2nd International Conference on Design and Engineering of Lighter-Than-Air systems 

DELTAs - 2024
26 - 30 June, 2024
Lighter-Than-Air Systems Laboratory
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai, India


The first ever conference dedicated to lighter-than-air systems in India was held in July 2022, which saw the participation of researchers, students, and delegates from more than 10 countries. Building-up on the success of DELTAs-2022, the much awaited second iteration of this conference, i.e., DELTAs-2024 will be held during the last week of June, 2024 at IIT Bombay. The aim of DELTAs-2024 is to provide a common platform to the experts and learners in the field of LTA systems to come together and discuss the current and future developments. The multi-disciplinary problems related to the design of LTA systems involve considerations of several engineering disciplines. DELTAs-2024 will provide an international forum for researchers, practicing engineers, students, and scientists to share/discuss their ideas and accomplishments, relevant for the development of LTA systems and its enabling technologies. 

DELTAs-2024 will host several eminent academicians, scientists and scholars from across the globe, who have spearheaded LTA technology growth on a whole. A Technology Showcase will also be conducted to enable industry professionals and software vendors to demonstrate the application and efficacy of their products. The event will host a pre-conference workshop on Indoor Hot Air Balloons to enable the participants to get an exposure to the exciting field of Buoyancy Engineering. The first two days of the Conference will consist of invited talks, and presentations of contributed papers and posters, and a panel discussion on issues relevant to the LTA industry. The last two days will be dedicated to conduct an indoor airship competition, on similar lines as the hugely popular Regatta held in DELTAs-2022. An overview of this conference is available at www.deltas.in 

Note:- Selected papers will be published as Springer proceedings. Click here to know more


Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat

Member of NITI Aayog and former Director General of DRDO

Dr. Saraswat, a Distinguished Scientist, is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards from the Government of India and has been conferred honorary doctorate by more than 25 universities. Dr. Saraswat is credited with the development of missiles such as Prithvi, Dhanush, Prahaar, Agni-5 and many other military equipment. He also spearheaded the development of several next generation alternative technology systems like clean coal technologies, silicon photonics technology as well as the visionary 'Methanol Economy'. 


Dr. Manoj Kumar

Director of ADRDE, DRDO

Dr. Manoj Kumar is an Outstanding Scientist, DRDO, who took over as Director, ADRDE Agra on 1st July 2022. Previously, he has served as Project Director PJ-10 (Missile System) responsible for indigenization of BrahMos Missile subsystems including Capacity Enhancement, Configuration Finalization and Establishment of Integration Facilities.

He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur (MP), completed his post graduation from University of Pune, Pune in Mechanical Engineering and received his Doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad.

He joined Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) DRDO in 1993. From the young scientist he rose steadily and after multiple significant appointments and decades of sustained contribution in Defence R&D was appointed as Director ADRDE in June 2022.

A propagator of indigenization of BrahMos Missile Sub System, he has successfully spearheaded several indenisation of Missile subsystems i.e. Booster, Warhead composites include missile flight trials. Dr Manoj also established integration facilities at various work centres.

Over more than 3 decades in DRDO, he has been responsible for multiple significant appointments that contributed in enhancing the indigenous content in BrahMos.

Awards and Recognitions:
He has published numerous technical papers in national & international journals and magazines, for his outstanding contribution he is recipient of several Awards i.e. DRDO performance excellence award, Lab scientist of the year, Agni award for Excellence in self-reliance, and Commendation by Chief of Naval Staff.

He is also affiliated to professional societies as Member Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), Life member of Indian National Society of Aerospace Related Mechanism (INSARM) & Administrative Staff College of India.

He is also the Chairman of the Agra chapters for Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) and Indian National Society of Aerospace Related Mechanism (INSARM).

Dr. Abhay A. Pashilkar

Director of CSIR-NAL, Bengaluru

Dr Abhay A Pashilkar completed his B.Tech/(Hons) in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Kharagpur &  M.E in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru during the year 1993. Post this he joined the Flight Mechanics & Control Division (FMCD), National Aerospace Laboratories.

Since 1993, he has worked on various National Projects like the LCA and SARAS. Further he completed his Ph.D from the IISc, Bengaluru in 2002. Dr. Pashilkar was with the NTU, Singapore for his post-doctoral fellowship from 2003 till 2005.

