Shri AS Kiran Kumar assumed the office of the Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman, Space Commission and Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on January 14, 2015. Prior to this he was functioning as Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad.
Shri Kiran Kumar is a highly accomplished space scientist and engineer in the satellite payload and applications domains, with a distinguished career spanning over four decades in ISRO. While at SAC, Shri Kiran Kumar has been steering the design, development & realisation of payloads and application activities of earth observation, communication, navigation, space science and planetary exploration. He has made immense contributions to the design and development of Electro-Optical Imaging Sensors for Airborne, Low Earth Orbit and Geostationary Orbit satellites starting from Bhaskara TV payload to the latest Mars Colour Camera, Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer and Methane Sensor for Mars instruments of India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, which has successfully completed six months in Mars Orbit recently.Shri Kiran Kumar was instrumental in evolving the successful strategy for steering the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft towards planet Mars as well as its insertion into Mars Orbit. He has also made significant contributions for evolving the observation strategy encompassing land, ocean, atmospheric and planetary studies.
Shri Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar is an alumnus of the National College, an esteemed educational institution at Bangalore. He obtained his Honours Degree in Physics from Bangalore University in 1971 and later his Master’s degree in Electronics from the same university in 1973. Thereafter he took his M Tech Degree in Physical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 1975. Shri Kiran Kumar began his career in ISRO by joining SAC in 1975. Later, he became Associate Director at this Centre and took over as the Director in March 2012.
Shri Kiran Kumar is a recipient of many national and international laurels/awards. The nation honoured him with Padma Shri award in 2014. Other awards to his credit are the International Academy of Astronautics’ Laurels for Team Achievement Award for Cartosat in 2008 and for Chandrayaan-1 in 2013, Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) Award for the year 1994, VASVIK award (Electronic sciences and technology) for the year 1998, Astronautical Society of India Award (Space Sciences and Applications) for the year 2001, ISRO individual Service Award 2006, Bhaskara Award of ISRS in 2007 and ISRO Performance Excellence Award in 2008.
He is a Fellow of the professional institutions like Indian National Academy of Engineering, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, and Indian Meteorological Society. Besides, he is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Shri Kiran Kumar has represented ISRO in international forums like World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and Indo-US Joint Working Group on Civil Space Co-operation.