Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE) has been inaugurated as a facility for testing and evaluating sonar systems.

  • The recent inauguration of the SPACE by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Kulamavu, Idukki, Kerala marks a significant milestone for India’s indigenous defense capabilities.The SPACE is set up by the Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory of DRDO.

What is SPACE?

SPACE is a state-of-the-art testing and evaluation facility designed to assess the performance of sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging)  systems used by the Indian Navy on various platforms like ships, submarines, and helicopters. Developed by DRDO’s Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), SPACE comprises two key elements:

  • Floating platform: This surface platform serves as the deployment and control center for the entire system.
  • Submersible platform: This mobile platform can be lowered to depths of 100 meters using winches, enabling evaluation of sonar systems across diverse underwater environments.

Significance of SPACE:

  • The SPACE will mainly be utilised for the evaluation of the complete sonar system.
  • It allows for quick deployment and easy recovery of scientific packages such as sensors and transducers.
  • SPACE is a prime example of India’s strides towards self-reliance in critical defense technologies. Reduced dependence on foreign suppliers strengthens national security and strategic autonomy. 
  • Effective sonar systems are vital for detecting and tracking underwater threats like submarines. SPACE enhances India’s ASW capabilities, crucial for safeguarding maritime borders. 
  • SPACE facilitates testing of advanced sonar systems with improved range, detection sensitivity, and noise cancellation. This contributes to India’s technological prowess in underwater acoustics. 

Advantages of SPACE in Sonar Testing and Beyond:

  • Traditional sonar testing methods often involve deploying test equipment from ships, which can be time-consuming and expensive. SPACE offers a more efficient and cost-effective solution.
  • Beyond military applications, the data collection capabilities of SPACE can be valuable for oceanographic research, underwater resource exploration, and environmental monitoring.

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