Sunday, 25 August 2013

Student Builds Drone Bomber for Rs 60000

The drone designed by Subhanjan Saha

A 21-year-old computer science student in India has come up with a design for a drone bomber aircraft made of scrap metal and costing Rs 40000, IBTimes UK has learned.The unmanned aircraft cost Subhanjan Saha about 60,000 Indian rupees and he is hoping the Indian army will buy his design.

The cost of the aerial vehicle will fall to £400 for bulk orders, said Saha.The battery-operated drone, codenamed Safety Aircraft for India (SAFI), can fly at an altitude of 5,000 to 10,000 feet and has a range of 10km.

The prototype is capable of dropping bombs and launching rockets. But Saha admits that the machine’s operational effectiveness needs to be improved. The inexpensive materials used in the aircraft could also be replaced with more advanced ones, he adds.

The drone carries high-resolution cameras that could relay live pictures to an operations centre.

When asked if he is familiar with existing drone technologies, he said: “Although I don’t know the exact details of all the drones across the world, I’m familiar with the mechanisms. In fact, I didn’t know what I was making was a drone until I made it.”

Saha is studying at Manindra Chandra College in the Indian state of West Bengal.

The project has been funded by the NGO Prantakatha. Speaking to IBTimes UK about the project, Bappaditya Mukherjee, the founder of the organisation, said: “We have been supporting young Indians to involve themselves in such projects which are helpful in nation-building. We decided to support Saha’s initiative because of his keen involvement in the project despite his lack of expertise in aeronautics.”

When asked about his expectations from the government, Mukherjee said he did not have high hopes as there are several restrictions to prevent the administration from carrying forward the project.

Saha has asked India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to take a look at the prototype. He hopes the aerial vehicle will be useful given increasing tension in India’s border regions with Pakistan and China.

Officials at the DRDO could not be reached for comment.

In order to prevent interception of the pictures taken by the drone, the young Indian student is also working on anti-hacking technology.

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