Defence Research and development organisation (DRDO) is the premier agency of research and development in India which primarily focuses on developing defence equipment. DRDO has proved its versatility during the Chinese Virus(COVID 19) pandemic. DRDO answered the nation’s call of duty and jumped into the war against this virus. In this article, we will discuss the efforts of DRDO in the battle against Coronavirus. We will discuss all the weapons developed by DRDO for this battle against Coronavirus.
DRDO’s UV Blaster
DRDO has developed an Ultraviolet light blaster which kills 99.99% germs including the Chinese virus. It has been by DRDO’sDeveloped by Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTC). It is a device that uses Ultra Violet radiation to kill germs. It is effective in cleaning large areas such as hospital rooms and wards, flights, busses, classrooms, etc.
This UV blaster uses Ultra violet-C (UVC) radiation. The part of electromagnetic radiation which has a wavelength ranging from 100 nm to 280 nm is categorized as UVC. For reference, the visible light spectrum ranges from 400 nm to 700 nm. UVC has short but very high energy waves ( almost three times the energy of yellow light). UVC destroys the DNA of a cell on exposure. Thus when germs are exposed to UVC, their DNA is destroyed, and hence gets killed. This process is called Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation. But we need to be very careful while using it. Exposure to UVC can cause serious skin burn and even cancer.
DRDO’s UV blaster can be used for the rapid disinfection of office spaces, building,s etc without using any chemicals. Items such as electronic devices that can get damaged by wet disinfectants can now be cleaned very conveniently with this device. It has 6 lamps each with 43 Watts of UV-C power at 254 nm wavelength arranged for 360 deg. Illumination. The UV intensity at 2 m distance is 0.4 mW/cm2. It takes about 10 minutes to disinfect a room of 12 feet by 12 feet and 30 minutes for a room of size 400 square feet.
However, exposure to UV C for humans can be quite dangerous. Thus the UV Blaster is remotely operated through a laptop/mobile phone using a wi-fi link. Additional safety features include automatic switch off on the accidental opening of room/human intervention and a safety key to arm operation.
This UV blaster would initially cost Rs 1.5 lakhs per unit. However, orders of large quantities can reduce the price to RS 80,000.
DRDO has also developed various other UV disinfection devices automatic luggage disinfection system, portable UVC killer, notes clean, and various other similar devices.
DRDO’s Sumeru Pacs- PPE Ventilation
Doctors and other healthcare workers are our frontline warriors in the battles against COVID-19. PPE kits are the armors for these warriors. But wearing these armors for extended durations can be really very uncomfortable. The body heat gets trapped inside the PPE kits due to lack of air circulation. This results in excessive sweating, dehydration, and even dizziness.
DRDO has addressed this problem of our frontline corona warriors by SUMERU-PACS. It is basically an air circulation system which can be attached to any PPE kit. It circulates air to the neck and hip area of the warrior wearing a PPE kit. Thus it maintains steady airflow in this region and thus ensures proper ventilation. At the same time, it also regulates the humidity. SUMERU PACS is a close circuit recirculating system. Thus it does not compromises the safety of the PPE kit.
DRDO has empowered us with many weapons in this battle. Ultra Swachh is one of them. Ultra Swachh is a versatile disinfection chamber that can disinfect a wide variety of items ranging from PPE kits to electronic items.
Ultra Swachh has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), the Delhi-based laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with M/s Gel Craft Healthcare Private Ltd, Ghaziabad.
Ultra Swachh uses innovative technology. It uses ozone and water for disinfection. The ozone used in it is prepared by atmospheric oxygen by the ultra Swachh machine itself. It also has a catalytic converter that converts ozone back to oxygen. This is important for the environment since ozone is one of the chief components of photochemical smog. Moreover, ozone is also poisonous and deadens the sense of smell if inhaled
High Protection Masks, PPE Kits, Sanitizer And Ventilators
During the initial attacks of Coronavirus in India, when it had just escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the scarcity of masks and PPE kits was felt. DRDO along with various other organizations such as ISRO came into rapid action and started producing high quality, high protection mask (N95).
DRDO also produced PPE kits along with alcohol-based sanitizer during the initial response. DRDO has also developed a multi-patient ventilator to cater to the demand for ventilators.
DRDO has achieved what it was earlier thought to be impossible in India. DRDO has built Sardar Patel COVID hospital in New Delhi, with the capacity to accommodate 1000 COVID patients, in just 12 days!
DRDO has proved its versatility and its power of innovation in one of the most challenging times. DRDO’s invention has saved hundreds of lives in this battle against Coronavirus. We Indians are proud to have such an organization.