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Karnataka: NAL's Octacopter drone delivers COVID vaccine in a remote village

According to the announcement, the CSIR-NAL octa copter took flight at 9.43 a.m. from Chandapura PHC with Covid-19 vaccinations and arrived at Haragadde PHC at 9.53 a.m.

Karnataka NAL Octacopter drone delivers COVID vaccine in a remote village gcw
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Karnataka, First Published Nov 13, 2021, 4:40 PM IST
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The National Aerospace Laboratories on Saturday air distributed Covid-19 vaccinations using their drone named 'Octacopter' to a primary health centre here on the city outskirts in a rare exhibition of technological power with a personal touch. The Octacopter successfully transferred 50 vials of Covid-19 vaccines and needles in a specified container from Chandapura PHC to Haragadde PHC. According to the announcement, the CSIR-NAL octa copter took flight at 9.43 a.m. from Chandapura PHC with Covid-19 vaccinations and arrived at Haragadde PHC at 9.53 a.m. The Octacopter flew at the height of 300 metres above ground level at a speed of 10 metres per second, covering an airborne distance of nearly 7 kilometres in about 10 minutes.

The drone returned to Chandapura PHC after delivering vaccinations in Haragadde, according to NAL, adding that the total operation covered a distance of around 14 kilometres in 20 minutes, including vaccine distribution. The company said it usually takes 30 to 40 minutes to deliver vaccinations to Haragadde by road from Chandapura. Doctors at PHCs were ecstatic to see the demonstration of rapid and safe airborne vaccination distribution. The medical officers expressed their gratitude and commended CSIR-NAL on their good cause, assuring them of their assistance to extend the cooperative endeavour to distant locations in the coming days.

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Dr P V Satyanaraya Murthy, Head of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Division, thanked his team and stated that the Octacopter was the need of the hour for vaccine distribution in rural locations. The Octacopter is an indigenously built medium-class BVLOS multi-copter UAV, according to the company. According to THE NAL, the UAV is composed of a lightweight carbon fibre foldable frame for ease of transporting and has unique characteristics such as autonomous steering using twin redundant MEMS-based digital Autopilot with superior flight instrumentation systems.

It went on to say that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted CSIR-NAL conditional authorization to perform BVLOS flight experiments on Saturday. The Octacopter has a cargo capacity of 15 kg and a hovering endurance of 40 minutes. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 500 metres above ground level and a maximum speed of 36 kilometres per hour.

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