Managed by Dian Rusdiana Hakim, PT Aero Terra Indonesia (AeroTerrascan) aims to become the pride of Indonesia in the aviation world. Starting his journey from aeromodelling 20 years ago, his seriousness has led him to become the first drone professor. Especially, with AeroTerrascan which is engaged in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for a variety of industries. .
Now, Aeroterrascan has expanded their product portfolio with developing drones for logistics, personal transportation to medivac. Moreover, the company is already working on developing rockets!
Unfortunately, the innovation from Dian is not getting due recognition from government. Although, he has a big dream to make drones usage more mainstream so that various industry sectors in Indonesia can take advantage of the UAV technology. Dian wants his dream to materialize and hence is already working on a National Drone Program that he hopes can be realized in cooperation with Indonesian government.
In a conversation with Annisa Bella from Marketeers, Dian shares some stories about how has been growing Aeroterrascan and his efforts to bring honor to Indonesia up to the stratosphere.
You are one of the first drone producers in Indonesia How did you enter the drone bisiness?
I’ve been doing aeromodelling as a hobby for almost 20 years. At that time, I liked to fly model airplane. From studying flying radio-controlled model airplane, I became interested in studying machines because I really love robots. After that, I tried to find solutions to control helicopter which is quite hard to be controlled using robot.
Starting from putting sensor so that planes can be more stable, I also installed GPS on the plane. After making the plane stable, I thought ‘What can I do using this plane?’. From helicam business for wide-film shooting, I realized that there would be many opportunities to utilize this.
When drone was used for milltary purposes at that time, I was interested to make them more accessible for public use, noticed big opportunity in forestry, gardening, petrolic sectors and etc
Tell us about the positioning and differentiation that you’ve thought out for Aeroterrascan?
Right, around seven or eight years ago, many airplane producers only sold airplanes without any certain purpose. In my opinion, when we sell airplanes, buyers have to know what is the function of the plane. Aeroterrascan took this opportunity by providing drones for producing map. We sell applications, not only machine.
Many know of drones just as a tool for taking aerial images. Could you explain what kinds of applications Aeroterrascan provides in commercial sector?
With drones, workers in agriculture business can construct maps of the field better, in a more detailed way, compared with doing so manually. This is what we can provide, at Aeroterrascan.
There is a funny story from our client, when one of the laboratories was trying to make a map by conducting research by directly asking land owners, at the end, result was much more wider than the Island. But using drone, result is more detailed and accurate. Moreover, business professionals can cut down on thier expenses up to billions of rupiah every month since they can prevent fraud from the supervisors (mandor).
What about applications in other fields?
Contribution of Aeroterrascan is not only limitted to business world, we already make contribution in military field, etc. What’s more, now I’m ready to release drone for logistics and medivec for evacuation of victims in an accident or in a disaster-hit area.
This drone can be used for evacuating victims, for example, the injured in a mine, for example, andcan be lifted to hospital using this drone.
For transportaion, Aeroterrascan is now testing drone for personal transportation which we name Dadali. We call this manned-drone but using computer. It is Single or double seater, electric, without-engine, multi-propeller, and safer than helicopter.
Dadali is prepared to be realeased in September 2019, with 3 types of variants; type A can lift single passenger with up to 50kg baggage, and auto pilot, type C for carrying 800 liter volumetric cargo, up to 120kg total cargo weight, remotely controllable, and type M used for medical evacuation, single patient, up to 50kg life support equipment, and remotely controllable. These are all autopilot and hybrid electric.
Aeroterrascan surprised public with your result of ‘Sky Penetrating Mission’. What did you perform in the mission?
My obession is to bring honor of Indonesia beyond universe. So, I want to make an amateur roket which can breakthrough the atmosphere, hoisting Indonesian flag.
Some time ago, Aeroterrascan performed a mission to go to space. An unmanned plane from Aeroterrascan succeeded to get in to stratosphere and hoist Indoensian flag. The reason why we did this is to inspire Indonesian children to dreams bigger and aim higher. We want to collect children’s paper plane written with their dreams, bring it to the sky and spead it.
Enduring for 2 hours in the stratosphere, where temperature can reach -70 °C, proves that Aeroterrascan’s products are strong enough to survive without any damage.
I heard you are developing rockets. How has the progress been?
Right. Besides innovation in logistics, medivec, personal transportation fields, I’m developing rocket and jet engine for military purpose. This rocket will be the first amateur rocket in Indonesia which can reach space. Our target is to finish is next year.
How is the response from Indonesian government? Do you expect there would be any positive support?
Unfortunately, we have not received a positive response from Indonesian government yet. This project is actually supported by foreign country which means the credit of any positive results from the development will also go abroad. Emerging countries in Africa in fact are willing to pay us to develop various technologies with us. But, I have a mission to develop this drone with Indonesian government, like the National Drone Program that I planned.
Tell us more about the National Drone Program.
This program can be utilized in various sectors, starting from monitoring development in social, political and economic aspects. One example is using drones as a tool to monitor the use of village funds or for the state security sector to be used to identify suspicious groups that threaten state security.
In agricultural sector, at least, we can start from West Java. With this map-making, we can get information on rice barns in various regions so that we can find out which rice fields are productive, unproductive, and ready to be sown, or blighted.
In this way, local government can have more information to create a far-reaching vision through the use of drone technology. From utilizing drone in paddy in West Java, its role can be expanded to traveling sector. Drone can explore further regions which have potential for tourism sector.