Thursday, February 21, 2019

Experts call for check on drone proliferation

Bengaluru: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they are simply called, have caught the imagination of ordinary people and Aero India 2019 played to the gallery by hosting a ‘special Olymipcs’ for operators. The number of participants was staggering, a testimony to drones’ proliferation. But experts warn that the lack of regulations and the non-existence of a system to monitor drones could harm national security.
At a seminar on ‘Anti-Drone Technology’ on Wednesday, Vikram J Singh, senior adviser, Aerospace and Defence, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, said: “In 2015, there were perhaps 10 anti-drone technologies in the market. Now, there are nearly 300 such companies and technologies. It poses a threat to world leaders, stadiums and airports. It is hard to counter smaller drones, and this remains an exciting area of interest.”

Sai Pattabiram, founder CEO of Sree Sai Aerotech Innovations Pvt Ltd, a Chennai-based company which has developed drone monitoring systems, told TOI that iGlobal Drone shipments have grown from three million pieces in 2014 to an estimated 13 million in 2018 — a 400% growth in four years. Pattabiram said drones were being put to use in many illegal activities, including prison breaks as a recent incident in France showed.
“With an estimated 40 million drones added, predominantly by the Chinese, to civilian airspace, the population density of drones to airliners today stands at anywhere between 700-1,000 drones for every airplane,” Pattabiram said. “The ration would have been around 100 four years ago. There are thousands of ways in which drones could disrupt security in India and if we don’t come up with indigenous, affordable drone and counter-drone technologies the consequences could be disastrous.”
21/02/19 Kiran Parashar/Times of India
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