play a major role in both defence and civilian sectors, and hence, there was an urgent need for industries to work in these areas, said G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence (R&D), DRDO Chairman and the present Chairman of Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), here on Sunday.

“There is a tremendous transformation taking place in unmanned systems and associated technologies. Indigenous development of sensors will play a major role and will revolutionise applications like UAVs for commercial and defence applications, greatly impacting our daily lives in future,” said Dr. Reddy, at a national conference on ‘Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Opportunities and Challenges’ held at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) here.

The DRDO chief highlighted the contributions of defence labs in design and development of state-of-the-art UAVs and informed that a contest called ‘Drone Olympics’ was being organised by the Ministry of Defence during the forthcoming Aero India event.

The AeSI comprising eminent scientists and engineers is a professional body dedicated to the growth of aerospace in India. The society was founded to promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of diversified aeronautical and aerospace sciences/technologies.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the disruptive technologies which will impact efficiency, productivity, speed and innovation in the emerging industries. Aerospace 4.0 will encompass all the features of AI in the next 15 years to cut down cost and cycle time of design, optimisation, simulation, prototyping, manufacturing, supply chain, maintenance and product updates,” said V.K. Saraswat, a member of NITI Aayog.

Attending the event as chief guest, he delivered a talk on ‘Artificial Intelligence in Aerospace 4.0’. Over 500 delegates, including scientists, engineers and industrialists, took part in the conference. V.V. Rao, Agni programme director and chairman of the organising committee, said, “The aerospace sensor technologies will play a vital role in futuristic unmanned systems. The scenario is changing fast with the emergence of nano technologies and miniaturised embedded systems. Unmanned systems will also revolutionise agriculture, medical and environment management apart from space and defence”.

AeSI president R.K. Tyagi shared the details of various branch activities in the last one year. He informed that the government formed a UAV policy last year which would be implemented in 2019.

AeSI secretary Y. Sreenivas Rao spoke on the role played by AeSI in the promotion of aerospace sector in India. The AeSI also held its annual general meeting on the occasion. Former ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar and others took part.