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DRDO Inaugurates World’s Highest Terrestrial R&D Centre at 17,600 ft

DRDO has inaugurated the world’s highest terrestrial R&D centre at 17,600 feet above mean sea level in Chang La. The centre will not just help in research and development in several areas, but will also help other labs in testing different products at high altitude.

Adding yet another remarkable achievement to its already impressive list, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has inaugurated an Extreme Altitude Research Centre in Chang La, Jammu and Kashmir. Located at 17,600 feet above mean sea level, it the world’s highest terrestrial R&D centre.

The centre has been established by the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) in Leh, a constituent establishment of DRDO – the premier R&D organization of India.

chang la

Photo: Aashish Rajgaria

It is situated at a distance of 75 km from Leh town, towards Pangong Lake, and the centre was inaugurated by Director General of DRDO, Dr. S. Christopher on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.

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What will it do?

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Photo: Twitter
  • The centre is expected to be used as natural cold storage of rare and endangered medical plants.
  • The establishment will also take care of research and development work in areas of food, agriculture and bio-medical sciences for the well-being of soldiers working at high altitudes.
  • Several life science activities like physiological work, long term conservation of plant genetic resources, designing, testing and demonstration of mobile and portable greenhouses will be undertaken at this centre.
  • The centre can also provide opportunities to other labs of DRDO for testing of materials for high altitude applications like batteries, fuel cells, UAV’s micro engines and much more.
  • Studies related to minimally processed fresh food will also be undertaken here.

Ladakh faces extreme climatic conditions where the temperature goes as low as -40 degrees Celsius during extreme winter months. The conditions become harsher as the low temperature is coupled with reduced atmospheric pressure and humidity, besides high wind velocity and UV radiation.

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