Data Patterns also has received orders to build two deep-space surveillance radars from DRDO

Chennai-headquartered Data Patterns, which manufactures mainly radars for Defence, will get into the manufacture of satellites too, the company’s chairman and managing director, S Rangarajan, said.

Having developed nano-satellites and designed satellites for others, the company also plans to build its own satellites of 100 kg to 120 kg mass, he said.

Also, the company has gotten orders to build two deep-space surveillance radars from the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), worth ₹363 crore. “For the first time, India is entering deep space surveillance by building radars to detect and protect the country’s space from any artillery attack, and Data Patterns will build them,” he said.

Last year, the company raised ₹588 crore through an initial public offering. On December 24 last year, it made its debut on the stock exchanges at 864 a share, against the issue price of ₹585 a share. On Friday, the Data Patterns share closed on the NSE at ₹1,255, which was ₹36.75 lower than the previous close.

Deep space radar is an important development in India - S Rangarajan, CMD Data Patterns (India) Ltd.
In a conversation with businessline, Rangarajan noted that “India does not have deep space radars in India right now but needs to protect our space against any artillery or missile attacks. We don’t have a detection system today. First, we need to detect and protect. India has been planning to build a deep space radar that can look a few thousand kilometres into space in our space coverage and have another radar track the incoming objects, and later think about fire systems. We first need to be aware of what is happening and track it. India decided to build a radar, which will be very large and cost a few thousand crores,” he said.

You cannot build a full radar and then find out that there are operational difficulties. The design is downscale; the electronics will be common; build multiple blocks; do a smaller prototype radar and test it. The software and algorithm will be the same. “We need to just multiply the size by 15-20 times, and the electronic blocks will be repeated; the mechanical structures will be modified to make the large radar,” he said.

The company works closely with defence PSUs such as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and Bharat Electronics Ltd. and government organisations involved in defence and space research like DRDO and ISRO.

On satellites, Rangarajan said the company would build satellites of 100 to 200 kg class - designing it and going to the market. “We want to be different from others. The technology is home grown. We would like to do things like electro optic - visible + IR. We have done all the competency for ISRO. Now, we can put the payloads with highspeed communications,” he said.

Data Patterns designed the Spacetech start-up, Pixxel’s Shakuntala satellite, which was launched in April with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It also designed ThapSat, the student satellite programme of the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology. “In stages, we are building our competency in satellites. The idea is to build a serious Defence satellite tomorrow. We are starting that,” he said.

“We are looking for satellites that launch in low-earth orbit. We started with nano-satellite as the investment was low; now test the algorithms that take years. Going to LEO will be a big step for us,” he said.