Aircraft Recycling International signs MOU with Honeywell, co-develop used aircraft solutions

Aircraft Recycling International (ARI), the first full life solutions provider for used aircraft in Asia, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Honeywell Aerospace via its wholly-owned subsidiary, China Aircraft Disassembly Centre (Hong Kong) Limited Company, with regards to the parties’ strategic cooperation intention for expanding aircraft maintenance and dismantling businesses at ARI’s China Aircraft Disassembly Centre located at Harbin. The parties shall collaborate and develop repair and maintenance services at the CADC’s facility to support regional demand, and to promote their brand equity. ARI and Honeywell will jointly explore and discuss used aircraft solutions based on the common ground of mutual benefits and complementary resources sharing. Mr Christina Ng, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of ARI commented, “ARI has accumulated a wealth of experience in used aircraft solutions, including aircraft dismantling technology, aircraft asset management, business operations, and has also gained recognitions from our aviation partners. Together with our two aircraft recycling platforms, namely UAM in the US and CADC in Harbin, ARI will be able to echo the global demand for mid-to-late life aircraft asset management. The alliance with the centennial brand, Honeywell, is going to drive new impetus to the future development of both parties. Equipped with amassed industrial experience, enriched network and resources, as well as distinguished brand equity, Honeywell will be a gilding lily to CADC’s business expansion. At the same time, ARI would leverage its competitive strengths to support Honeywell in new trading business establishment, and in marketing and branding.” “There are big opportunities in Asia Pacific’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market, which is expected to grow at 6 percent per annum,” said Mr Steven Lien, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific. “Honeywell’s resources span the Americas, Europe Middle East, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific to deliver dedicated 24/7 service support. In the Asia Pacific region only, Honeywell has seven aftermarket service sites. By partnering with strong players like ARI, Honeywell is improving our operating and repair capabilities to provide local customers with better support.” While commercial aircraft fleet in China expand with average age increases, there are surging demand for fleet maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, and the trend is expected to continue. With this vision, ARI has been committed to strengthening its capability in fulfilling the global demand for mid-to-old aged aircraft solutions and asset management. Combining with the strong support by UAM (the world’s leading global aviation services provider based in the US, which was fully acquired by the Company in March 2017) and CADC (the aircraft recycling centre in Harbin, which is about to commence operation), together with the integrated resources and customer base provided by CALC (ARI’s parent company), ARI provides a state-of-art global platform of mid-to-old life aircraft solutions.


ISRO, NASA to collaborate on space-based sensors, radar systems

India’s space agency, ISRO, and NASA of the US are working on the development of advanced space-based sensors and radar systems that can help sharpen earth observation applications in the future, according to Tapan Misra, Director of the Ahmedabad-based Satellite Application Centre (SAC). One of the focus areas of the joint venture called NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is making sensors in the L&S band. These can help in observations such as deformations in the land surface, details of the coastline and depths of the ocean, to aiding in disaster response. Misra made these observations while delivering a lecture organised by the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI) and the Sensors Research Society of India here. The NISAR project agreement signed between the two agencies aims to launch an earth monitoring satellite by 2021. The SAC will take the lead in the development of C-band radar imaging as well as in microwave and optical sensors, which have a big role to play in the future. The Indian Space Research Organisation is planning missions to gear itself to meet the growing demands for observational studies with multiple applications. “In the quest to connect the benefit of space-based observations to the advantage of the common man, SAC has conceived and launched a spectrum of optical and microwave payloads. In the last two decades, the optical observation capability has improved from 35 m to 60 cm. Sensor technology has changed from electrical transducers to integrated chips & is visible to microwaves,” he said. At present there are 13 operational Earth Observation (EO) satellites. SAC has built specific air-borne electro-optical sensors to meet the exclusive requirements of high resolution and hyperspectral imaging from an aerial platform as well, Mr Misra added. In his address at the technical meet , Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, said there is lot of excitement in sensor technology. The world is moving towards wearable and miniaturised wireless sensors. In India also there is need for focused work on design and development of futuristic sensors with applications in the aerospace and defence sectors. Futuristic defence and aerospace systems and sub-systems will need cutting edge sensor technologies and we need to meet the huge requirements and also should produce the same in numbers to export them in a big way, Dr Reddy, who is the Chairman of the ASI, said. The former Secretary, Defence, R&D and President, Sensor Research Society, Mr Avinash Chander said, “Sensor technology is changing fast with the emergence of embedded monitoring, miniaturised nano sensors, built-in intelligence and IoT connectivity. We expect a revolution in the medical field, space, defence and environment management”. About 500 scientists, engineers, industrialists and professionals from the aerospace and defence sector took part.



