ISRO participates in "Make In India Week"

Make In India

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) / Department Of Space (DOS) actively participated in "Make In India Week", held during February 13-18, 2016 at Mumbai. A week long exhibition was organised on this occasion showcasing ISRO's potential for supporting “Make In India” initiate. A half a day seminar on the theme "Make In India – Space" highlighting the business opportunities in the Space sector was also organised on February 17, 2016.

ISRO strives to develop various space technologies and utilise them for the rapid and all round development of the country. In this endeavour, spanning over five decades, ISRO has indigenously perfected many critical technologies essential for building satellites, launch vehicles and applications, as originally envisioned by Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of the Indian space programme.  PSLV, the indigenous workhorse launch vehicle of India, has not only launched Indian satellites, but 57 satellites from 20 countries as well. Besides, satellites designed and developed in India are now providing many essential services to the country, and some of them are now providing services globally.  All this signifies ISRO’s long term adherence to ‘Make in India’ concept.

Seminar on "Make In India – Space"

In his opening remarks, Dr YVN Krishnamurthy, Scientific Secretary, ISRO, said that in association with ISRO, Indian private industry would be able to involve in the applications of space technology and this would facilitate bigger business opportunities for them worldwide.   In his keynote address, Mr Tapan Misra, Director, ISRO’s Space Applications Centre, opined that ISRO wants more private companies to make launch vehicle and satellite related components for the government run enterprise. ISRO has offered to assist them with technology transfer and in building the required infrastructure to help incubate a space industry in the country.  Senior representatives from the major centres of  ISRO, along with Industry partners of ISRO, including L&T, Godrej and Sure Safety Pvt Ltd. participated. A panel discussion on ‘Make In India - Space: Opportunities in the Space Sector’ was held and the following points were discussed:

  • Scaling up from Component and Subsystem level to Entire Systems, Stages, Vehicles and Satellites
  • Indigenisation of Materials and Components
  • Spin-Offs of Space Technologies
  • Enhancement of Applications- Communications, Broadcasting, Remote Sensing and Navigation
  • Building of Launch and Satellites Integration & Test (SIT) Facility

The evolution of ISRO-Industry collaboration model from Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) onwards was highlighted and the strategic investments made by ISRO was briefed during the discussion. ISRO eagerness for enhanced role and partnership from the Indian industry towards meeting the future endeavors was stressed. 

ISRO’s endeavour to enhance the launch rate provides a great opportunity for industries to participate in a bigger way in space programmes.  Until now, the participation of industries were limited to hardware, components or small systems and now ISRO is looking forward to fully integrated and tested systems like Control actuation systems, Liquid engines and stages, Solid motors, etc.  This will enable industries to own technologies and leverage it to their advantage. Today, ISRO is planning to offer a new Small Satellite Launcher and a small Satellite to be realised by an Indian industry with ISRO's help.  This will enable industries to view space as a future business area and consider investing there for capturing the future market.

As part of the make in India program, many aspects of Earth Observation, data processing, use of Geospatial technology, location based services and Application software development in Geospatial modelling, photogrammetry and other online geo-processing related aspects were highlighted. GAGAN based smart-phone Apps was specially stressed as there is a big need for a varieties of application actions. Challenges were provided to industry to make the GAGAN dongle with USB inter-face so that it can work on Android based mobile devices. Also, the various value additions possible on Bhuvan geo-portal platform was specially highlighted so that industry can work with NRSC, ISRO as technology innovators.

The ISRO manifest with a plan of about 12 missions per annum demands production of about 25 stages, 10 LAM engines and 200 thrusters per year by 2019-20, which shows there is tremendous potential for the Indian Industry to capitalize and contribute. Since 1980s, Industry has been a major partner in the development of many major hardware and systems for ISRO, like manufacturing of Vikas Engines and Cryogenic engines, and there has been steady and consistent performance by capably adopting the ISRO’s stringent requirements in manufacturing processes and quality control. To facilitate the large scale production, LPSC/ISRO is embarking a new model like the “GOCO” (Government Owned and Company Operated), which will enable the Industry expertise to be utilised more effectively and in a focused manner.

Additionally, there have been various spin-offs for a large number of parts/systems developed, like Sensors (Liquid Level measurement, Temperature, Pressure, etc.) and precision control components like regulator, valve etc., many of which would find  application in chemical and petro-chemical industries.

