Kiran Kumar is set to retire as the chairman of ISRO on January 14. In his time, he oversaw the development of the IRNSS, Cartosat, cryogenic engines and reusable launch vehicle technologies.
A.S. Kiran Kumar. Credit: PTI
On January 12, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched 31 satellites into various orbits. It included the Cartosat-2F, a reconnaissance satellite, and 30 smaller satellites, 28 of which were for foreign customers.
Shivanand Kanavi spoke to A.S. Kiran Kumar, the chairman of ISRO, for The Wire on reconnaissance, micro- and nano-satellites, satellite-guided aviation, India’s own GPS and Kumar’s journey in space applications. Kumar will retire from his position on January 15 and will be succeeded by K. Sivan.
The interview has been edited for clarity.
Shivanand Kanavi: In Cartosat, are there any specialised cameras?
Kiran Kumar: Basically, the cameras are the same. The difference is, here, for generating a third dimension, you need two images from different viewing angles. Second, accuracy is needed for retrieving the height information so you need good quality images. Otherwise cartography and very-high-resolution imaging are basically the same.
SK: We used to hear about spy satellites of the US and the Soviet Union that could read the ...