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India successfully tests Nishant UAV with SHM technology

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Afile photo of Nishant UAV during flight.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test flown the indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant, which was used to try out the breakthrough technology of monitoring the aircraft’s health in-flight.

The trial was held on Thursday at the Kolar airfield.

The DRDO said in a press note here that the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a laboratory under it, had used the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technology developed by it along with the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a CSIR establishment.

“The SHM monitors the structural health parameters online while the UAV is in flight and help take corrective action.

This enables the UAV to be flown without unnecessarily grounding them for inspection,”
the release added.

The analysis algorithms for the SHM were developed to predict onset of failures, which would be perfected using the data obtained through the trial held Thursday.

"The usage of such techniques will avoid periodic grounding of the aircraft and make the maintenance schedules to be more like 'on condition maintenance' with the condition being detected even before the failure occurs.

SHM can be used for other indigenous developments such as the 'Tejas' Light Combat Aircraft, futuristic Medium Combat Aircraft, the Indo-Russian joint development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and other UAVs, the DRDO said.

“Such techniques are going to be extensively used in the future in order to cut down the operation costs of the aircraft and can also lead to reduction in airfares. Such techniques can prevent ensuing danger of the flights by pre-warning the occurrence of failure,” it added.

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