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  • Context (TH): The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a counter-drone system and it is ready for production.
  • A counter-drone system detects, identifies, and neutralises drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
  • The technology is capable of countering attacks, soft kill and hard kill of all types of drones.
  • It can be customised for different challenges.

High-end drones by DRDO

1) Tapas Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV

  • It is developed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) applications.

TAPAS-BH (Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon)

  • It is a MALE UAV operating at an altitude of 30,000 feet.
  • It has an endurance of 24 hours and covers a range of 250 kilometres.
  • The system integrates advanced military-grade Electro-Optical (EO) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payloads, enhancing its surveillance capabilities.

EO Payloads

  • Utilize electro-optics like infrared, multispectral, and hyperspectral sensors.
  • Combine light detection technology with software control of multiple light sources.
  • Analyse reflected light waves to identify object characteristics.

SAR Payloads

  • Operates day and night without reliance on sunlight.
  • Penetrates through clouds, rain, fog, and smoke for image acquisition.

2) The Archer

  • The Archer is a short-range weaponised unmanned aerial vehicle (SR-UAV) created by India’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).
  • The Archer-NG (Next-Generation) armed drone possesses a commanding range of up to 250 kilometres Line of Sight (LOS) and extends up to 1,000 kilometres through SATCOM (Satellite Communication) Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communication.
  • It offers options for both conventional and automatic take-off and landing.
  • It can operate at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet.

Concerns with the technology

  • The unavailability of drone batteries in the country.
  • The older drones used nickel-cadmium and silver-zinc batteries as secondary power sources.

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) vs. Silver-Zinc (AgZn) Batteries

Weight

  • Silver-zinc batteries are lighter, weighing one-third to one-fifth the weight of NiCd batteries.
  • Despite the weight difference, they provide similar energy output.

Energy

  • Silver-zinc batteries offer more energy than nickel-cadmium batteries of the same weight.

Life Cycle

  • Nickel-cadmium batteries have a longer life cycle compared to silver-zinc batteries.
  • However, silver-zinc batteries have lower terminal voltage despite their shorter life cycle.

DRDO

  • DRDO was established in 1958 and works under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence.
  • Its mission is to design and develop world-class technology base for Indian Defence Services.
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