KOLKATA: Coal India is planning to start using drones to conduct aerial surveys of mine blocks that come up for exploration and to assess the extent of greenery restored after mines are closed, helping it to cut costs and save time.
The company has approached the Ministry of Home Affairs and the civil aviation department to go ahead with the drone project, which involves using remote-controlled aerial vehicles fitted with high-resolution cameras and gadgets that can capture pictures and collect data of vast areas from 300 metres to 500 metres above the ground.
Drones can also be used to replace data captured by satellites in terrain where data is not very clear. Being at such heights, satellites do not always capture data that can be useful – drones can replace them. Such data would be used to generate geological reports, which need to be submitted to the government before exploration is initiated in any block. Capturing data electronically would help streamline the data and it would be more organised than manual operations.
Deploying drones isn’t as expensive as manually collecting such data, the official said. Each drone costs a few lakh rupees and the entire project cost would be a few crore rupees.
Coal India also plans to use drones to assess the level of coal stocks at its yards to help determine how much has been liquidated or added.
Source: The Economic Times