What are the Programming Languages used by ISRO Scientists?
ISRO is the Indian Space Research Organisation. Chandrayan-2 and Mars Orbit Mission are the two biggest operations conducted by the ISRO.
Over the decades, ISRO has made India very proud. All the world space organization including NASA is admiring ISRO’s achievements and contribution to Space research.
Looking at the achievements, Engineering students are very enthusiastic to join the ISRO.
It’s prestigious and considered as one of the best places to work in India for Engineers.
Getting into ISRO is not easy.
You can find the brightest minds working in the ISRO. They are highly talented and ready to compete with engineers around the globe.
For many computer science engineers, getting placed in ISRO is a more like dream comes true.
Career Opportunities for Engineers in ISRO
If you coming from a Computer Science background, there are many opportunities for you. Computer Scientists are an integral part of the research program in ISRO.
We all know, space programs are highly complex and involve a lot of different categories of operations. At each level, different programming languages are used.
ISRO owns many data centers which required computer science grads for establishment and maintenance. They also have a wide variety of complex networks.
Machine learning, artificial intelligence, neural networks are some of the major and trending fields ISRO is exploring for a long time.
Programming Languages Used in ISRO
What NASA is for USA, ISRO is for India.
We have seen why learning to code is necessary. If you are a good programmer, you can also knock on the door at ISRO.
What are the different tasks and technologies used in ISRO?
Lots of data is collected from space. The tasks revolve around data ingestion, data processing, data analytics, data archival, and data security.
To communicate with the different space devices, they have to develop payload interface, payload commanding, satellite telemetry, satellite commanding, Monitoring control of equipment’s, vehicles, satellites, subsystems, and so on and on…
What is the role of a Software Engineer working in ISRO?
There is a good chance for CSE students to get a software engineer job in ISRO. It does not mean, students from other engineering branches can not get into ISRO. If you are a capable programmer, you can get into the ISRO irrespective of your engineering branch.
The software engineer working in ISRO have to deal with different types of projects. These projects involve technologies like embedded systems, coding using VLSI, coding in general-purpose programming languages like C/C++, Java, Python, web development.
The list is very big.
Choosing programming languages to work purely depends on the types of projects and requirements.
Every programming language has a purpose. Based on it, the programing language can be chosen.
Even in the ISRO, there is no hard and fast rule to stick with one programming language.
Sometimes your work depends on which center you work for. For example, if you are working on launch based center, your work would be primarily about launch vehicles and related development.
Every engineer working in ISRO gets a good platform to do research. They can develop new things or propose a solution to improve existing things.
ISRO has everything you need if you are passionate about research and programming.
Here are some of the prominent programming languages used in ISRO Scientists.
There is a lot of numerical computation that goes around in Space research like weather predictions, space exploration, and calculating mechanical movements at different phases of the projects.
Fortran is the most suitable for scientific and numerical computation. The computation operation performed by Fortran is very quick. That’s the main reason Fortran is used in the space research program by ISRO.
Fortran is quick, old programming languages, and very matured.
MATLAB is used to plot the graphs and analyzed the outcomes. It gives more graphical representation to the actually collected data from the space.
Rather than going through complete collected data, it is easier to plot collected data and analyze it. It also helps the scientist to find the trend.
There is some disadvantage of using MATLAB. It is not open source. It is very costly and one has to purchase a commercial license to use it.
To avoid the expenses, ISRO engineers are encouraged to use open source technology to replace MATLAB functionality.
In many of the latest project, started using Python for plotting the graphs. It has a Matplotlib Python data science library which is a good competitor to MATLAB.
Python is started as a general-purpose programming language. Now, it has evolved to use in many fields like Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Automation, Numerical computation, and whatnot.
It is getting more popular. ISRO uses Python for processing collected data from different satellites and space devices. It acts as one of the most useful satellite programming languages. It is also used in many other research fields like ML, AI, and Neural Networking.
The use of Python is increasing day by day at ISRO.
4. Other programming languages used in ISRO
- C/C++ and Assembly Languages are used for software designs.
- FPGA is widely used in different places. It handles massive data in a most easier manner.
- VHDL is a programming language used in Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS),
- ADA is an extension of PASCAL and other languages.
- Perl is also used for text manipulation.
Which Programming Language You should Learn? (My Advice)
Start learning Python. It is the most growing programming language.
If you look at other programming languages, they are very specific towards their use. Whereas Python is very versatile. You can use Python in Data Science, Machine Learning, Web Development (benefits of a web developer), Automation, and many other fields. Python is an all-rounder.
I have talked about Python in different fields.
The way Python is growing and new Python libraries are coming in, it has huge potential.
Whether you are working in ISRO or in any private organization, Python will be very useful for you as being a programmer.
Internship and Training Opportunities in ISRO
ISRO has an Internship program. It’s mostly a summer internship program. Internship program detail can be found on their official website.
There are multiple ISRO centers established at different places in India.
If you are interested, check the internship program visiting career opportunities at different ISRO centers. They are very strict about their criteria. Check if you fit into their criteria before you apply.
If you are looking for an internship, check the internship opportunities in IITs/NITs.
Editor’s Note: This article is curated by ISRO Engineer Palak Prakash and Aniruddha Chaudhari.
Hope this article will inspire and help many Engineers to join ISRO and making India proud. Please share this article and comment your thoughts about ISRO.