Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar appointed ISRO Chief as Radhakrishnan Retires

A.S. Kiran Kumar

A.S.Kiran Kumar, another distinguished space scientist has been appointed as the secretary, department of space and chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, an official statement said on Monday after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved it for a period of three years on contract basis.

Prior to his appointment, Kiran Kumar was Associate Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad since March 31, 2012. Kiran Kumar joined ISRO in 1975, and has contributed to Indian space programmes like the Chandrayaan, Mars Orbiter Mission and also to earlier programmes like Bhaskara satellite. He was awarded Padma Shri last year.

Kiran Kumar received his Physics (Honours) Degree from National College, Bangalore University in 1971 and  obtained his Masters Degree in Electronics from Bangalore University in 1973 and thereafter M. Tech Degree in Physical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) in 1975.

He has contributed to the design and development of Electro-Optical Imaging Sensors for Airborne, LEO and GEO platform based imaging sensors starting from Bhaskara TV payload to the latest TMC ad HySI payloads for Chandrayaan-1 missions.  He has made very significant contributions in evolving the observation strategy encompassing, Land, Ocean atmospheric and planetary studies.

His important contributions include:

  • Realizing three tier imaging concept for IRS-1C to Resourcesat-1
  • Ocean Colour instruments to cater to PFZ forecast
  • High Resolution along track stereo imaging system of Cartosat-1
  • Achieving sub-meter resolution optical imaging capability with TES to Cartosat-2
  • Realizing of meteorological payloads of 2-channel and 3-channel VHRR
  • Third generation Imager and Sounder from GEO platform
  • Terrain Mapping Camera and Hyper Spectral Imager for Chandrayaan-2 mission.

As Associate Director he has steered design and realization of communication, navigation, microwave and remote sensing payloads at the Centre.

Some of the awards and laurels he received include:

  • Indian Society of Remote Sensing Award for the year 1994.
  • VASVIK Award(Electronic sciences and technology) for the year 1998.
  • Astronautical Society of India Award (Space sciences and Applications) for the year 2001.
  • ISRO Individual Service Award 2006.
  • Bhaskara Award conferred by Indian Society of Remote Sensing for the year 2007.
  • Laurels for Team Achievement Award 2008 of International Academy of Astronautics.
  • ISRO Performance Excellence Award 2008.

AS Kiran Kumar is also a Fellow of National Academy of Engineers and a Corresponding Member of International Academy of Astronautics. He has represented ISRO in international forums like World Meteorological Organisation   (WMO)  and Committee on earth observation satellites  (CEOS) and is currently CEOS chair.


Kiran Kumar is taking charge of the Indian space agency at a crucial period after its excellent accomplishments in sending the orbiter to Mars, achieving milestones in terms of crew module re-entry capability and also heavy rocket launching GSLV Mark III.

More than the accomplishments so far, the next three years under Kiran Kumar will push Indian space agency to achieve the dream of sending a manned mission to moon and also sending its first astronauts to space.



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