Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Chairman

Dr. K. Radhakrishnan (born August 29, 1949) is an accomplished technocrat with a distinguished career of more than 39 years in space technology, applications and space programme management. Responsible for successful launch of PSLV-C15 carrying five satellites - CARTOSAT-2B, ALSAT-2A, NLS-6.1, NLS-6.2 and STUDSAT.
He is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Kerala University (1970) and MBA from IIM, Bangalore (1976). He was awarded PhD by IIT, Kharagpur in 2000 for his thesis on "Some Strategies for Management of Indian Earth Observation System".

Starting his career as an Avionics Engineer in 1971 at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, he commendably held several decisive positions in ISRO such as Member, Space Commission (since October 2008), Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (2007-09), Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (2005-08), Mission Director of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development and Deputy Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (1997-2000), Director of National Natural Resources Management System-Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (1989-97), Project Director for setting up Regional Remote Sensing Centres (1987-89) and Director of Budget & Economic Analysis for entire ISRO (1987-97). He had a short stint in the Ministry of Earth Sciences during 2000-05 as the founder Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services and the first Project Director of Indian National Tsunami Warning System. 

Major Accomplishment
As the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, since December 2007, he led a team of 4500 professionals including more than 2000 Engineers and Scientists. He has been a key man in the Chandrayaan mission, responsible for realization of (i) PSLV C-11 launch vehicle with a new set of strap on motors and a new mission design and (ii) Moon Impact Probe (MIP) that impacted on the surface of Moon in mid-November 2008. Under his stewardship, FIVE successful launches of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV were realised and 20 satellites including Chandrayaan-1 were taken to the desired orbits precisely. The realisation of GSLV Mk II with indigeneous Cryogenic Stage slated for launch shortly, development of the powerful launch vehicle GSLV Mk III and development of technology elements for the future generation Reusable launch vehicles have received impetus under his dynamic leadership.

He commendably steered the formulation of the Indian Human Space Flight programme through a nationally orchestrated effort and the Project Report has been approved by the Space Commission and endorsed by a high level National Committee.

As the Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) that ranks among the premier organisations in the world for satellite remote sensing ground segment, applications and capacity building, he provided dynamic and visionary leadership to a team of 1000 professionals. The organisational re-structuring of NRSA into a government entity under ISRO/DOS was executed by him in 2008.

Under his able stewardship, the ground segment of the state-of-the-art high resolution remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2 launched in January 2007 was established and data products were made available at affordable prices. Further, a quantum jump in the delivery of data products and value-added services from RESOURCESAT, CARTOSAT-1 and other IRS Satellites to a wide spectrum of users in the country was also realised. The end-to-end leadership given by him for the PSLV-C9/Cartosat-2A mission by taking the lead role for the launch vehicle and the remote sensing data reception was a demonstration of his versatility.

He led NRSA to be the nerve centre of the ISRO's Disaster Management Support Programme by successfully institutionalizing the 24/7 Disaster Support Centre (DSC) at NRSA which provides space based inputs to various state and central government during pre-disaster, disaster and post-disaster phases, in close coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

He mounted several initiatives at NRSA with a long term vision for setting up a state-of-the-art multi-mission ground segment for the future Earth Observation Satellites as well as a dedicated Aircraft-based disaster Surveillance System.

As the Mission Director of Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development (IMSD) in the late 90's, he steered the efforts of 35 Project Directors and 300 Scientists drawn from all State Governments and ISRO/NRSA to generate comprehensive spatial database of natural resources and action plans for sustainable development of land and water resources for nearly 85 million hectares of the country. IMSD, a unique and perhaps the largest remote sensing application project ever conducted in the world has become a role model for integrated spatial planning and monitoring of land and water resources at micro level.

As Director of National Natural Resources Management System-Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre (NNRMS-RRSSC) in the early 90's, he played a crucial role in establishing the NNRMS in the country, dovetailing the national imperative needs with the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) programme and facilitating capacity building in the Central and State Governments and Industry. These RRSSCs have matured as the regional hubs for remote sensing applications.
As the founder Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), he is credited with setting up a world class, model scientific institution in the Department of Ocean development (currently Ministry of Earth Sciences) in a record time of two years. His relentless efforts in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster of December 2004 resulted in the formulation of a national project and system design for the Indian National Tsunami Warning Centre at INCOIS, which was later successfully established. His most noteworthy accomplishment has been the Potential Fishing Zone Advisories Mission that is acclaimed as an excellent model for effectively reaching the benefits of Science to Society. He led to the build up of an array of 400 Argo profiling floats for periodic measurement of temperature and salinity profiles of the upper 2000 metres of the Indian Ocean in real time, as a coordinated effort of eight countries, under the International Argo Project. He established an Ocean Information Web Site that is acclaimed as the icon of Ocean data world over.

As Director of Budget and Economic Analysis at ISRO HQ during 1987-97, he shouldered the responsibility for overseeing, for the entire ISRO/DOS, formulation of annual budgets as well as identification of crucial budget elements linked to the programme elements of the 1990-2000 decade profile as well as VIII and IX Five Year Plans.