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Innovations for Defence Excellence

  • 18 May 2023
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence, has signed its 250th contract – first under Mission DefSpace – and 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract.

What are Mission DefSpace and SPRINT Navy Contracts?

  • Mission DefSPace Contract:
    • Space startup InspeCity has been awarded the first iDEX contract of Mission DefSpace.
    • InspeCity had emerged as the winner of a challenge conducted by the Defence Space Agency focused on developing a gas based Micropropulsion system for cubesats.
      • Cubesats are a class of small satellites and are easy to manufacture, modular, modular, low cost, integrate and launch. The cubesats are critical for launch-on-demand capabilities and are good for Imagery, Reconnaissance/communication, and also Intelligence Surveillance.
    • This technology will enable precise manoeuvring and orbit correction for satellites, including the cubesat swarm being developed under Mission DefSpace.
  • SPRINT (Navy) Contract:
    • Siliconia Technologies Pvt Ltd, has emerged as the winner of a SPRINT (Supporting Pole-Vaulting in R&D through iDEX, NIIO and TDAC) Challenge focused on developing a lightweight Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) based communication system for phased-array radars.
    • The system provides multiple independent receiver/transmitter sources crucial for satellite tracking.
    • It utilizes software-defined antennas for communication with Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit, and Geostationary Satellites.

What is iDEX?

  • About:
    • iDEX, launched in 2018, is an ecosystem to foster innovation & technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging innovators & entrepreneurs to deliver technologically advanced solutions for modernizing the Indian Military.
    • It provides funding/grants to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), start-ups, individual innovators, R&D (Research and Developments) institutes and academia to carry out research and development.
    • The iDEX-Prime aims to support projects requiring support beyond Rs 1.5 crore up to Rs 10 crore, to help ever-growing start-ups in the defence sector.
      • iDEX portal was launched to provide wider publicity and better visibility of iDEX activities and enable more efficient running of future challenges through better information management.
  • Objectives:
    • Indigenization: Rapid development of new, indigenized and innovative technology.
    • Innovation: Creates a culture of engagement with innovative startups to encourage co-creation.
  • Funding:
  • Achievement:
    • iDEX has been awarded the prestigious Prime Minister Award for Public Policy in Innovation Category for the year 2021.

What is Mision DefSpace?

  • It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India during the October 2022 edition of India’s DefExpo.
  • It aims to nurture the Indian Private Space industry through challenges addressing every stage of a space mission – from mission planning to satellite data analytics.
  • This mission encompasses 75 Defense Space Challenges that directly suit the needs of end users.
  • These challenges have been categorised into the existing DDP initiatives of iDEX, Make-I, and Make-2, allowing participation from private industries, including startups, MSMEs, and individual innovators.
  • The challenges are categorized into five different domains:
    • Launch System
    • Satellite System
    • Communication & Payload System
    • Ground System, and Software System.
      • Together, they offer an in-depth and complete understanding of space from a 360-degree perspective.

Source: ET

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