The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is warming up to unravel a concrete masterpiece to house some of its discreet and critical missile technologies. Built just under four years, the new facility – the Navigation and Embedded Computer Complex -- was blessed by former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on December 9. Situated close to the Shamshabad airport and Pahadi Shareef Dargah, the facility is set in a picturesque background of lakes, perfectly manicured lawns and offers a panoramic view of the hillocks.
Part of DRDO's Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the new Complex will develop navigation sensors like fibre-optic gyroscopes (FOGs), ring laser gyroscopes (RLGs), accelerometers (for accuracy requirements of long-range missiles), resonating gyros, star sensors – all pivotal to missile and military applications. An advanced very large scale integration (VLSI) and simulation lab for the design of integrated circuit and system on chip (SOC) is also being incorporated into the building.
While DRDO is tight-lipped in giving too many details about the Complex, defence sources confirm to Express that the facility will house gen-next clean rooms of the Class 10-10000 (parts per million particles) category. The Complex will also have a limited series production facility, with industry participation on government-owned company-operated basis, to manufacture some of the systems and components.
While technologically and design-wise the Complex is sure to outsmart many of DRDO establishments in India, the icing on the cake is a museum featuring navigation and computer equipment dating back to 100 years to the latest. This X-shaped installation with a tow, is tipped to play a lead tole in DRDO's current and futuristic tactical and strategic missile programmes.
Though the state-of-the-art facility will go fully live only in the next four months, it will be yet another fulfillment of Dr Kalam's dreams to be on par with world leaders in the art of making home-grown missiles. It was Dr Kalam who gave birth to RCI, when he launched the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in the early 80s. The denial of technology stemming from the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) unleashed by the West, forced the lab to derive ways and means to develop FOGs (control grade and inertial grade) for missiles, tanks and aircraft, RLGs for long-range\long-endurance missiles and flight vehicles.
The 'Navigation & Embedded Computers Complex' which has been built over 14.5 acres within the premises of RCI, houses the most advanced design, fabrication & performance evaluation facilities required for the development of all classes of Navigation sensors & systems and real-time embedded systems.
The Inertial Navigation group of RCI, which will be relocating to this complex, has been involved in the design & development of highly critical inertial sensors like Ring Laser Gyroscopes (RLGs), Fiber Optic Gyroscopes (FOGs), Quartz Accelerometers, Hemispherical Resonating gyros (HRGs), etc which go into the Navigation systems of missiles, combat aircrafts, torpedoes, ships & submarines.
The Real-time Embedded computing Group of RCI has been developing the real-time computer systems for all DRDO products and is an expert group in state-of-art VLSI & System-on-Chip (SoC) technologies.
Dr. Kalam, during his address, expressed that his dream of RCI heading towards the Number 1 position in the field of Inertial sensors, Navigation systems & algorithms, etc is becoming a reality and emphasized the need to develop the Single chip Navigation, Guidance & control solution based on the System-on-chip technology.
The DRDO scientists confirm that this new advanced Navigation complex is on par with the best in the world and possesses all relevant infrastructures required for the system development and performance evaluation of the present & future Navigation requirements.
Dr. Kalam, the founder of RCI, also inaugurated the museum within the complex, which showcases the birth and evolution of the navigation & computing technologies of the world & DRDO, from ancient times to the present day.
The Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri & the Chief of DRDO Dr. V.K. Saraswat, congratulated the scientists on establishing the world class facility and wished RCI to emerge as the world leader in avionics. The Chief Controller R&D (Missiles & Stategic Systems) Shri. Avinash Chander, Director of RCI Shri. SK. Ray and many other Chief Controllers & top scientists of DRDO were present during the occasion.