Skyhawk: Startup IG Drones Develops India’s First 5G-enabled Drone

Defence Industry

Bhubaneswar: Startup firm IG Drones, which was born out of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) campus in Odisha’s Sambalpur has developed a 5G-enabled drone that is capable of vertical take-off and landing.

The drone named Skyhawk can be used in defence and medical applications, among other sectors. The drone can carry a 10 kg payload and has an endurance of around five hours. With Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) providing 5G services in the country, these drones can be controlled with much more precision and can be controlled from the command centre directly rather than being on the field.

As it’s a VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing), it can be operated from any terrain without the need of a conventional runway.

With the addition of Artificial intelligence and thermal imaging capabilities, the drones can be used in monitoring border intrusion and also during regular patrolling by the defence forces, according to the company. It is IP67 rated and can be controlled via a combination of NavIC + GPS navigational satellites which remain connected in the upper range of 50 to 60 in case of failsafe activation.

“This has been developed keeping in mind the needs of defence and medical sectors. We are making it in India with an aim to take it to the world,” said Sambit Prasad Parida, the chief technology officer. The drone is also capable of operating through satellites in case an internet link is not available, Parida added.

“When it will connect several satellites, it will work with precision in medical services delivery and in defence. The drone, if operated at its peak speed, can cover almost 100 kms in 12-15 minutes,” Parida said.

According to KC Sahoo, Chief Administrative Officer of IG Drones, “For use by defence forces, it can give surveillance up to 100-200 kms per day. If someone deploys 20-30 drones, an area can be secured.”

Sahoo also reiterated that if 5G services are not available at any locations, they will be downgraded to 3G or 4g, or either latch on to satellites.