Bangalore: An international seminar, hosted by the DRDO and the Aeronautical Society of India will precede AeroIndia 2009, Asia's largest air show. At a press conference on Tuesday DRDO chief and scientific advisor to the defence minister, M Natarajan, and other officials highlighted the importance of the seminar and pointed out that the event had gradually carved out a niche for itself on the international circuit.
The seminar will be held from 9-11 February and will see participation from some of the world's leading scientists in the defence and aerospace sectors.
Speaking to the press, Natarajan said that aerospace development was a significant indicator of a nation's economy. "Licensed manufacturing and knowledge gained from certification would not prove to be adequate if we are to build requisite competence in the sector to build something on our own, which we can use within the country and outside. Licensing would allow us tooperate only within norms as dictated to by foreign companies."
In this regard he spoke about the ex-president, the late R Venkataraman's foresight in setting up institutions such as the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which would cater to systems engineering programmes. This bold initiative resulted in the creation of an agency that would devote itself to systems conceptualisation, design and engineering in the field of aerospace.
The seminar itself has already received around 800 registrations and 60 papers, out of which 40 are from abroad. Interestingly, over 137 student delegates will also be participating in the seminar.
The participating countries this year include Israel, Russia, China, USA and countries from Europe.
The theme of the international seminar 'Aerospace - Perspectives and Trends in Technologies' has been conceptualised " to provide extensive interaction and flow of information across communities of scientists, designers, manufacturers, users, operators, and academia forging a strong alliance for furtherance of the cause of aerospace"
The seminar organising committee said that similar seminars held on earlier occasions have revealed that an event of this scope and magnitude provides a very beneficial exposure to all participating professionals as it succeeds in bringing together the best talent from all over the world.
"Several path-breaking and innovative ideas are exchanged for the benefit of all participating nations. It also provides an opportunity to explore possibilities of establishing collaborative programmes for research as well as technology partnerships".
Keen on bridging the knowledge gap and advocating a faster learning curve, Natarajan said that the seminar is a platform to "where specialist talents would share ideas for the enhancement of learning. Manufacturing areas, aerospace sectors, SME's gain immensely in design and development as such events shorten the learning process and nuances of testing skills. We can learn from people with expertise in these areas. Co-operation will be on quickening and fine-tuning a few things related to projects like the LCA."
He also spoke about the encouragement the students receive and the exposure they get from interacting with other engineers.
Also speaking on the occasion, ADA's R Swaminathan, co-ordinator for the exhibition, said that DRDO will have a whole spectrum of displays at the aero show, including combat aircraft technologies and UAVs. The displays would be both indoor, where models of the LCA, including its naval variant, UAVs Nishant and Lakshya would be displayed. Outside the LCA would conduct flight displays.
The Tejas recently completed its 1000th test flight.
Swaminathan said that "all the products have been proven and are already being used."
He also said that the DRDO would display an "agile aircraft", without revealing details saying "suspense" would be maintained till the show opened.