EndureAir Systems: A Drone-manufacturing Company with a Difference

The key differentiator for this very promising startup is its origin, which lies in more than a decade of Research & Development in the area of Unmanned Aerial Systems aka drones

Defence Industry

EndureAir Systems Pvt Ltd incubated at SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur is not just another run-of-the-mill drone startup. The key differentiator for this very promising startup is its origin, which lies in more than a decade of Research & Development (R&D) in the area of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) aka drones. The co-Founders of EndureAir are two highly experienced faculty members of IIT Kanpur Dr Abhishek (PhD from University of Maryland and B. Tech, IIT Kharagpur) and Dr Mangal Kothari (PhD from University of Leicester), who between them have 10 patents and more than 100 publications related to drones.

If that is not enough, the other two co-founders are young and dynamic Chirag Jain (B. Tech from IIT Patna and MS from IIT Kanpur) and Rama Krishna (B. Tech and M. Tech from IIT Kanpur) who are spearheading the autonomy and design aspects respectively for the high efficiency and high endurance drones that the company is churning out.

Inspired by the call for atmanirbharta the company is focused on deep tech indigenous drone development leveraging on the decades of experience in design and autonomy. Currently, the product line of this company consists of Vibhram UAS (winner of First prize in stage 3 of endurance challenge organized by National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA), which is a conventional single main rotor-based design with option for fuel or electric power plant that can lift five (5) kg payload at sea level with endurance of 80 minutes. With a lighter payload the same system can fly for over three hours while outrunning and out manoeuvring most conventional multirotor drones with a top speed of 100 km/hr. The second product called Endure BiTs (Biplane Tailsitter) drone is a novel design that offers unprecedented simplicity, gust tolerance, ease of operation and reliability.

The current system is capable of transporting five (5) kg payload over a range of 40 km. Two other variants are also under development, the first one for surveillance mission and the second one for lifting 10-20 kg payload. This configuration is an electrically powered Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) configuration with two small wings for compact footprint and distributed propulsion system for high efficiency and quietness. Vehicle takes off vertically and then transitions to the forward flight by performing pitch down manoeuvre to fly like a tailless airplane. Unlike other VTOL systems this UAS is free from dead weight and drag penalty experienced in quadplanes (quadrotor-airplane hybrid) due to separate thrust and lift motors and no complexity and weight penalty that is associated with tilting of propellers. These UAS are undergoing testing and trials for surveillance, disaster response and payload delivery missions.

EndureAir is committed to develop best in class products with focus on ease of operation and system reliability to meet user requirements. The company goal is to become the best UAS developer and manufacturer in India by:

• Providing cutting edge Unmanned Aerial Systems to the Indian Armed Forces and Industries and thereby reducing their dependence of procuring expensive UAS from foreign suppliers.
• Giving proper training to the operators of our UAS in order to reduce the risk associated with operating UAS.
• Eventually designing and developing UAS systems with higher payload capacity to meet the most challenging requirements of the nation

The focus of the company for now is on technology development, crystallising the product and seeking potential customers. The unmanned systems research running in parallel with the business, focused on knowledge building through system analysis will empower them to compete in global market as credible provider of UAS. More efforts can then be concentrated in the post-infancy stage on marketing and modularising products to suit all kinds of global partners in this field. In addition to the above products that are already on track to be made available to various users, EndureAir is also doing significant research in UAS swarm, Counter UAS (CUAS), Counter Counter UAS (CCUAS) and GPS denied navigation technologies, some of which would be reaching the market in near future.

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