The former secretary of the Department of Ocean Development, A.E. Muthunayagam, will receive the prestigious Aryabhatta award, instituted by the Astronautical Society of India (ASI), for 2010 and V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, will receive the award for 2011. They have been selected for their achievements in rocketry.
The ASI awards for rocket and related technologies will go to G. Satheesh Reddy, associate director of the Research Centre, Imarat, Hyderabad, for 2010 and P. Kunhikrishnan of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Thiruvananthapuram, for 2011.
The awards for spacecraft and related technologies will go to P. Chakraborty of the Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS), ISRO, Bangalore, (for 2010) and Yateendra Mehta, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore.
Several other awards under various categories have been won by ISRO engineers and scientists.
Dr. Muthunayagam was the director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, ISRO. In 2011, the Department of Atomic Energy appointed him as head of a committee to look into safety issues related to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu.
Dr. Saraswat, who is also the director-general of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is an architect of the interceptor missile programme, the Agni and Prithvi programmes.
Mr. Reddy is a specialist in navigation systems and he developed the avionics, including the ring-laser gyroscope-based navigation system, in the target missile (Prithvi) of the DRDO’s interceptor programme and the fibre-optic gyroscope-based inertial navigation system in the interceptor.
Mr. Kunhikrishnan has been the mission director of several Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles.