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SOURCE: Ajai Shukla / Business Standard

With the government encouraging the defence industrial eco-system to design and manufacture equipment for the fight against Covid-19, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has transferred technology to Bengaluru-based private defence firm, Alpha Design Technologies Ltd (ADTL), for manufacturing portable, high efficiency Oxygen Concentrators for Covid patient facilities.

The technology for the Oxygen Concentrators was developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

Thanking VSSC and ISRO, ADTL chief Colonel HS Shankar stated that “Alpha Design Technologies is taking immediate action to produce the Oxygen Concentrators in large numbers in a short period of time, so that these are available to hospitals, companies, organisations and individuals in the next few months, after obtaining clearances and approvals from statutory authorities.”

“We expect to manufacture a minimum of 1,000 Oxygen Concentrators, each worth about Rs 70,000, in the next six months,” said Shankar. “We shall start supply in the next three-to-four months. We shall have 500 pieces to start with and the next 500 in another four months.”

Earlier, ADTL entered the battle against Covid-19 when it was selected in a prestigious global competition by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to supply ventilators for Covid patients. About 250 companies from across the world responded to a global tender from NASA. Of these, nine were selected, including ADTL.

NASA had been tasked by then US President Donald Trump to develop ventilators for global usage. NASA’s Liquid Propulsion Laboratory provided the selected firms with free transfer of technology (ToT).

“We will supply 20 ventilators for clearance by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and 10 for Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” says Shankar.

Shankar clarifies that none of these tenders have translated into earnings as yet, but ADTL will hit the market in India and abroad once FDA and ICMR clearances are obtained.

ADTL’s primary lines of business are in optronics and laser-based products, thermal imagers and fire control systems, navigation systems, radar and radio products.

IRSO’s Satellite Centre (ISAC), has signed an agreement with a consortium led by ADTL, Bharat Electronics and the Tatas to assemble satellites. ADTL has already assembled the sophisticated 1.65 tonne IRNSS-1i satellite, which was launched on April 12, 2018, and has functioned since then in outer space.