India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) trialed drone-based delivery of medicines, vegetables and spraying of disinfectants at its staff quarters located in rocket launch town Sriharikota on Wednesday.
“In a pilot project, based drones of Garuda Aerospace delivered vegetables and medicines at the ISRO staff quarters and also sanitized the buildings in Sriharikota. We also sanitized the buildings using unmanned vehicles,” Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Managing Director of city-based Garuda Aerospace, told IANS.
The city based Garuda Aerospace is a drone-as-a-service company.
Confirming that a senior ISRO official told IANS that the trial delivery of vegetables, medicines, and spraying of anti-coronavirus disinfectants were good and satisfactory.
Jayaprakash said ISRO may give the order following their internal procedures and many of the staff are working from their homes.
About 200-300 people in the ISRO staff quarters – employees and their family members-were affected by Covid-19.
An official in Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, on the condition of anonymity, had told IANS that there are about 3,000 employees with their family members, and daily about 30 people are tested positive for coronavirus.
“ISRO wants to minimize the physical interaction of the staff with the outside world as a safety measure and looking at automation as a solution,” Jayaprakash said.
The second wave of Covid-19 sweeping across the country has also affected the various space centers and not just the rocket launch center in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, K.Sivan, Secretary, Department of Space, had told IANS recently.
Sivan, who is also the Chairman of, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS: “Several employees in our various centers have been affected because of the coronavirus and not only the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.”
He said the centers had been asked to work with 50 percent staff capacity and the remaining people to work from home.
“Only employees manning critical functional areas have been asked to attend office. The ISRO centers have been asked to follow the local government’s norms,” Sivan said.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)