Centre of Propulsion Technology (CoPT)
A centre of propulsion technology has been established, with DRDO funding, with IIT Bombay as the host Institute and a few institutes of national importance e.g. IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, SVNIT Surat, IISc Bangalore, as the initial participating institutes. The centre activities were started with IIT Bombay and IIT Madras as the primary nodes.
The concept for setting up a centre was mooted in 2012 during a meeting with the then SA to RM Dr. Saraswat. Subsequently, during the meetings with the current SA to RM, Mr. Avinash Chander, the scope of the centre was broadened to include rocket propulsion and hypersonic propulsion. It is envisaged that most of the research activities of the centre would be focussed towards developing enabling technologies for well-defined DRDO end products.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between DRDO, IIT Bombay and IIT Madras on 9th July 2016 at IIT Bombay. Dr. S Christopher, Director General, DRDO, Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay and Prof. Bhakar Ramamurthy, Director, IIT Madras signed the agreement on behalf of the three respective organizations. Dr. M H Rahaman, CC R&D (TM), DRDO, Prof. Bhaskar Roy, Professor, IIT Bombay and Prof. Satya Chakravarthy, Professor, IIT Madras, signed as witnesses to this agreement.
Following this, Union Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre, laid the foundation stone of the centre on 11th November 2016 at IIT Bombay.
Propulsion technologies involve cutting edge research (often “dual-edged sword”), capital intensive with high built in risk and hence, are export-controlled or proprietary of the original developers and manufacturers. While the final products are buyable quantities, the enabling technologies are usually not buyable. The centre aims at spearheading fundamental and applied research in areas related to aerodynamic design and performance analysis of various components and technologies associated with aerospace propulsion devices. Developing trained manpower through M.Tech, MS, Ph.D. and Post-docs working on various areas related to propulsion technology would be a primary driving force of the centre. The research activities at the centre would encourage innovation, generation of intellectual property and publications in reputed journals/ conferences. It is hoped that establishment of such a centre would be a significant step towards achieving self-sufficiency in various aspects of gas turbine engines, hypersonic craft and rocket propulsion technology, and futuristic morphing aircraft development in India.
It is envisaged that the centre will achieve high international repute and stature amongst the professionals and would be actively engaged in international collaborations for future propulsion technology development in a leading role. The centre also intends to interface with leading experts from across the globe in various areas where such collaboration would be beneficial to the country.