Surendra Pal has been at the forefront of India’s progress in satellite navigation and communications systems since the inception of its satellite program in 1971. He has been responsible for the design, development and fabrication of spacecraft-related telecommunication systems for all Indian scientific, remote-sensing and communication satellites. Dr. Pal has pioneered important satellite-based navigation activities in India, such as initiating the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) and GPS Aided and Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN). The IRNSS is a regional component of GNSS consisting of seven satellites in geo-synchronous orbit over India, providing 24-hour, all-weather navigation support of the Indian continent for land, air and sea users. GAGAN will benefit civil aviation by providing seamless navigation over Indian airspace with improved positioning, velocity and timing determination accuracies.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Pal is currently associate director of the Indian Space Research Organization’s Satellite Centre and Programme Director of ISRO’s Satellite Navigation Program, in Bangalore, India.