Chennai: The Chennai Municipal Corporation has successfully completed attempts to disinfect inaccessible and congested neighborhoods using drones. These drones, which were developed by the UAV research center Abdul Kalam Advanced at Anna University, can spray disinfectants on a large area of up to 2 lakh square meters after use.
The drones would step up efforts by the company, which has already used over 500 vehicles to disinfect the city. The drones would offer additional range by allowing narrow streets to be covered with densely packed buildings.
“Most of the other drones are battery operated and have a capacity of less than 10 liters of disinfectant, while our drone is powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on petrol and can hold 16 liters of disinfectant, which means it can be operated for longer hours. Our drone can also spray from heights of less than 3 to 25 meters and has an endurance of two hours, ”said Dr. K Senthil Kumar, director of Abdul Kalam Advanced’s UAV research center to WION.
The drone to be used by the corporation is a modified version of the drone that Anna University developed to help farmers spray nutrients on their crops spread across large fields.
Dr. Senthil Kumar said: “We have modified the mechanism and adjusted the parameters so that the centrifugal pump can distribute a spray with extremely low volume. This ensures that every single droplet is broken down into thousands of smaller particles that cover a larger area. “
The use of drones dramatically reduces the risk of exposure to healthcare workers who are otherwise used to disinfect with hand pumps or trucks. While battery-powered drones need to be grounded and fitted with a new battery every few minutes, the petroleum-powered variant can fly for almost two hours. Afterwards she can be refueled and used immediately for work.
Gasoline-powered drones also require fewer resources and less labor. They can be operated for longer and do not have to rely on a portable generator to charge the batteries.
With five drones currently available, it is planned to use them to disinfect large public spaces such as open markets, train stations, hospitals, etc.
These drones were designed and developed by the Abdul Kalam Advanced UAV Research Center at Anna University and manufactured by private partners as part of the Make in India initiative.