Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan has said that there is scope for a deeper collaboration between the space agency and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as both have common goals and use the same technology.
A major space project was recently jointly reviewed by him with DRDO Chairman S. Christopher, Dr. Sivan said. He was inaugurating an international conference on sonar systems and sensors, ‘ICONS-2018’, organised by the State’s only DRDO lab, the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), at Angamaly on Thursday. Outlining a few space projects like the indigenous automatic identification system, fishing zone identification technology, and the desi GPS called Navic, he said that they contributed to the safety of fishermen at sea and supported the growth of economy. “It is essential to safeguard the seas around India for the sake of the country’s economy,” he added.
The fishing zone identification system has helped generate revenue to the tune of ₹50,000 crore on the western coast alone in the last five years. The Navic system, formerly known as IRNSS, provides fishers real-time information on their locations, international boundary, and weather conditions. “We have been able to make them feel at home while fishing on the seas,” Dr. Sivan said.
He added that the space agency had indigenously developed some of the best computing systems which would come handy for other agencies. “Everyone is heavily dependent on electronics, but a fair share of it is imported. But that could change as we have the capability within the country,” he said, underscoring why there should be synergy between the DRDO and the ISRO.
Dr. Christopher said that a ‘sensing sea’ like a sensing city could probably throw up a solution to accidents at sea. “DRDO is keen to enter into fruitful collaborations with academia and industries in India and abroad, so that the synergy thus generated will propel faster progress of our country in the field of defence science and technology,” he added.
NPOL, which is engaged in R&D in Sound Navigation and Ranging (Sonar) systems and allied technologies, had developed a range of sonars that are deployed on naval ships and submarines.
“The cutting edge of successful anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations comes from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies relevant to submarine detection and tracking. The key to good passive sonar is ultimately transducers. In recent years, there has been considerable importance in transducer technologies, especially at very low frequencies. Non-acoustic sensors and MEMS devices also have started making their appearance in this challenging field,” Dr. Christopher said.
NPOL Director S. Kedarnath Shenoy said that the thrust areas of the laboratory were signal processing and imaging, underwater acoustics, electronics, engineering systems, transducers, materials, and oceanography. The laboratory has developed hull-mounted sonar for ships and submarines, towed array sonar, and airborne sonar for the Navy.
Arogyaswami J. Paulraj from Stanford University, a Padma Bhushan awardee and recipient of Marconi Prize and Alexander Graham Bell Award, delivered the keynote address.
V.K. Aatre, former Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri and Director General, DRDO; Rear Admiral Antony George, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (staff requirements), and Samir Kamat, Director General, Naval Science & Materials, DRDO, spoke.
By: The Hindu
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