Contribution to Space Programs

As a project core team member under Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (Project Director), Dr. A.S. Pillai was responsible in progressing the four types of rocket motors of SLV-III including development of technologies associated with propulsion, propellants, composite nozzles and pyrogen ignitors.  Each activity and resource was meticulously planned and steered to achieve a total of 55 rocket motor static tests for all the four stages before declaring readiness for the flight test. These include preparation of the rocket motors for different environmental conditions before tests.  Development of a composite heat shield for the satellite and separation systems for the four stages needed considerable reliability tests. As a team member Dr. Pillai made significant contributions for the successful completion of SLV – III programme by July, 1980.

Aerospace Design and Dynamics (1980 – 1982)

As a member of the PSLV Study Group, Dr. Pillai contributed in the evolution of PSLV design and identified technology requirements.  Significant contribution came in the choice of technology and systems for PSLV in the optimal configuration for maximum performance.  Detailed analysis was made on the performance and cost effectiveness of PSLV compared to the world systems with the guidance of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who was Director ADDG at VSSC.  These activities have resulted in the final choice of PSLV configuration, which was far superior to the proposed heavier launch vehicles.

Launch Vehicles / Systems (1982 – 1986)

Dr. Pillai evolved the configuration options for GSLV and future launch vehicles of ISRO under the guidance of Prof. Satish Dhawan.  Report on the Launch Vehicles Study is a reference document for ISRO’s launch vehicle programme activities (Report No. ISRO-ILV/S-TN-32-85) highlighting the importance of cryogenic systems for GSLV and the Due East Missions overcoming range safety problems of crossing over Malaysian peninsula land mass; and also the performance and cost effectiveness of ISRO launchers over the other world class systems.  This analysis was useful to get necessary approvals for development of cryogenic systems and flight test towards Due East for achieving maximum performance, overcoming range safety constraints.  GSLV, which has been flown in 2001 has incorporated these suggestions.

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