NAL successfully demonstrates aerial COVID-19 vaccine delivery at remote Bengaluru location

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has teamed with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka for aerial delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in a remote area of Bengaluru.
The Octacopter developed by CSIR-NAL successfully delivered 50 vials of Covid-19 vaccines along with syringes in a special container from Chandapura PHC to Haragadde PHC on Saturday. CSIR-NAL’s Octacopter took off at 9.43 am from Chandapura PHC carried covid-19 vaccines and delivered them to Haragadde PHC at 9.53 am.
The Octacopter flew at an altitude of 300m AGL at a speed of 10m/sec and covered an aerial distance of about 7 km in about 10 minutes.
After delivery of vaccines at Haragadde the Octacopter returned to Chandapura PHC. The entire mission covered a distance of about 14 km in 20 minutes including delivery of vaccines. Medical Officer Dr. Manisha said that usually, it takes about 30-40 minutes to deliver vaccines to Haragadde from Chandapura by road.
NAL a constituent of CSIR, India has developed indigenous, medium class BVLOS multi-copter UAV.
The UAV is made out of a lightweight carbon fiber foldable structure for ease of transportation and has unique features like autonomous guidance through dual redundant MEMS-based digital Autopilot with advanced flight instrumentation systems.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India has granted conditional permission to CSIR-NAL for conducting BVLOS flight trials starting Saturday.
NAL’s octacopter can carry a payload of 15 kg with a hovering endurance of 40 minutes. It can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at the maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. Its regulatory compliance includes DGCA-NPNT, Geo fencing and digital sky with 360 degrees Collison avoidance making it one of the best UAVs in its class.
The Octacopter developed by NAL can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last-mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organ’s etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a Powerful board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc.
The doctors at PHCs were delighted to witness the demonstration of the fast and safe aerial delivery of vaccines.
Dr Srinivas, District Health Officer, Dr. Vinay, Taluka Health Officer and Dr. Nalini, Assistant Medical Officer, General Hospital, Anekal expressed their happiness and complimented the initiative of CSIR-NAL towards the societal cause and extended support to continue the joint initiative to farthermost remote places in the coming days.
Dr. P V Satyanaraya Murthy, Head UAV, CSIR-NAL while congratulating his team has said that the Octacopter for delivery of vaccines is a need of the hour of the country for much deeper penetration of vaccines in remote areas.
“NAL octacopter is perfectly designed for such a mission with easy to operate by unskilled operators. NAL has already tied up with private firms for drone manufacturing and offering operational services,” added Dr. Murthy.


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