S Christopher, a veteran researcher and novel scientist known to be the man behind the indigenous Airborne Early Warning & Control system (AEW&C) gets appointed as the new Director General of DRDO.
Christopher was presently Distinguished Scientist and Programme Director (airborne early warning and control system) and Director, Centre for Air-Borne Systems in the DRDO.
With a mammoth experience in research field; the doyen Christopher obtained his BE (Hons) in Electronics & Communication Engineering from University of Madras and M.Tech in Microwaves and Radar Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur. He joined IIT Madras, as Project Associate in 1980, and carried out research in Microwave Antenna Design and Near-field Measurement Techniques. He then obtained PhD in Antennae and Measurement Techniques from IIT, Madras.
After completing his PhD, Christopher worked for Bharat Electronics, Ghaziabad, as Senior Engineer, from 1985 to 1988 and designed antenna for Digital Tropo-scatter Communication system. He then joined Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) as Scientist-D and rose to Scientist G and worked on many projects.
He led a team to create the Automated Planar Near Field Measurement Facility at LRDE for the first time in the country, which paved way for the electronically scanned array antenna evaluation at LRDE. He was Project Director for LCA Multi Mode Radar and led the team for designing and developing slotted array technology, which was used for several airborne and missile projects including export to Poland, which was a first ever export from LRDE. He was also Project Director for ASP project and for development of the Maritime Patrol Airborne Radar, SuperVision 2000, for the Indian Navy.
Christopher joined the Centre for Air-Borne Systems (CABS) and assumed charge as Programme Director for the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) programme. He was appointed Director, CABS, in addition to his responsibility as Programme Director (AEW&C) in 2007. He was later elevated to the rank of Distinguished Scientist in 2012.
The AEW&C programme is one of the flagship programmes of DRDO for the design and development of indigenous AWACS. AEW&C system is designed to detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support different air operations.
The system with its multiple communication and data links is meant to alert and direct fighters against such threats while providing ‘Recognizable Air Surface Picture’ to the Commanders at the Ground Exploitation Stations.
The system comprises of electronic and communication support measures that can interrupt and classify unfriendly radar transmissions and communication signals.