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Delhi police force to deploy mini UAV for night surveillance

Delhi police officers will deploy a mini unmanned air vehicle capable of flying night-time surveillance operations, in response to recent crimes committed in the north of the city, Indian media has reported.

The Netra vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV, developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and IdeaForge, will be installed with stabilized night vision and thermal imaging-capable cameras, according to a report on the website. These will be used to offer a complete surveillance capability – alongside CCTV – to north Delhi, the report says.

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According to FlightGlobal, the police force has assessed the suitability of the Netra and is in the process of acquiring the system, which is expected to be deployed in January.

Three or four UAVs costing some $16,000 each will be deployed, flying at an altitude of around 200m (650ft) and operating in all weather conditions.

They will be able to link into the quick response teams (QRTs) in the city, streaming video footage to QRT vehicles to enable real-time monitoring of the area.

The police department plans to deploy a Netra at all entry points into the district, and should it be successful in collecting appropriate crime data, this could be implemented in other areas of India.

Netra has previously been used by authorities in India for counter-terrorism efforts, as well as to search for survivors of the Uttarakhand flash floods in 2013.