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DRDO to develop unmanned underwater vehicles

Staff Reporter

For total sea and ocean surveillance by satellites: Sivathanu Pillai



A. Sivathanu Pillai

KOCHI: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will develop unmanned underwater vehicles and seabed arrays in the next five years to protect the entire nation by ocean surveillance.

“Our ultimate aim is to give total sea and ocean surveillance by satellites, command and control centres, sea bed arrays and sensors,” A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller of Research and Development, DRDO, told mediapersons on the sidelines of an international conference on Ocean Electronics organised by the Cochin University of Science and Technology here on Wednesday.

The DRDO has launched a major programme for developing an unmanned underwater vehicle at the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory in Visakhapatnam.

Pointing out that the future is highly promising, Dr. Pillai said underwater surveillance was difficult. “The underwater unmanned vehicle should do the reconnaissance besides identifying and removing the mines under the seabed. It should also identify the resources and carry out recovery and rescue operations,” he said.

Highlighting the fact that our ports are vulnerable to attacks from outside, Dr. Pillai said the country needed to have a total measurement system for surveillance.

The Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory, Kochi, is developing a technology called seabed arrays that will be laid over the seabed surface. It will provide measurements and inform the control centre about the happenings underneath.

Terming the future as very important in terms of materials, Dr. Pillai said new materials were being developed.

“Nanotechnology has come up in a big way. The material technology has changed in terms of its characteristics depending on the medium and conditions. We are developing smart systems capable of changing its physical and structural characteristics to complete the mission in any medium.

The DRDO has set up a world class facility in Kochi for making small devices,” he said.

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