IIT Madras develops solar-powered autonomous survey craft for Indian ports, inland waterways


New Delhi

Reachers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has developed a solar-powered, unmanned, autonomous survey craft for Indian ports and inland waterways.

It can undertake autonomous hydrographic and oceanographic surveys, and provide real-time data transmission over a long distance, K Murali, professor in-charge, IIT Madras' National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), said.

The researchers are in the process of commercialising the technology with the help of the Ministry of Shipping.

"This system could be equipped with an echo sounder, GPS system and broadband communication technology, capable of delivering precise depth measurements. In addition to the echo sounder and the GPS system, it is possible to add additional oceanographic payloads, a 360-degree camera, LiDAR for seamless topography and bathymetry measurements."

"The craft had a successful field-test recently off the Chennai Coast at Kamarajar Port. Further field trials under harsher environments have been scheduled during November 2020 at Syama Prasad Mookerjee (SMP) Port, Kolkata," he added.

According to Murali, the Indian maritime sector is currently dominated by foreign technology. (PTI)