Surveillance Balloon or Breakaway Airship?: A Chinese Conundrum 21 February 2023 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time) Online

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Hosted by the AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section.

Surveillance-baloon-section-webinar-1200This talk, by Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant, will provide a short description of the recent incidents in which an un-authorized aerial object (claimed as a surveillance balloon by US authorities, and a breakaway civilian airship by Chinese authorities) was shot down by an F-22 aircraft. This was followed by further sightings and shooting down of several similar (and not so similar) objects. We will describe the incidents based on the reports available, and also provide our insights on the issue, to try and obtain a solution to this modern conundrum, which has lead to a worsening of the diplomatic relations between USA and China.

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Featured Speaker

Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant
Lighter-Than-Air Systems Laboratory, Aerospace Engineering Department Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai

Rajkumar S. PantProf. Rajkumar S. Pant has Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering. His areas of specialization include Aircraft Conceptual Design, Air Transportation, and Optimization. He has been a member of faculty of Aerospace Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay since December 1989.

Prof. Pant is an alumnus of College of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, UK, where he earned his Ph.D. under Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, and IIT Madras, where he did his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering. He has also worked for five years in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Design & Engineering Department at Kanpur (3½ years) and Nasik (1½ years) Divisions.

In 2002, he set up a Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) systems laboratory at IIT Bombay, which has undertaken several R&D and Consultancy projects related to design, development and demonstration of LTA systems. Since 2007, he has been an international member of AIAA’s Lighter-Than-Air Technical Committee, and was the Chairperson for 2014-16. He has published and presented 250 scientific papers, of which 150 are in international conferences. He has also visited several top-ranking Institutes and Universities all over the world.

Prof. Pant has been a Visiting Professor at School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for a year in 2016. Earlier, he was appointed as a Special Visiting Researcher during 2012-15 under the Science Without Borders program of the Brazilian Government for a project related to design and development of Hybrid Lighter-Than-Air systems. He has been a visiting faculty at Department of Aerospace & Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2010-11, and visiting researcher at Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, Brazil in 2012, Texas A&M University in 2011, Cambridge University in 2008, and Imperial College London in 2006. He is an Adjunct Faculty or a Member of Board of Studies in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at ~ 10 universities in India.