Four years after Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) indigenously developed Akashdeep, a medium-sized aerostat system for aerial surveillance, the laboratory run by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has completed trials of an improved version that is ready to be deployed along the Pakistan border. Nakshatra, the new system, consists of an aerostat (an unmanned helium-filled airship) and a surveillance system. It has been tested for five months in all weather conditions and is ready to be handed over to defence users, including the army and Border Security Force. Only a handful of other countries, such as the US, Germany, France and Japan have developed such systems. A senior ADRDE official told TOI that Nakshatra is bigger than Akashdeep and can carry equipment such as sensors and radar weighing up to 300kg. It is fitted with high-definition cameras for detailed shots and infra red cameras for night vision. The device can remain airborne for 14 days before requiring a helium refill. “It has been primarily developed for watching sensitive borders, and can conduct 360-degree surveillance from a height of up to 1km,” the officer said, adding that it can be used during peacetime also. Nakshatra makes use of new technologies related to balloon design, fabrics, etc and is a step forward in the ‘Make in India’ drive. Officials said ADRDE has already started working on Nakshatra-II, its next-generation aerostat system. ..http://idrw.org . Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website , Kindly don http://idrw.org/agra-labs-airship-ready-to-keep-eye-on-pak-border/ .