Laser Science and Technology Centre - History


LASTEC is the oldest laboratory in DRDO. It was established in 1950 as Defence Science Laboratory (DSL) which was a nucleus laboratory with the objective to conduct research in frontier areas of physics, chemistry and mathematics with a special focus on lasers and opto-electronics. On 9 April 1960, DSL was shifted to Metcalfe House and inaugurated by then Defence Minister V. K. Krishna Menon, in the presence of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

With time, many of DSC activities were given to newly formed, specialized DRDO laboratories. DSL served as a precursor for as many as 15 present DRDO labs, including DRDL, SSPL, INMAS, FRL, ISSA, DESIDOC, DIFR, SAG, ITM etc.

In 1982, the Laboratory moved to a new technical building in Metcalfe House complex and was rechristened as Defence Science Centre. The centre consolidated its R&D activities towards more specific and application oriented areas, such as liquid fuel technology, spectroscopy, crystallography, system engineering, biotechnology etc. DSL now started concentrating in the area of Pure Sciences such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The chemistry division developed G-fuel and UDMH for rockets and missiles. The Mathematics division conducted simulation and calculations related to the missile program, while the Physics division took the lead by launching many activities.

DSC was also given a new charter of duties with its major thrust on LASERS. Intensive work commenced on Solid-state lasers, Carbon dioxide lasers, ALARM, laser rangefinder, Fibre Optic Gyroscope, Ring laser gyroscopes, Laser Intruder Alarm systems, etc. In 1986, the centre was made responsible for the development of high power lasers for Defence applications as one of its major missions. The lab was renamed LASTEC on 1 Aug 1999 to emphasize its core focus of Laser technology.

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