CSIR boosted the national programme on Micro Air Vehicles (NP-MICAV) jointly by the Defence Research & Development Organization and Department of Science & Technology. CSIR has set up a Micro Air Vehicle Aerodynamics Research Tunnel in National Aerospace Laboratories campus. It is the first of its kind to test the fixed-wing, flapping-wing and rotary-wing MAVs in the 500 mm wingspan category.
The state-of-the-art facility would address aerodynamic, propulsion and aero-elastic issues related to MAVs. The tunnel has a provision for either closed test section for the study of aerofoil sections/3D wing-body models or open jet test section for the flapping and rotary wing studies.
CSIR-NAL plays a lead role jointly with academic institutions. Fixed wing MAVs of Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak with a 300-450 mm span, 300 g weight, 2 km range and endurance of 30 minutes have been developed.
The MAVs have been demonstrated for ITBP, CRPF, Punjab police, NDRF, IDS, Artillery Training School. A high altitude mini UAV – Slybird with1.6 m wing span, 1.3 m length and 2 kg weight with a range of 10 km and endurance of one hour has also been developed and flight tested at Leh-Ladak (12,000 feet above sea level).