IIT Invention Can Become Navy’s New ‘Secret’ Weapon

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New Delhi: It’s no mean feat that our IIT students are being recognized globally for their innovations. From creating machines that can quench thirst and reduce waste simultaneously to innovating devices for the blind (like Smartcane now sold commercially) – this young lot is not only sensitive to the daily problems an Indian goes through, but is also at par with some of the best international research institutes abroad when it comes to working on some path-breaking technological innovations, reports Defence News.

There is round-the-clock effort inside these campuses to work on the modern-yet-safest technologies like fuel-efficient electric cars and hydrogen-run autos. It’s drones are now used by the Indian Army during combat operations. In yet another such recent innovation that can help our NAVY, a group of IIT students at the Naval Construction Wing have now come out with what they say is an Underwater Glider – a much needed force multiplier in the age of invisible enemies and future autonomous, sustainable advance navies.

“Such gliders are efficient mobile sensor platforms that can be deployed for months at a time, traveling thousands of kilometers. They are low cost and can survive prolonged deployment in excess of nearly 6 months without even recharging. When deployed in large numbers they can do persistent uninterrupted surveillance,” the team headed by Prof.R Vijayakumar says.

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Their best use can be in both military as well as commercial applications like Intelligence gathering, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Mine Countermeasures, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Inspection / Identification, Oceanography, Communication/Navigation Network Node, Payload Delivery, Information Operations and Time Critical Strike.

A working full-scale model was designed recently, constructed and tested in IIT Delhi by this team. Even as work has been on to make a foolproof underwater glider since 2012 at IIT under the guidance of Prof.R Vijayakumar, the present version of the glider – PD IV – is the fourth generation design. It follows a saw-tooth pattern across the ocean depths at low speeds with minimal energy consumption, periodically transmitting the data collected by on-board sensors to satellites. Thus it can cover wide range of operations and responsibilities without getting detected.

Moreover, the communication and data transfer is based on cheap mobile phone based satellite communication.

Presently, it has undergone pool trials and further improvement of the control systems is still in progress. Further, hydrodynamic trials will be conducted with assistance from IIT Madras and perhaps in the next two years, we may be seeing Navy deploying these secret weapons down below in the ocean!

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