Space Spin Offs From ISRO

INSAT based Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) is used to transmit emergency conditions and position location to a central hub station via UHF transponder of INSAT for rescue operation. It can be easily installed in boats or other vehicles. In case of emergency, user just needs to switch on the DAT unit. User is required to select a message (e.g. fire in boat) by pressing the corresponding switch provided in the system. The DAT combines the message with position of the boat obtained through GPS, and transmits the same to a central HUB station. The DAT will repeat the message every minute for first five minutes and then every five minutes till it is switched off manually or until the battery life gets over. Intended for emergency message communication transmission for all type of sea going vessels especially useful for fisherman.
Polyurethane (PU) technology was developed for insulation, damping, acoustic protection and other lightweight structural applications in launch vehicles. The development of PU foams for rocket motor applications has resulted in an important spin off in the form of artificial foot prosthesis. The PU foot has undergone extensive field trials and modifications in collaboration with Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. Subsequently, this was fitted to many amputees successfully in collaboration with Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. The PU foot developed by ISRO has numerous advantages over the traditional artificial foot. The prostheses were made of variable density microcellular elastomer. It has natural look, lightweight, more durable, cosmetic, comfortable, slip resistant and easy to manufacture. The average weight of the foot is about 500 gm. Amputees especially among the poor and needy in the country will benefit from free prostheses replacement.
One of the widely used ISRO products is the fire extinguishing powder - ‘OLFEX’ for flammable liquid, gas fires and Ternary Eutectic Chloride (TEC) powder for metal fires. OLFEX is a reaction product of urea and potassium bicarbonate and is used for extinguishing oil fires. TEC powder is an effective and efficient dry powder which is suitable for extinguishing fires involving reactive metals like magnesium, sodium, zirconium, aluminum etc. OLFEX compares well with imported powders for similar applications. The indigenous powder exhibits excellent fire knock down efficiency in addition to superior water repellency, flow characteristics and shelf life. Both these powders have been extensively tested by various competent and independent agencies.
PARAS 3D is a general purpose flow analysis and simulation software developed by ISRO. It has been successfully applied to large scale simulation problems such as flow over a complete multi body launch vehicle configuration with strap on boosters, flow over a complete aircraft with wing, fuselage, stores etc. The code has been thoroughly validated by applying to a number of flow simulation problems where the results are known from either wind tunnel experiments or from other numerical simulations using established codes. It has been successfully applied to a number of complex practical problems in the aerospace domain.
Search and Rescue Beacon is an affordable and technically advanced electronic device that helps to rescue people in distress through satellite communication. The beacon transmits encoded digital message that contains information about the beacon, such as its unique identification number, country where the beacon is registered etc. along with current location of the beacon. The beacon gets location information from Global Positioning System (GPS). Various search and rescue satellites under COSPAS-SARSAT network receive the transmitted signals. The messages are processed and retransmitted to different ground stations. These dedicated ground stations receive the message and alert the rescue centres nearest to the spot of accident. The rescue centre in turn initiates the rescue operations. The beacon can be used in sea, on difficult terrains on the land and in air by various groups of people.
Indigenous GIS (IGIS) software package is indigenously developed software to carry out GIS analysis and Image Processing for Natural Resources Development. IGIS is seamless Geomatics application software with both single/multi user platform and includes Geographical Information System, Image Processing and its integration with real time information using GPS. IGIS has the exhaustive functionality list of GIS, Remote Sensing, Image Processing, 3D modeling, 3D animation and Real Time Location Based Services. It meets all geomatics needs of the organization through GIS, Image Processing, Analysis, Terrain Analysis, 3D Modeling and neural network analysis.
he state of the art Automatic Weather Station (AWS) developed by ISRO is designed as a very compact, modular, rugged, powerful, low cost system and housed in a portable, self contained package. The AWS consists of compact Data Transmitter, Data Logger, Crossed Yagi Antenna, GPS, Solar Panel and Meteorological Sensors (e.g. air temp., relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind direction, wind speed, solar radiation, rain gauge, etc.). AWS Transmits Meteorological data every hour from any remote station installed within the foot print of INSAT Satellite. The DRT on board INSAT satellite has capacity to accommodate over 10,000 such AWS systems spread over the country. The AWS can immediately provide information on weather and an anomaly from normal/expected weather.