If owning a business jet seems tough, the other business mode that has worked in the west is fractional jet ownership. A company or individual buys, or leases, a fractional interest in one aircraft just as they might acquire a partial interest in one condo unit. The concept is still new in India. The future of business aviation in India lies in product innovation. With the growth of wealth, wealth generators and HNIs in India customized solutions that create access for more customers to a fleet of aircraft with a good value proposition is a huge opportunity. There is a growth of professionals, sports stars, celebrities and entrepreneurs who need access to business aircraft and may not necessarily want to own one or be able to own one. Corporate aviation, whether by complete or fractional ownership, is a piece that the industry and the government cannot ignore it could be the next big pull for the economy, bringing in revenues from both foreign travellers and increased domestic business efficiency. India plans to be a global aviation hub and one of the top three aviation markets worldwide by 2020. By 2020, passenger traffic at India Airport is expected to increase to 450 million from 159.3 million in 2012-2013.The aviation sector is likely to see investments totalling USD 12.1 billion during 12th Five Year Plan, out of which USD 9.3 billion is expected to come from the private sector.200 low-cost airports are planned to be built in the next 20 years to connect tierII and tire-III cities. USD 1.3 billion is planned to be spent on non-metro projects during 2013-17 mainly focusing on the modernisation and up gradation of airports.


ISRO to sign MoU with CSIR-NPL to make desi GPS a reality soon

Seeking to make desi GPS – indigenous regional positioning system named as Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) – independent from the US clock system, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will sign an MoU with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) for time and frequency traceability services. The move will help the desi GPS get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL – the timekeeper of India. The step will help in making the desi GPS fully operational in the market for commercial purposes as time synchronisation is essential for all kinds of services – be it financial transactions, stock handling, digital archiving, time stamping, national security or prevention of cyber crimes. “We can’t depend for ever on the US-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). After signing the MoU, the space clocks will be synchronised to that of the Primary National Atomic Clocks at National Physical Laboratory and therefore will have independence,” said Mr Dinesh Aswal, director of NPL. Though India can source the IST from the US-based NIST, the accuracy of time may vary. Aswal told TOI, “Though millisecond or microsecond accuracy is sufficient for day-to-day activities, the ISRO needs accuracy up to nanoseconds level for navigation, surveillance and other national missions.” The NPL maintains accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds and thereby gives the most accurate time which is essential for satellite navigation system. It has the “Primary Reference Clock”, which is traceable to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) provided by International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) located in Sevres, France. The UTC consists of a time-scale that combines the output of more than 400 highly precise atomic clocks worldwide, including five at the CSIR-NPL. Another scientist of the NPL explained that time has to be incredibly accurate as light travels 30 centimetres in one nanosecond (or 300 million metres in one second). “Any tiny error in the time signal could put you off course by a very long way,” he said. Ahead of signing of the MoU, the government informed the Rajya Sabha about all the measures being taken by ISRO to popularise the desi navigation system at a time when the American GPS dominates the navigation system market across the world. Minister of state for space and atomic energy Mr Jitendra Singh, in his written reply to a question in Parliament, said, “Various types of user receivers are being developed indigenously involving the Indian industry and discussions amongst government departments, user-receiver manufacturers, system integrators and service providers are taking place for the usage of NavIC system.”He, however, noted that the NavIC may take couple of years to become fully operational in the market.


India’s first satellite actively built by private firms to take off

Fifty-years after India’s space programme first test fired a rocket, a new chapter is ready to unfold with the country’s first satellite built actively by the private industry all set to enter space. For the first time, private players have been actively involved in building a full satellite. Their role earlier was limited to supplying components-with 70 engineers from a consortium led by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies having built the satellite and also tested it. “While this is certainly the first time a private industry, for that matter anybody outside ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has been part of building a satellite. But the credit for the project must go to ISRO, whose scientists have helped us in every step of the project,” Col HS Shankar, CMD, Alpha Design Technologies told TOI. The consortium has built the eighth satellite to be launched as part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) programme, a 29-hour countdown to launch which began at 2pm. The 1,425-kg IRNSS-1H satellite is scheduled to be launched at 6.45pm by the PSLV-C39, and sources in the ISRO said that the role of private firms in building the next satellite as part of the programme (IRNSS-1I) will see less participation from ISRO.
“We are confident that the engineers from the consortium will be able to do it. That doesn’t mean we won’t be overseeing the development,” a senior ISRO official said. Shankar, who said that consortium has bagged the orders to build IRNSS-1I and that the work on that has already begun, however, said the value of the same could not be disclosed. The IRNSS-1I is scheduled for an April 2018 launch. Further, in another first, crucial part of the development of IRNSS-1H happened at the newly-developed ISRO Space park in whitefield. TOI had first reported about this park in 2016. The park provides private players the infrastructure needed to participate in space projects, which was planned so that they need not worry about spending too much money. Senior ISRO scientists M Annadurai had said “The space park will see a lot of firms already working with ISRO use our infrastructure and become partners. The land belongs to ISRO and even the infrastructure is being provided by the space agency.”

