New directors for key units, ISRO

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ill appoint new directors for some its departments including spaceport at Sriharikota, and the rocket design and assembling and liquid propulsion systems centres at Thiruvananthapuram. The newly appointed directors will take charge of duty from Monday, 1 June 2015.

According to ISRO officials, P. Kunhikrishnan who currently is deputy director, will be appointed as the new director of the Satish Dhawan space centre in Sriharikota. He will replace M.Y.S. Prasad, whose tenure ends on 31 May. While being at the post of deputy director, Kunhikrishnan was responsible for the flight certification of all the avionics systems of launch vehicles (rockets) and head of the quality division for devices and test and evaluation.  As the mission director, Mr Kunhikrishnan had supervised 13 polar satellite launch vehicles, this also includes PSLV C25 that was used in inter-planetary mission–Mangalyaan, started on November 5, 2013.

On 30 May, renowned space scientist K. Sivan  became the new director for Vikram Sarabhai space centre on superannuation of M. Chandradathan. S. Somnath who was heavy rocket project director will now act as the director for the liquid propulsion systems centre.

Mr Sivan’s contribution in the field of parallel computing and hypersonic wind tunnel facility has been immense, said an ISRO official. The statement further added that his efforts have given new insight in computational fluid dynamics and self-reliance in wind tunnel testing. Mr Sivan was the chief architect of Sitara, a 6D trajectory software. used in real time and non-real time trajectory simulations of all launch vehicles.

While Mr Somnath is an expert in launch vehicle design. He also specializes in rocket engineering. Moreover, he was the author of the project report of GSLV Mk-III during 2000-2002 and joined the project in 2003. “Under Somanath’s leadership, the first experimental suborbital test flight of LVM3, was accomplished on December 18, 2014,” the statement added.

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