Satish Dhawan Death Anniversary: Who was Satish Dhawan, the father of experimental fluid dynamics research?

Satish Satish Dhawan, the man who shaped India’s space programme, was born in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Dhawan, who oversaw the successful local development of the Indian space programme, was one of the most renowned researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers, recognized as the “father of experimental research in fluid dynamics”. On this day of remembrance of his passing, let us explore his life, his inventions, his contributions and more.

Satish Dhawan’s date of birth was 25 September 1920. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Punjab in Lahore, British India (now in Pakistan). He earned a Master of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1947. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and, in 1951, under the direction of his advisor Hans W. Liepmann, earned a double doctorate. in mathematics and aerospace engineering.

He was married to cytogeneticist Nalini Dhawan. His daughter Jyotsna Dhawan is a senior principal scientist at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Also read Savitri Bai Phule’s biography.

What is Satish Dhawan’s role in ISRO?

Dhawan started working at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, in 1951 as a faculty member and rose to the position of director in 1962. Although he was in charge of the Indian space programme, he made important contributions to the boundary layer. investigation. Hermann Schlichting’s groundbreaking book Boundary Layer Theory contains a summary of his most significant contributions. At IISc, he built the country’s first supersonic wind tunnel. Additionally, he pioneered the study of trisonic flows, three-dimensional boundary layers, and separated boundary layer flows.

Later in 1972, Dr. Dhawan was appointed Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Space and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). In the past, it is said that he was solely responsible for the failure of the Satellite Launch Vehicle mission in 1979. But when the team was successful, he gave credit to his team, presenting himself as the perfect leader of the team. .

Dhawan carried out innovative studies in satellite communications, remote sensing and rural education. His work produced functional systems like the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS), the INSAT communications satellite and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which elevated India to the status of space-capable countries.

List of ISRO presidents (1963-2022)

What did Satish Dhawan invent or his contributions?

The most significant contributions made by Satish Dhawan are summarized in Hermann Schlichting’s seminal work, Boundary Layer Theory. At IISc, he built the country’s first supersonic wind tunnel. Additionally, he pioneered the study of trisonic flows, three-dimensional boundary layers, and separated boundary layer flows. The other notable achievements of him include the following:

  • 1953: “Direct Measurements of Skin Friction”, Technical Report 1121, National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, Washington DC.
  • 1958; “Some properties of boundary layer flow during the transition from laminar to turbulent motion”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • 1967: “Aeronautical Research in India”, (22nd British Commonwealth Conference), Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
  • 1982: “A look at fluid mechanics research in Bangalore 25 years ago”, in India: Surveys in Fluid Mechanics, Indian Academy of Sciences
  • 1988: Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology, Indian Academy of Sciences.
  • 1991: “Flight of Birds”, Sadhana Procedures in Engineering Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences.
  • 2000: Special section on instabilities, transitions and turbulence, Current Science

Awards and honours

  • Padma Vibhushan (India’s second highest civilian honour), 1981
  • Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian honour), 1971
  • Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, 1999
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Indian Institute of Science
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, California Institute of Technology, 1969

Dhawan passed away on January 3, 2002 in Bengaluru. The Satish Dhawan Space Center was renamed after him after his death and is located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, about 100 kilometers north of Chennai, southern India. He has a college named after him in Ludhiana called Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys. He is also honored with the Satish Dhawan Block, IIT Ropar’s nickname for the institute’s Mechanical Engineering Construction Department. In 2019, Uttar Pradesh Institute of Textile Technology in Kanpur was also named after him as Prof. SATISH Dhavan Computer Centre.

Indian Space Research Organization launch fleets

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