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“We have become self reliant in navigation area for the defence applications”

Aug 2014 | No Comment

G Satheesh Reddy

Director, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO, Government of India

Please share the role of Research Centre Imarat (RCI) within the broader framework of DRDO.

Research Centre Imarat-RCI, part of the Missile cluster Laboratories of DRDO is responsible primarily for the Research in Avionics and mandated to deliver the advanced Avionics products to various Missiles, Aircrafts, Helicopters, UAVs, Ships, Submarines and other Vehicles of our Armed Forces. The Avionics products include the Navigation Sensors & Systems, Onboard computers & software, Control & Actuation systems, Power Supplies, Guidance algorithms, RF Seekers, Imaging Seekers, Radomes, Antennas and many other related systems. In the state of the art HILS facility complete Avionics gets evaluated for various missions. We have complete environmental test, EMI, EMC and EMP facilities for testing as per the requirements. RCI is pursuing core research in the area of Avionics to develop the cutting edge technology products.

Why do you think the Indian private sector has not been able to capitalize on the growing demand for multi satellite constellation receiversand build world class products?

The Indian Private sector is not able to invest in Research and Development (R&D). The industries have been concentrating only on manufacturing, assembly and ToT oriented products. In India, there are very few companies who invest in R&D and develop their own core products. Only one or two companies are investing in the R&D of Multi Constellation Receivers & able to come out with state of the art products and market them world over. Industry should make small investments in specialized areas and come out with innovative products and compete with the world. Wherever necessary, Industry should be funded and Research can be pursued jointly with Academia and R&D Institutions.

How would you rate the importance of spatial technology for the research being conducted at RCI?

The Spatial Technology has gained importance since the evolution of GPS and other Navigation Satellite Systems. Satellites are being extensively used for location coordinates, Imagery and Intelligence. In line with many Navigation Systems like GPS of USA, GLONASS of Russia, GALILEO of EU, Beidou of China; India has also embarked on the journey of possessing its own Navigation Satellite System which is poised to play a very important role. In the last two decades, the world has witnessed many Satellites being launched at the beginning of the War and also during the War for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Many payloads have been developed and put in orbit by advanced nations for high resolution imagery and for observing the earth radars and other installations. The future will see the War dominated by the Spatial technologies. RCI has developed a wide variety of Satellite Navigation Receivers and is pursuing extensive Research in the spatial technology related products.

Do you think that multi- GNSS scenario may result in navigation solutions with better accuracy?

The Multi GNSS scenario, may not be improving the accuracy significantly. The accuracy depends on many factors. SBAS like the Indian GAGAN will definitely improve the accuracy of the GPS to a large extent. The multi GNSS scenario, improves the visibility a lot and hence the Reliability of the Satellite Navigation is much higher. With the improvement in the visibility, the DOP improves and with proper fusion of multiple data, the accuracy will also improve to some extent.

How do you look at the threats posed by jamming, spoofing and interferences to the navigation systems? Is RCI undertaking any research initiatives in these areas?

Jamming, Spoofing and other Interferences are always a threat to the Satellite Navigation. There are several methods how these threats can be dealt with. In a Hybrid Navigation System where Inertial Navigation & Satellite Navigation is combined, the System can function normally if the Jamming is for shorter durations. The systems can be designed with many techniques to counter spoofing. Receivers can be designed to work in Jamming conditions also by employing Systems like Null Steering Antennas. RCI is working on Satellite Navigation Receivers which can function normally under the conditions of Jamming, Spoofing and other Interferences. But if the Jamming signal is originating from very close vicinity with high power signal, it is difficult for the Receiver to function normally.

Your efforts in making India self-reliant in the area of navigationsystems for defense applications is well known. Do you envisage India becoming self reliant in navigation systems for civil applications as well?

We have become self reliant in Navigation area for the Defence applications. Many systems have been designed and developed with multiple Inertial sensors and are being used in many vehicles. There are many spin-offs from our range of navigation technologies developed at RCI which can be used for civilian applications. The GPSGLONASS- GAGAN Receiver (G3OM) on a Single Module can be produced in bulk, the high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Navigation System can be used for civilian aircrafts and ships. Highly miniaturized MEMS based smart low cost INS can be used in cars and other moving vehicles.I am very sure that India in coming decade, will become self reliant in navigation solutions for all its civilian applications.

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