Mr Jayanth Patil of L&T, recalled how a small investment of Rs 10 crore grew up later to Rs 15,000 crore partnership with ISRO.  Mr S M Vaidya of Godrej and Boyce, talked about their journey with ISRO, beginning in 1985 with the precision machining of Titanium components to fabricate Vikas engines.  The experience gained with ISRO in the areas of precision fabrication, testing and quality have helped them to service orders from aerospace industry. Mr Nishith Dand of Sure Safety highlighted their partnership as an MSME and in developing a space suit.  Mr Nishith also urged for an ecosystem for funding and handholding with single window system and continuity for systems developed.

The session was very interactive, and many questions were asked from user side. The questions were related to the promotion of the composite materials in ISRO activities, Robotic Research, Grid Network of Canals, Impact of Space Technology on Society, etc., which were appropriately answered by the ISRO representatives.

Antrix Corporation, which is ISRO's commercial arm, provides space products and technical consultancy services to Indian and international customers worldwide. It facilitates launches of satellites for international customers at competitive prices. 

Exhibition on "Make In India – Space"

ISRO’s pavilion at ‘Make in India Week’ intended to effectively and conspicuously appraise its mission and showcase the country’s achievements in the realm of space. Several digital display systems provided information on the opportunities available for Indian industry to enter into partnership with ISRO to develop and build systems for the satellite, launch vehicle and applications domains.  In addition, information on many identified technology transfer areas, including software area, where Indian industry can actively involve and develop spin-off products, was also made available.

Apart from the exhibits of scaled models and representation of various space related gadgets like Lithium-Ion Batteries, Transducers, etc., the System/Software demonstrated at ISRO pavilion are:

  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) that uses microwave signals for the detection of buried objects and features which being used for snow/ice studies for the last three years at Antarctica.  GPR is a low cost indigenously developed instrument and is being offered for technology transfer.
  • Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is ISRO’s initiative to build an independent satellite navigation system to provide precise position, velocity and time to users over the Indian region.  The live demonstration of user segment of IRNSS, including the receiver, the system functioning concept and the navigation data from IRNSS was performed.
  • Meteorological and Oceanographic Satellite Data Archival Centre (MOSDAC) is the store house of weather data from various Indian satellites like INSAT-3A/3D/KALPANA-1, Oceansat, Megha-Tropiques and SARAL.  It also provides real time weather alerts like cloud burst, heavy rain, cyclone, heat wave etc. Samples of information available at MOSDAC in real time were demonstrated.
  • Live demos of Mobile Satellite Service using GSAT-6 satellite includes voice and data communication using hand held terminal, small message and position reporting service along with video conferencing using portable terminals.  This system will be useful for communications during disaster and to provide communication services to remote places anywhere in India.
  • GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) is India’s satellite based Augmentation System which enhances the position accuracy of GPS derived position data.  ISRO efforts are now focused towards bringing GAGAN technology to mobile devices through Bluetooth/USB dongle devices. Live GAGAN navigation data was demonstrated.
  • BHUVAN is a geo-platform of developed by ISRO allowing a host of services towards geo-governance since 2009 and available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Various features of BHUVAN were demonstrated.
  • Integrated GIS and Image Processing (IGIS) software conceptualised by ISRO, which was designed and developed jointly by ISRO and M/s Scan Point Geomatics Ltd. (SGL), Ahmadabad.  Subsequently, the technology was being transferred to M/s SGL. Various features of IGIS were demonstrated.
  • FEAST is ISRO’s in-house developed structural analysis software based on Finite Element Analysis.   It is capable of solving linear problems like static analysis, Free-vibration, stability, transients, frequency, random response, fluid-structure interaction, visco-elastic analysis, etc.  The capabilities of FEAST software were demonstrated.

Serious business proposals are anticipated from the industries that includes Aditya Birla Group, ABB, Excel Plants and Equipment Pvt Ltd, Esquire Capital Investment Advisors, Ministry of Science, Malaysia and Malaysian Universities for tasks like Launch Vehicle building / Launch Services, Nano Satellites, Industrial robots, Strap on Motor fabrication, building launch vehicle structure,  Satellite based survey.