CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) provided a boost to the India’s National Programme on Micro Air Vehicles (NP-MICAV) jointly coordinated by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and the Department of Science & Technology of Government of India. CSIR has set up a Micro Air Vehicle Aerodynamics Research Tunnel in the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) campus–the first of its kind in India to test the fixed-wing, flapping-wing and rotary-wing MAVs in the 500 mm wingspan category.
This state-of-the-art facility would address all the 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 is playing a lead role in this national level programme jointly with many 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. These MAVs have been demonstrated for ITBP, CRPF, Punjab Police, NDRF, IDS, Artillery Training School etc. A high altitude mini UAV named Slybird with1.6 m wing span, 1.3 m length and 2 kg weight with an operational range of 10 km and endurance of 1 hr has also been developed successfully and flight tested at Leh-Ladak (12000 ft above sea level).