 Replacement Satellite

 The IRNSS-1H is a replacement satellite for IRNSS-1A whose atomic clocks failed rendering it useless. “While we already had plans of IRNSS-1H, to be used a spare orbit satellite as part of the programme, it will now serve as the replacement to IRNSS-1A,” an ISRO official said. Further, ISRO officials said that failing of atomic clocks-all three had failed on IRNSS-1A-are not unique to India’s programme. Such failures have occurred even in Russia‘s Glonass and a similar programme of the European Space Agency. The satellite will be launched into a sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (sub-GTO) with a 284 km perigee (nearest point to Earth) and 20,650 km apogee (farthest point to Earth). After injection into this preliminary orbit, the two solar panels of IRNSS-1H are automatically deployed and the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan will take control of the satellite and perform the initial orbit raising manoeuvres, and finally place it in its designated slot. Once fully functional, IRNSS will be useful for the railways, surveying and alignment and providing location-based services. The Indian Air Force (IAF) will replace GPS with IRNSS on its fighter planes.


India’s HAL flies first AESA radar-upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft

India-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has reportedly announced the successful flight of the first Jaguar fighter aircraft to be upgraded with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The aircraft will be capable of tracking multiple targets and communicating in multiple frequencies via high bandwidth using the AESA radar system. HAL’s Mission & Combat System Research & Design Centre carried out the upgrade to the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fighter plane, The Hindu reported. Works performed as part of the modernisation included upgrading software and hardware, as well as refurbishing various electrical and mechanical elements of the aircraft. In addition to AESA radar, the Jaguar DARIN III aircraft is being fitted with 28 new sensors, according to media sources. The upgrade includes new advanced avionics architecture such as the open system architecture mission computer, an improved engine and flight instrument system, fire-control radar, inertial navigation system with GPS and Geodetic height correction, The Times of India reported. The aircraft will also feature a solid-state digital video recording system, a solid-state flight data recorder, smart multi-function displays and a radio altimeter with 20,000ft range, as well as autopilot with alt-select and identification of friend or foe capabilities. A total of 50 Jaguar fighter jets are being upgraded from level DARIN I to DARIN III under the project. The Jaguar Darin III achieved initial operational clearance in November 2016.


For the first time, Jaguar fighter plane flies with advanced radar

Test pilots at defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) flew for the first time an upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft fitted with an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. The Jaguar Darin III, which HAL is upgrading for the Indian Air Force (IAF), will now boast of the state-of-the-art AESA radar and improved features like multi target tracking frequency agility, higher bandwidth of operation, interleaved modes of operation, higher accuracies and resolution. HAL and Israeli firm ELTA, whose radar the defence PSU has fitted the Jaguar with, had completed the ground trials in February. Apart from the AESA radar, the aircraft will also be equipped with 28 new sensors, among other things. With all the new features, the Jaguar Darin III is expected to serve the IAF for at least another decade. The IAF, which has been struggling to keep up its fighter plane strength at the desired level was satisfied with the initial upgrade plan and the aircraft had received the IOC (initial operational clearance) in November 2016. “The upgrade incorporates new state-of-the-art avionics architecture including the Open System Architecture Mission Computer (OSAMC), Engine and Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Fire Control Radar, Inertial Navigation System with GPS and Geodetic height correction, et al,” HAL said. It added that the plane will also boast of Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR), Smart Multi-Function Display (SMD), Radio Altimeter with 20,000 ft range, Autopilot with Alt Select and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF).


