ISRO to power Keltron’s resurgence

Keltron to make components for launch vehicles, NAVIC devices on fishing vessels

Updated - February 04, 2018 06:56 pm IST

Published - February 03, 2018 11:44 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The public sector Keltron may be in for better times ahead as it prepares to flex its manufacturing muscle again.

The decks have been cleared for the first electronics corporation in the State sector to take up the manufacture of electronic components for launch vehicles and satellites used by the Indian Space Research Organisation and the NAVIC satellite navigation devices to be installed on fishing vessels for fleet safety management.

An agreement to the effect was finalised at a meeting between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and ISRO chairman V. Sivan here on Saturday. ISRO has also agreed to transfer the technology for manufacture of NAVIC sets for fishing vessels.

Outsourced now

The government is learnt to be considering a proposal to utilise the facilities at the Aroor unit of Keltron for the manufacture of electronic components for the three ISRO units in Thiruvananthapuram. Official sources said ISRO had also agreed to grant tender excess for Keltron as a State corporation. Many of the electronic components used in rockets and satellites of ISRO are outsourced to industry.

Keltron will take up the mass manufacture of NAVIC sets with chips supplied by ISRO. The space agency has already supplied 500 receivers free of cost for the first phase of the project launched by the government in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi. The Chief Minister conveyed his happiness over the success of the user trials of the system.

The NAVIC system relies on a constellation of seven Indian satellites to provide weather warnings and potential fishing zone advisory to fishermen at sea up to a distance of 1,500 km from the coast. The receiver on board uses an antenna to pick up satellite signals that are relayed as text message and maps to Android phones equipped with a special software application.

Aerospace technology

ISRO is also joining hands with the government to harness the immense potential of aerospace technology for various applications. The agency has agreed to support the creation of a centre of excellence under the proposed Knowledge City project. ISRO will play a key role in the project which envisages a tie-up between start-ups, industry and research institutions.

An official press note quoting the Chief Minister said the ISRO would set up a knowledge centre and science museum on 1.75 acres allotted by the government at Kowdiar here. Dr. Sivan informed the meeting that the funds for the project would be sanctioned soon.

Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma, ISRO Scientific Secretary P.G. Diwakar, VSSC Director S. Somanath, LPSC Director V.Narayanan, Chief Secretary Paul Antony, Fisheries Principal Secretary B. Sreenivas, IT Secretary Sivasankar and the Chief Minister’s scientific advisor M.C. Dathan attended the meeting.

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