ISRO developed High Silica Cloth - ISROSIL is being used by industries for insulation and thermal protection for non metallic bellows, wrapping for pipes, cables and hoses, vertical strip furnace curtains, seals and gaskets etc. This environmentally approved asbestos free material consists of amorphous Silica (Min 98% SiO2) with a melting point of 1650ºC. It provides high thermal, electrical and acoustic protection. This flexible textile product is available in various forms such as Fabrics, Tapes, Sleevings, Ropes and Threads etc. Fabrics are available in two thickness grades namely 0.75mm and 1.2mm. Product has been successfully used as thermal blankets in industries dealing with high temperature and corrosive applications. Digital Sound and Data Broadcasting Receiver As Digital Satellite Communication was developing during very fast during late 1990’s, there was need for digital sound and data broadcasting via satellite. The organizations like state governments, open universities, professional associations and industrial sectors were in need of data transfer from head office to their branches. The Digital Sound and Data Broadcasting (DSDB) system was developed by ISRO to meet the above requirements.
ISRO developed a DTH based Disaster Warning Dissemination System which will find wide applications for disaster warning dissemination during flood, earthquake, tsunami, cyclone, landslides, civil disturbances etc. Function(s) of each warning receiver deployed at different places can be controlled from transmit end. The system can disseminate data Direct to Home (DTH) or to community centres and public places. Warning message originating station will select individual receiver or group of receivers at a time deployed at different parts of the country. Receiver consists of a specially designed Set Top Box with associated hardware and software. The technology can be used for disaster warnings broadcasted by the agencies during emergencies such as cyclone, earthquake, landslide, flood and civil disturbances and can also be used for viewing entertainment programs broadcasted on free to air channels.
Slip-ring is an electro mechanical interfacing unit for transfer of electrical information such as power, control/data, video/digital data between a stationary and rotating part. ISRO has successfully developed different types of cost effective slip rings such as Miniature instrumental slip rings used in rotary instruments, rotary test equipments, spin tables, aircraft cockpits, vehicle turrets, tanks etc; Pedestal slip rings used in tracking radar and launchers and VHF Slip rings used for video / digital data and star tracking. The technology allows for custom made slip rings with multiple channels and wide range of power, frequency, power speed and temperature with minimal signal loss.
Productivity of ecosystems and agricultural crops predominantly depends upon the unique process of photosynthesis. Unavailability of water and mineral nutrients will be reflected as stress in the plant and the leaf shows specific changes in health characteristics. Early detection of this is very important for prevention of productivity loss. ISRO developed a unique and simple system for insitu measurement of water status and pigment proportion in leaves. The ISRO Photometer is a simple, portable, battery operated instrument weighing 250 gm and powered by two 9V cells. Water content and chlorophyll concentration in the leaves can be measured directly with Photometer under filed conditions without destroying the specimen. The ISRO developed Agrophotometer found applications in remote sensing ‘ground truth’ collection and data interpretation, teaching, research and demonstrations in botany, agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
ISRO developed a hand cleansing formulation, PEDCLEAN-A. This cleansing system was very useful for industrial and laboratory personnel working with polymers, adhesives, oils and greases and other materials which are sticky in nature. PEDCLEAN was evaluated and certified by Industrial Toxicological Research Institute, Lucknow who certified it safe for human use as a skin barrier cream.
ISRO developed pressure transducers are incorporated with outstanding features like high accuracy, light weight, rugged and operation under adverse environmental condition. The various pressure transducers developed by ISRO include Pressure transducer with built in amplifier, differential pressure transducer etc. Atmospheric Pressure Sensor has also been developed by ISRO, which operates in 600-1100 m bar range. This sensor is of integral diaphragm type, designed to measure absolute pressure variations in the atmosphere. The sensor is well suited for remote field applications of AWS. These sensors are highly robust and are at par with any of the imported sensors currently available in Indian market.
The ISRO developed Ultrasonic Liquid Level Sensor finds a wide range of applications in industries as well as for special purposes. The sensor is designed for sensing the presence of any liquid(s). The standard sensor is typically integrated with the sensing element called the sensor head and electrically connected to a 5 pin Lemo electrical connector. The sensing element has a Piezo electric Ceramic Disk on each side of the sensing gap. The advantages of this invention are no moving parts , no sparking, low voltage application, fully EB welded and hermitically sealed, qualified for aerospace, shock and vibration resistance etc. The sensor find applications in monitoring the level and depletion of any liquid including corrosive and hazardous liquid, oceanography, pressure vessels, Hydraulic plant and systems etc.
Cryogenic fluids such as liquid Nitrogen, liquid Oxygen, liquid hydrogen and liquid Helium find extensive applications in Aviation, Space Technology and Scientific Research. ISRO in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has developed a novel ‘Fibre Optic Liquid Level Detector’, which will find wide industrial and commercial applications. Utilizing a ‘hollow prism’ that contains a leak tight hollow space trapped between a pair of ‘dielectric members’, fibre optic devices sense the liquid level through a non-invasive level detection at an extremely high speed.
It is expected that this technology will be used for measurement of fuel and oxidizer levels in large tanks of cryo systems, for handling of petrochemical and chemically harsh liquids during storage and bulk transportation, as “built in devices” in tanks of various sizes for detection of quantity of residual fuels in a more accurate manner (LPG transportation), for reliable monitoring of fluids quantitatively during filling or emptying of tanks at high flow rates etc.
Rising level of airborne particles (aerosols), particularly those arising from industrial and automobile smoke, is a major concern, in terms of both human health and global warming. The compact DPL developed by ISRO provides an insight in locating the presence of aerosol particles and clouds in the atmosphere which plays a major role in regulating earth's climate and air quality. The DPL is an independent lidar system that contains a pulsed laser, transmitter, a receiver telescope, optics, dual detectors, signal digitizers, timing and power supply and a computer for control and data recording. The lidar system employs biaxial configuration. The DPL will find societal and commercial application in locating and ranging the gas leakage/pollutant emission areas in gas pipeline/industrial areas in horizontal direction, visibility determination at airports for aircraft landing and takeoff in slant path directions, determination of aircraft Icing for helping pilots identifying the ice cloud regions and thereby protecting the icing of aircraft wings etc.
Observations of wind velocity profiles are very important for studying meteorological phenomena and for weather forecasting. Radar Wind Profiler (RWP), a coherent-pulse-Doppler-Radar, is one of the most suitable remote sensing instruments for observing height profiles of three components of wind velocity vector, including the vertical velocity, with high time and height resolutions without influence of weather conditions. The Lower Atmospheric Wind Profiling Radar (LAWP) developed by ISRO provides the data to study the dynamics of the lower atmosphere (upto 5 km). LAWP radar is a potential tool to carry out research studies such as Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) dynamics (winds, turbulence structure), seasonal and Inter annual variations, interaction between the annual variations, interaction between the ABL and the free troposphere, vertical profiles of precipitation, bright band characterization, monitoring the height of the melting layer and the vertical extent of hydrometeors, rain/cloud drop size distribution etc.
Improved short- Improved short-range forecasting, numerical weather prediction models, air pollution, civil aviation and flight planning, identification of atmospheric ducts, air pollution prediction, wind shear monitoring, temperature profiling in the radio acoustic sounding system (RASS) mode etc are some of operational applications.
Precision Tapping Attachment which will find applications for precision tapping in mechanical packages. This attachment is useful for tapping highly precise M1.2 screws and above with accuracy. The salient feature includes useful for highly precise M1.2 screws and above with accuracy, perfect and precise tapping with perpendicularity, tapping up to proper depth, no jamming or breaking of tapping tool, operations by unskilled worker, increase in productivity etc.
ISRO has designed and developed a photosynthetic irradiance incubator (photosynthetron) for marine and fresh water applications. This is used to measure the photosynthetic-rate parameters (PI) of phytoplankton, the microscopic, photosynthesising green plants of the ocean. PI parameters constitute an important element for modeling and estimating oceanic primary production using remote sensing data. The major components of the photosynthetron are the main incubation chamber, source lamp, lamp housing chamber, fl at rectangular bottles on a movable rack, temperature sensor, submersible pump, motor and gear box. All laboratories, research institutes, universities involved in marine & oceanographic research especially in the area of primary production by phytoplankton and fisheries will find this invention useful.
ISRO has developed Ground Penetration Radar (GPR), which is a high resolution electromagnetic imaging technique that works on the principle of scattering of electromagnetic waves to locate buried objects. It is used primarily to investigate subsurface profiles of the earth or planetary surface. GPR is a method that finds applications in environmental, engineering, archeological, and other shallow investigations. GPR operates by transmitting high frequency waves directing down into the ground via a wideband antenna. When the transmitted signal enters the ground and reaches objects or mediums with different electrical and dielectric properties, part of the signal is reflected off. This reflected energy is then sensed by the receiver antenna. Ground penetrating radar relies on several factors for target detection including efficient coupling of electromagnetic radiation into the ground, adequate penetration of the radiation through the ground with regard to target depth and obtaining from buried objects or other dielectric discontinuities a sufficiently large back scattered signal for detection at the ground surface.
ISRO has developed a number of adhesives for its own applications. They include both structural and non-structural adhesives. Non-structural adhesives developed include silicon based, polyurethane elastomers and acrylic based adhesives. Structural adhesives developed include epoxy resins, phenol based and rubber based adhesives using chloroprene and neoprene. These adhesives can find varied applications in automobile and other engineering industries. The use of adhesives, for joining, fixing and sealing, in the automobile industry is on the increase mainly due to its inherent advantages. The main advantages are improved stress distribution, weight saving, noise and vibration reduction, corrosion prevention, ease of joining dissimilar materials, sealing of joints, improved stress distribution and aesthetic appearance.
