Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ARDE, HEMRL scientists ensure pilots’ safety in Tejas

SOURCE : The Indian Express Limited.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories in the city — Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) — have ensured that the country’s first indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, inducted into the Indian Air Force on January 10, is safe and pilots are secured in case of an emergency. They have developed a Canopy Severance System (CSS) for Tejas that ensure that the pilot ejects safely in case of an emergency.
The LCA programme was launched in 1983. “When the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) started the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme in collaboration with the Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd, they approached the ARDE and HEMRL for development of the CSS. They did a feasibility study first; started working on the system in 1992,” said Manish Bharadwaj, scientist and spokesperson, DRDO.
During an emergency, it is required to rescue the pilot in the shortest possible time. In the commonly-used jettisoning of canopy mechanism, the entire canopy flies off and can result in an injury to the pilot. “In the indigenously-developed CSS, only a certain portion of canopy gets severed explosively, thereby helping the pilot to eject safely with minimum injury during flight. The operational time of the CSS is of the order of a few milliseconds as against jettisoning, which takes a longer time of the order of a few seconds.”
The CSS of Tejas has been designed into two separate independent subsystems — in-flight egress system (IES) and ground egress system (GES). The IES was integrated along with a seat ejection system developed by Martin Baker Aircraft Co, UK, which later approved the integration.
The experts from IAM Bangalore have also certified that the system did not produce any harmful effects on the pilot or the external operator.
“It could also be operated from outside the aircraft especially when the pilot is unconscious or in the event of crash-landing. This system has been developed using technologies available in India and is cost-effective. Lessons learnt during the development of CSS for Tejas have been used for developing CSS for other aircraft.”

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