Manali, Oct 14 (UNI) The two-day National Seminar on 'Strategic Applications of Lighter-than-Air (LTA) vehicles at high altitudes' which concluded here yesterday called for upgrading aerostats as ground-based-sensors have limited range in high altitude areas due terrain irregularities like mountain shadow and loss of line of sight.
''These limitations could be overcome by mounting sensors on elevated platforms like LTA'', Dr R N Sarwade, Director, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) here stated in his address yesterday.
The upshot of the seminar organised by SASE was a proposal to form a National Task Force on the design, development and applications of aerostats. This Task Force would involve ADRDE Agra, SASE Manali, DLRL Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, PEC Chandigarh with advisors from NIAS, NDRF Bangalore.
This seminar was the first of its kind in the country, where four labs of DRDO unanimously decided to share the advancements made in the upcoming field of LTAs for aerial surveillance, data acquisition, reconnaissance and other communication requirements using a single airborne platform.
The response to the seminar was overwhelming with more than hundred delegates registering from the Army, Air Force, various DRDO labs, CSIR labs like NAL, CSIO, public sector undertakings such as HAL, BEL and private sector majors like L&T, Panasonic and many more.
The seminar was inaugurated by Dr K Ramchand, Ex Director, Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) and presently Associate of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore.
In his inaugural address, Dr Ramchand touched upon the various applications of LTAs in the civil and military sector and quoted the recent deployment of aerostats in the Iraq war by the Unites States.
Lt Gen (Dr) V J Sundaram, Director, National Design Research Forum (NDRF) Bangalore delivered the keynote address and emphasised on the application of nano-technology based sensors for reducing the payload weight, thereby enhancing the capabilities of the LTAs.
Mr Balraj Gupta, Director ADRDE in his address said the fiercely competitive global scenario and unlimited inflow of technology innovations had redefined the role of LTA vehicles.
During the seminar, panel discussions were held to draw the future course of action on this upcoming technological field of LTA vehicles. The panel prepared a road map for LTAs development and ADRDE has been proposed to be the Centre of Excellence for aerostats.
The panel also proposed to make this event as bi-annual national event involving increased participation from industry and academics.
An LTA chapter under the aegis of Aeronautical Society of India was proposed to promote the awareness about these unique aerial platforms and their usefulness, which is better described as the 'eyes of the sky' in open literature.