Trishula develops drone components to substitute imports

The startup makes UAV engines, motors, speed controllers and hybrid power units at Hyd facility

By Author  |  Published: 13th Jul 2020  12:04 am
Trishula drones
Trishula drones

Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based startup Trishula, which was involved in the joint development of a bag-valve-mask (BVM) based ventilator along with T-Works for emergency use in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, is now actively working on developing drone components at its facility in Madhapur.

Founded in 2018 by Karna Raj and Prudhvi Raj Pakalapati, Trishula aims to deliver solutions designed to tackle challenges in aerospace, defence, agriculture, power and mining sectors. It offers drone components, ready-to-deploy defence surveillance platforms and supporting hardware solutions, primarily in the mini and mid-sized drones. All the component design has been indigenous.

Trishula co-founder Karna Raj said, “Aerospace manufacturers are constantly looking for technological advances that will allow aircraft to travel further, faster, carry more payload and use less fuel. We aim to work with all the major aerospace companies, supplying components that pass through stringent quality tests. To ensure that genuine users buy our components, we are exploring an online registration platform and these components are designed and developed after substantial research and development using an advanced manufacturing process and carefully selected sub-components to meet the end-user requirement. We are taking the help of ECIL for certification.”

Component development

“We are offering two-stroke UAV engines that make a drone least vibration-prone compared to other types of engine configurations and therefore does not need added weight, which translates into lightweight and more power — key factors in deciding the aircraft performance and airframe life. Our engines are designed to be modular. A single two-cylinder horizontally opposite unit becomes one module and these modules can be added or removed from an engine system for desired power or weight requirement. The system is flexible and can power everything from a small sub-one-meter fixed-wing UAV to a large four-metre long UAV. There is also scope for an engine upgrade,” Raj said.

Trishula is also developing a range of electronic speed controllers (ESCs), designed to meet the requirements of reliability, efficiency and weight. The ESC units are tailor-made for the motor ranges. The company is also into design, customisation and manufacture of motors ranging in various sizes and applications. The motors can power micro, small and large UAVs as well as microlight aircraft. The team is also in an advanced stage of developing hybrid power units for drones, which can substitute batteries that are currently imported from Taiwan and the US, informed Prudhvi Raj Pakalapati, co-founder.

The UAV engines are ready while the motors are undergoing final testing and certification process is in progress, which will be completed in the next four months. The company is working with drone and aerospace companies in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi and discussions are on with the drone operators who are looking to cater to e-commerce companies.

Pakalapati added, “Telangana provides the right ecosystem for companies like us. IT Minister K T Rama Rao has been proactive in encouraging innovation.” The company is looking to cater to 30-40 per cent of overall components of drones as of now, and once the generator and hybrid power unit are ready, this will go up to 80 per cent value of the drone. Trishula is keen to bring down the overall operational cost of drones through its indigenously developed components. Since it will avoid import duty and logistics costs, there can be savings of up to 50-60 per cent.

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