DRDO scouts long-range sensors for aerostats

Issue: 9 / 2014 By SP's Special Correspondent August 19, 2014 Photo(s): By DRDO

The DRDO is scouting a long range electro-optic (LREO) payload for day & night reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting at long ranges to be mounted on an indigenous aerostat platform, Akashdeep and its variants. The payload employed needs to include daylight CCD/CMOS camera with continuous zoom, narrow field of view spotter, MWIR/LWIR thermal imager, eye safe laser range finder and stabilized turret that performs sight line steering with precised stabilization. According to the DRDO, the LREO should enable ground based operators to steer the payload line of sight in azimuth and elevation axes to detect and recognize targets at required ranges during day and night, and should include a video tracker, which will enable automatic target tracking during day and night target acquisition. The DRDO is building a family of aerostats for border surveillance. Akashdeep is a medium size aerostat system indigenously designed and developed by the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) in Agra. It was tested for the first time from the IIT Kanpur airstrip in October 2012. The overall system involves high performance PU Coated Nylon fabrics, aerostat balloon, Electro-Optical Tether, Electro-Hydraulic Control System, Smart-Active Pressure Control System, Helium Gas Management System etc.