ISRO to develop full-fledged hyperspectral imaging satellite

‘Hyspex’ imaging will enable distinct identification of objects from space A new set of future satellites called hyperspectral imaging satellites is set to add teeth to the way India is gleaned from about 600 km in space. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says it plans to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite or HySIS — using a critical chip it has developed. There is no specific time-frame yet for its launch, an ISRO spokesman said, adding that meanwhile, the new chip, technically called an “optical imaging detector array,” that they have created for it would be tested and perfected. “ISRO is endeavouring to enter the domain of operational hyperspectral imaging from earth orbit” with a satellite that can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground,” the space organisation has said. It said it decided to develop the chip that suited Indian requirements. Hyperspectral or hyspex imaging is said to be an EO trend that is being experimented globally. Adding a new dimension to plain-vanilla optical imagers, it can be used for a range of activities from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals all the way up to military surveillance — all of which need images that show a high level of differentiation of the object or scene. About a decade ago, ISRO added another EO niche with microwave or radar imaging satellites RISAT-1 and 2 that could ‘see’ through clouds and the dark — an important feature useful for the military and security agencies. ‘Hyspex’ imaging is said to enable distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. Another official described it as “another important development by ISRO in its quest for better and diverse Earth observation technologies.” ISRO first tried it out in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, a hyperspectral camera was put on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources. Very few space agencies have such a satellite; a German environmental satellite called EnMAP is due to be launched on an Indian booster in 2018. The payloads development centre, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, designed the architecture of the chip which was made at ISRO’s electronics arm, the Semi-Conductor Laboratory, Chandigarh. The result was a detector array that could read 1000 x 66 pixels. According to an EO expert who called it the ‘CATSCAN’ equivalent of Earth from space, hyspex technology was still an evolving science. It came with many challenges and, as such, space agencies were still ironing out its issues after many years.


DRDO Has developed India’s First Unmanned Tank And It’s Awesome

We all know that how military tankers help in war situations. They are used to carry heavy weapons to the war field which cannot be carried by soldiers and it has many other benefits. All the military tankers were manned and were needed to be manually handled and driven until now, when India has successfully created some unmanned tanks recently. It is also called as Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), these vehicles or tankers operate without on board human presence.  They are extremely useful where it is inconvenient for humans to operate. Where there is extreme danger or impossible for a human to operate in a particular area, these tanks can be sent to get the work done as it won’t harm any human life. They are decorated with some sensors which are used to detect the useful information and get back. The details about one of our very first such kind of creations are given below. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has recently developed India’s first unmanned tank ‘Muntra’, which is just been passed out of the Chennai Lab. It is called Mission UNmanned TRAcked.

The unmanned tank muntra has three alternatives:

  • Surveillance
  • Mine detection
  • Investigation of areas with nuclear and bio threats.

The tank will not only be used by the army, but also by the nasal hit areas of India. Even though the tank has been developed and tested for the army by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) in Avadi, paramilitary has requested for it’s use in naxal hit areas as well. Coming back to the three alternatives of Muntra:

  • Muntra –S has been developed for the unmanned surveillance mission.
  • Muntra –M is built for detecting mines.
  • Muntra-N is created to detect nuclear radiations or bio weapon risks in the suspected areas.

The testing and validation of the tanks has been done at Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan, where temperatures touch 52 degrees and is very dusty. The Muntra tank has an integrated camera along with laser range finder and surveillance radar. The integrated camera and the laser range finder will help in spying on ground targets about 15 kilometers away ranging from crawling men or heavy vehicles. Two of these remote operated vehicles were on display at the exhibition namely, ‘Science of Soldiers’ which was organized by DRDO. IT was a tribute to our former President Dr APJ Abdul CVRDE n Avadi. With this new addition to the weapons, Indian military is going to develop huge benefits from these tanks.


India’s HAL begins 5.8t light combat helicopter production

India-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has commenced the production of a 5.8t light combat helicopter (LCH) for the Indian military. The twin engine LCH has been designed with narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for the pilot and co-pilot/weapon system operators. The helicopter is equipped with an indigenously developed integrated dynamic system, bearingless tail rotor, and anti-resonance vibration isolation system. It also includes crashworthy landing gear, a smart glass cockpit, and hingeless main rotor. Armed with a 20mm turret gun, 70mm rocket, air-to-air missile, EO-Pod, and helmet pointing system, the LCH can be operated under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather, and Himalayan altitudes. The LCH has demonstrated its capability to land and take off from Siachen Range with considerable load, fuel and weapons, HAL stated. HAL’s Rotary Wing R&D Centre designed the LCH and the basic version has been cleared by Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC). The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of 15 LCHs from HAL. HAL also launched a programme to upgrade Hawk-i from a trainer aircraft into a combat-ready platform. The Hawk-i is capable of delivering precision munitions, including air-to-ground and close combat weapons, self-defence capabilities through electronic warfare (EW) systems, digital map generator, and operational reliability, HAL stated. The aircraft’s new dual hot standby mission computer avionics architecture is supported by indigenous high-accuracy and high-altitude radio altimeter, IFF MKXII, data transfer system, CMDS, and RWR.