The Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ that catapulted India into an elite group of nations that can ‘kill’ live satellites in the space, has proved the ability of Indian space scientists to hit space targets with pinpoint precision. The ASAT interceptor missile that was tested on March 27 hit the satellite with an accuracy of fewer than 8 cms of the geometric center of the target that was moving at a speed of 8 km per second at a height of 280 km above the earth.
Interestingly, the ASAT missile had the capability to target objects moving in space at a distance of 1,000 kilometres. “The interceptor missile had the ability of 1,000 kms but we were only interested to target an object located at much lower trajectory,” said U Rajababu, Programme Director (Air Defence), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Speaking at ‘Technical Meet and Aerospace Luminary Lecture’, organised by Aeronautical Society of India, attended by top space scientists across the country, here on Sunday, the scientist said that Mission Shakti featured the work of nearly 50 industries and involved production of over 2,000 components.
While the seeds of such a critical programme were sown in 2014, the go ahead for the operation came through in 2016. The target satellite that was brought down by ASAT missile was released into the orbit by ISRO in January 2019.
Mission Shakti Mission
“The actual work of bringing critical technologies like algorithms, hardware, navigation systems and developing altitude control systems together were taken-up in the last six months. Over 150 scientists were actively involved in the mission,” he said.
Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, who was the chief guest of the event, said that Mission Shakti was a critical milestone that proved the mettle of indigenous abilities of the country. He said the final operational clearance of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Mission Shakti were the result of selfless hard work by Indian Defence scientists.
India’s first indigenous microprocessor by IIT Madras
A team of researchers from IIT Madras designed country’s first indigenous microprocessor that has the ability to reduce dependence on imported microprocessors that power mobile communication devices and computers.
Top companies like Intel, ARM and AMD are involved in the production of such microprocessors but such processors are patented, come with hefty licensing fee, royalties and are also prone to cyber-attacks.
Recognizing these challenges, the IIT Madras team launched a project titled ‘Shakti’ to develop the country’s first indigenous microprocessor. “We have designed and developed an open source industrial grade microprocessor. The Shakti program will not assert any patent rights and thereby removes the burden of royalties,” said V Kamakoti, Professor, IIT Madras, who delivered a talk on ‘Shakti’ in the event.