BENGALURU --Leading defence electronics and aerospace firm Alpha Design Technologies Ltd. announced on Monday signing a contract to make navigation satellites for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
"The contract envisages assembling, integrating, testing and supplying two satellites for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to ISRO," Alpha Chairman Colonel (Retd) H.S. Shankar told IANS here.
The state-run space agency has placed a constellation of seven navigation satellites in the earth's lower orbit with the first (IRNSS-1A) in July 2013 and the seventh (IRNSS-1G) in April this year to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to a 1,500 km area.
The navigation system is used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping, and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers and others.
The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe, Beidou of China and Quasi Zenith of Japan.
"We will fabricate the two satellites with the help of ISRO at its satellite facility in the city, as they are a part of the constellation as spare spacecraft and bid for more satellites through a global tender that the space agency will float soon," said Shankar.
As one of the suppliers of electronics components for the ground support systems of ISRO, the city-based company is foraying into making satellites for navigational, remote-sensing and other space-based applications of ISRO and others.
"We will set up a dedicated facility in ISRO's campus at a cost of Rs 150 crore over the next 18 months to manufacture, assemble, integrate and test satellites for Indian and international customers," asserted Shankar.
The company plans to hire about 400 engineers, scientists and technicians for its satellite-making facility over the next two years.
"We are confident of securing orders to make satellites for ISRO through the competitive bidding based on our expertise, talent and cost advantage," he added.
The space agency will launch the Alpha made satellites on its rockets from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.
"We are initially selecting 70 engineers, diploma holders and ITI qualified for training at ISRO's satellite centre in assembly, integrating and testing the spacecraft," added Shankar.