Dr. Pashilkar was the Group Head, Flight Simulation in the FMCD division from 2008 till 2016 and its Deputy Head from 2014 till 2021. From 2018 he was heading the Systems Engineering Division of NAL and was the appointed as Program Director for Civil Aircraft Programs at CSIR-NAL.

He is a recipient of the 1997 NAL Young Scientist Award, 2001 CSIR Young Scientist Award and the 2003 INAE Young Engineer Award. He is honoured with Distinguished Alumni Award 2023 of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

He resourcefully coordinated the “Mirage Upgrade Project for Final Operating Clearance” which received the CSIR Technology Shield during the year 2019 from the Hon’ble President of India. He has guided 7 PhDs and has over 30 papers in National and International Journals.

His areas of research include: Flight Dynamics Modelling and Simulation, Parameter Estimation, Flight Control and Human Factors in Aviation.

Dr Abhay Anant Pashilkar an Eminent Aerospace scientist took over as Director, CSIR-NAL in the month of September 2022 and continues to contribute towards India’s Civil Aviation programmes.

Prof. Devendra Ojha

 Chairperson of TIFR Balloon Facility Committee

Prof. Devendra Ojha received his PhD degree from Strasbourg University, France in 1994 in Astronomy & Astrophysics. He joined TIFR, Mumbai in 1997, after postdoctoral positions at IUCAA, Pune and IAP, Paris, France. He is currently the Chairperson of TIFR Balloon Facility Committee and was also the Chairperson of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at TIFR from 2013 to 2019. He is also the first Dean, Finance (TIFR) since October 2019. Prof. Ojha’s research area encompasses a wide range, viz. InterStellar Medium, Star Formation, as well as design, development and operation of astronomical instruments. These include the operation of 100 cm TIFR balloon-borne far-infrared telescope, development of instrument for the small satellite mission of ISRO for carrying out Infra-Red Spectroscopic Imaging Survey, and development of near-infrared spectrometer and imaging cameras for ground-based Indian telescopes. He is Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences, India. He has published about 160 research articles.

Mr. Gregory Gottlieb

Chairman of The Airship Association and Head of Aerial Platforms at World Mobile

Mr. Gregory Gottlieb is a dynamic and accomplished senior executive with a diverse background spanning telecommunications, aerospace, defence, entertainment, and security industries. With a Bachelor's degree in psychology and being a Member of the City & Guilds of London Institute, his expertise is both wide-ranging and profound.

With 20 years of service in the British Army, retiring as a Major in the Grenadier Guards, Gregory brings unparalleled experience and insight. His post-military career includes significant roles and advisory positions for major corporations and governments across the globe, including Boeing and EADS. Since 1990, he has been at the forefront of developing and commercially exploiting Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) technologies, such as airships, aerostats, and HAPS platforms.

As Chairman of The Airship Association and a key member of the LTA Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Gregory's contributions to the field are immense. Based in the United Arab Emirates for nearly 20 years, his global perspective and innovative approach are sure to inspire and enlighten our attendees.

Dr. Csaba Singer

CEO, CTO, and Founder of Hybrid-Airplane Technologies GmbH (H-Aero)

Keynote Description: Imagine having the capability to analyze any location on Earth daily from the stratosphere or lower atmospheric layers, using a reusable device propelled by wind and solar energy. Picture global internet and communication access at significantly reduced costs and less space debris compared to current satellites. Envision economically viable UAVs that can undertake lengthy missions currently handled by manned aircraft or helicopters, such as large-scale agricultural assessments, resource exploration, forestry, and more. These are the challenges addressed in the keynote ...

Dr. Christoph Pflaum

Professor at University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

Keynote Title: 'Environmentally Friendly Aviation with Airships using Solar and Wind Energy'

Christoph Pflaum is Professor at the Department of Computer Science at FAU.  His research topics are high performance computing and numerical simulation with respect to different engineering applications. In particular, he is interested in optical applications, simulation of solar cells, and simulation of airships. Christoph Pflaum studied mathematics at Technical University Munich. He worked at Technical University Munich, University Würzburg, Germany, and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, before he obtained a professor position at University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.  Additionally, Pflaum is cofounder and CEO of the company ASLD GmbH.

Dr. Pranav Lad

Senior Engineer of Education Team at MathWorks