DRDO IS CREATING AN INTELLIGENT AIRCRAFT-MOUNTED SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE SYSTEM.

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The system will be retrofitted on aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles to enable auto-acquisition and auto-tracking of multiple targets during the day and night under varying climatic and environmental conditions.

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is developing an intelligent electro-optical imaging system that can be installed on airborne platforms for long-range surveillance and reconnaissance.

The system will be retrofitted on aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to facilitate auto-acquisition and auto-tracking of multiple targets by day and night in varied climatic and environmental conditions, DRDO sources said.

It will include several payloads and sensors such as a thermal imager, high-definition TV camera, infra-red cameras, laser range finder and laser target designator along with video target tracking, geo-positioning and geo-navigation capabilities.

According to DRDO officials, the ruggedised, gimbal-shaped system is expected to weigh approximately 50kg along with its payloads and measure around 16 inches in diameter and 20 inches in height.

It can be mounted on the nose or underbelly, depending upon the type of platform being a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft. Inputs from the sensor will be integrated into the IAF’s surveillance and communication networks and relayed to command centres in real-time for decision-making.

DRDO’s Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) at Dehradun is the nodal agency for the project, which will be undertaken in collaboration with the private industry as a fillip to self-reliance. The work is expected to commence this year.

IRDE, which is tasked with conducting research in advanced electro-optics, laser systems, photonics, imagers, and gun-sights, has lately begun programmes to develop various electro-optical systems for detecting drones and coastal and port surveillance.

On land-based, air-based, and sea-based platforms, electro-optical imaging sensors detect, identify, and track human and machine movements, as well as designate potential targets.

With the introduction of newer technologies and the rising usage of artificial intelligence, the capability of such sensors is improving dramatically, and their operations are becoming more automated, needing less human interaction.

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