Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) got new directors for its spaceport at Sriharikota, and the rocket design and assembling and liquid propulsion systems centres at Thiruvananthapuram, it was announced on Monday.
“P. Kunhikrishnan is the new director of the Satish Dhawan space centre in Sriharikota in place of M.Y.S. Prasad, who superannuated on May 31,” ISRO said in a statement.
Distinguished space scientist K. Sivan is the new director for Vikram Sarabhai space centre on superannuation of M. Chandradathan on May 30 while heavy rocket project director S. Somnath succeeded Sivan as director of the liquid propulsion systems centre.
Mr Kunhikrishnan was currently deputy director at Sriharikota, where he 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”, the statement said.
As associate project director and mission director, he was in-charge of 13 polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLV), including PSLV C25 that carried the country’s maiden inter-planetary mission to the Martian orbit on November 5, 2013.
As liquid propulsion systems centre director, Mr Sivan was the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software (Sitara), backbone of the real time and non-real time trajectory simulations of all launch vehicles, the statement said.
“Mr Sivan contributed significantly in setting up a parallel computing facility and hypersonic wind tunnel facility, which has opened new avenues in computational fluid dynamics and self-reliance in wind tunnel testing,” it said.
He joined GSLV (geo-synchronous launch vehicle) project in April 2011 as director and under his leadership, the heavy rocket’s indigenous cryogenic upper stage was achieved on January 5, 2014.
An expert in launch vehicle design with specialisation in rocket engineering, structural design, structural dynamics and pyrotechnics, Somanath authored 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.