Technology

Soon, tiny computer on chip in missiles

The ability to stay ahead or in tune with fast-changing technologies is a big challenge in many areas and would make a critical difference in defence and aerospace applications.

Keeping this in view and to overcome obsolescence, scientists at Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a key laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation’s missile complex, have developed a miniaturised embedded computer on a chip for use in missiles and other aerospace applications.

Described as a ‘System-on-Chip,’ (SoC) the state-of-the-art device has completed environmental and qualifications tests. In a year’s time, all missiles, including tactical ones, will be equipped with SoC, according to B.H.V.S. Narayana Murthy, Associate Director, RCI, Hyderabad.

He explained that in the current missile launches, the on-board mission computer takes input from the Inertial Navigation System, does guidance computation and steers it towards a target by giving commands to the actuator in real-time. The on-board computer also does mission sequencing events like stage separation depending upon the requirement of the mission.

“We are using separate components like microprocessor, memory and input and output devices. We put together all these things into a single chip. It integrates high-performance microprocessor with memory and interfaces communication devices. The basic idea is to miniaturise the entire system,” he added.

Pointing out that technologies were changing almost every two years, he said the objective was to ensure that SoC remained in use for the next 10-15 years. “It is an advanced technology and is getting inducted into new projects.

The SoC will bring down the cost by 50 per cent because it integrates various components,” he said.

Mr. Narayana Murthy said the flight trial of a missile equipped with SoC would be conducted in the near future. It will not only bring down the weight of the missile, but would also increase its reliability, while consuming less power.

Besides aerospace applications, it could be used in ships and ground-based launchers.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 3:39:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/soon-tiny-computer-on-chip-in-missiles/article6568036.ece

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