The digital holographic testing machine is efficient Non Destructive Testing equipment for detecting debonds, cracks, internal cracks, stress, deformations, and shearograms. This equipment has the capability of showing the fringe patterns online on a computer monitor using holographic testing software. The system provides for generation and display of digital holograms on real time basis. This equipment processes in real time and displays both digital interferograms and shearograms simultaneously and can be carried anywhere for NDT of large size structures.
Polyaramid reinforced plastic is a popular composite used for various launch vehicle applications. ‘ACRAMID’ is yet another space spin off from ISRO developed from composites technology. ACRAMID is a denture material developed based on composite technology. ACRAMID is the composite of polyaramid fibres and poly methyl methacrylate resin. ACRAMID is used for fixed prosthodontic restoration when a tooth is lost. Materials presently used are metallic alloys containing gold, silver and ceramics. Fabrication using these materials requires sophisticated equipments. ACRAMID is a viable substitute for metal, alloys and ceramics. It is made with short fiber reinforcement to avoid micro cracks and longitudinal reinforcement to withstand operational loads. Toxicological and biocompatibility tests showed no ill effects. Clinical trials showed that the prosthesis would remain successful for many years. Product testing for mechanical loads has demonstrated good margin of safety. The advantages of ACRAMID are; cost 5% that of gold, better aesthetics because of matching color, light weight, easy processability, minimum lab equipments and easily repairable. The ACRAMID prosthesis has been worked out in such a way to avoid costly equipment for the making of dentures. This can be used as a cheaper denture implant for fixed orthodontic restoration.
DWR system is the result of the indigenous design and development activity carried out at ISRO to achieve self sufficiency in this crucial technology by harnessing a knowledge base available within ISRO. Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) provides precise advance warnings, enhancing the lead time for saving lives and property in the event of natural disaster associated with severe weather. The DWR is operated in the surveillance mode with continuous scanning either in clockwise or counter clockwise direction. The required range, range resolution, antenna scanning rate, number of range gates etc are set through the radar controller. The salient features of DWR include providing quantitative information about the intensity and radial velocities of cyclones, area rainfall rate & accumulation, substantially increases the lead time for cyclone warning and remedial measures, identifies accurately the threatened areas, improves the accuracy of mesoscale rainfall estimates for flash flood warning and improves the understanding and forecasting of thunderstorms, hailstorms, tidal waves, wind turbulence and shear, visualization of storm structure etc
ISRO has developed Phantom Network Toggling Mechanism. The system comprises of an organizational network, third party network(s) (say internet), a phantom server with intermediate data storage, a toggling mechanism to isolate the organizational network from the third party network. It permits secured data communication between the organizational network and the third party network. The network toggle control is through PC parallel interface. This is extremely useful to organizations for allowing users connected to their Intranet to send email to external world without connecting Intranet with Internet. Phantom connectivity model enables organization to copy users download data from Internet to Intranet without connecting both the networks. Some features are: low cost, 24X7 operated, high (100/1000 Mbps) speed data transfer, high reliability, secured and fully automated. To and fro email transfer between public and organization network and file downloading from Internet (or any other network) to organization network without connecting both of them. Enriching usage of thin client base Internet surfing without comprising on user needs to get download data on organization network.
Q-Pad is menu driven mobile GIS-GPS software and allows access and manipulation of GIS data in field using Pocket PC. Real time integration of GPS data with GIS layer and overlay of GPS, GIS and remote sensing data is made easy through Q-Pad. Useful for in-situ data collection, field level disaster damage assessment and GPS data collection.
ISRO has developed a novel Vibration Management Solution. The system is based on wire rope mounts that provide inherent damping by virtue of relative motion between wire strands. Delicate electronic and optical systems vulnerable to vibration and shock can be protected using this system. The system is ideal for solving vibration and shock difficulties encountered during transportation in space and ground environment. Wire rope isolators accommodate large deflections without danger of bottoming and plastically deforming, thereby offering wide range of isolation for variety of applications.
Development of a multipurpose, flexible, simple and cost effective approach for applying fine abrasives to finish surfaces without using slurry or altering the form of the surface is an ideal approach for meeting many challenging industrial applications. The novel method developed involves a simple approach to prepare elasto magnetic abrasive spheres of varying size ranges for fine finishing of different types of surfaces and class of materials, with the help of simple custom made setups.