Hyderabad: The Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota plans to completely indigenise critical automation technology in the coming years to avoid dependence on other countries for technology.
As part of the effort, Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India Limited on Tuesday delivered an indigenous programmable logic controller to the SDSC for use in its propellant filling systems for launch vehicles.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday at the ECIL, SDSC director Dr M.Y.S. Prasad said the Centre intended to cut down its import bill and instead buy from Indian companies.
The SDSC currently spends Rs 100 crore out of its Rs 700 crore annual budget on technology imports. Dr Prasad said, “Reducing foreign dependency is important. Of our current systems, 30 to 40 % are based on imports. Over the next three to four years, we want to use ECIL equipment for all critical applications.”
Dr Prasad explained that after further tests, the ECIL-built PLC would be used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle Stage 4 propellant filling automation systems.
About 40 tonne of propellant is filled in the PSLV while 210 tonne of propellant is filled in the GSLV. “It is a very critical application because the equipment will help fill 40 tonne of propellant in just two hours without spilling a single drop.
The first real-time use of this equipment will be for the September or October PSLV launch,” Dr Prasad said. ECIL chairman P. Sudhakar said it took nearly two years of collaborative efforts to build the PLC.
“It is a momentous occasion for us. The entire system is indigenous along with the software. There are no vulnerabilities.”
“Many critical systems need such automation equipment. If we use imported equipment, there may not be complete satisfaction at all times. And then it becomes difficult to sort out issues and perform diagnostics,” Mr Sudhakar added....