Three key laboratories forming Defence Research and Development Organisation's missile complex at Hyderabad designed most parts, barring the launcher of the India's longest range ballistic missile, Agni-V, which was successfully flight-tested on Thursday.
The Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) are the three laboratories, which contributed immensely to the success of Agni V, catapulting India into an elite club of nations possessing the technology to develop Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
While the RCI designed and developed the entire avionics comprising navigation, guidance, control, telemetry and on-board computer, the ASL was responsible for the propulsion systems which include the composite rocket motor casings for the second and third stages of the missiles, the heat shields and integration of the vehicle.
The heat shields, made of carbon-carbon composites, protected the re-entry vehicle from scorching temperature of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius when it re-entered the atmosphere at an altitude of 100 km after the three stages were decoupled. The ASL also developed these carbon-carbon composites.
The navigation system basically tells the missile about its position, speed and direction, the guidance guides the path it should travel, the control system provides the force to follow that path and telemetry transmits on-board data to ground systems for post-flight analysis.
G. Satheesh Reddy, Associate Director, RCI said, “The on-board computer is like heart of the missile, which connects, commands and controls all systems. It solves all guidance equations and executes mission events”.
He said that for the first time a redundant micro-navigation system was used in Agni-V. It was a highly reliable, miniaturised, rugged and accurate system with fault-tolerant features to withstand any harsh environment.
The strength of the three laboratories lay in the integrated manner in which they worked, added Mr. Reddy.
The launcher for the missile was developed by R & D Engineers, Pune and Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar.