Drone designed and developed by DEP to deter birds from causing damage to assets in aerial territory
To avoid the risk of collision with birds, deterrence methods have concentrated on various methods to deter birds from active airspace. In recent years, there have been some interesting developments in using drones both to attract birds, and to scare them away. DEP has provided a solution on request to that can help in achieving the objective of deterring birds by using drone technology.
When dealing with million dollar assets, the protection of these assets is of utmost importance. What our customer was dealing with was not a foreign threat but a local natural one. Birds would fly into the line of assets, putting both the bird at risk, and causing damage to the asset. They requested DEP to design a drone that would act as a bird deterrent, and was given a set of requirements that the Drone should meet. Functionally the drone should have a inflight time of up to 60 minutes, reach an altitude of 1 kilometer, and have a range of 10 kilometers. The structure of the drone was required to be light weight so that the intensity of a potential collision would be minimal. The actual methods used to deter birds was left to the imagination of DEP engineers.
Based on the requirements brief, DEP’s product engineering team set out to develop an application specific unmanned aerial system (UAS). Its name is Garuda, which refers to a legendary bird or bird-like creature in Hindu Mythology. DEP’s approach consisted of designing the airframe, deterrence method, radio control & autopilot, camera, power, ground control, drive train, and pre-flight systems. For the airframe, Garuda incorporates the conventional twin propeller airplane layout rather than flying wing type, which was initially proposed. This decision was made based on a more stable flying platform afforded by conventional aircraft layout as well as meeting weight and material requirements. The propellers for Garuda is a three blade type, made of an extended
polypropylene plastic, strong enough to endure damage. DEP also provided a comprehensive list of Pre-flight system checks and failure management tips.
Steps in the development cycle
DEP successfully met the requirements it faced and manufactured a final functioning prototype which was presented to the client. Updates are underway to even further improve the already impressive range and other flight capabilities.