Shri Pramod Purushottam Kale is a space scientist who joined the Indian Space efforts in 1962 right from the launch of first rocket from Thumba and continued as a part of the team for over three decades. He was Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram when he left the organisation in 1994.
Born on March 04, 1941 in Pune, India, Dr Kale obtained his post graduation in MSc (Physics-Electronics) from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad in 1962. While pursuing MSc, he had the opportunity to work on satellite tracking at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, which was perhaps his first working experience on electronics and space research. After his post graduation, he worked for three years as a research student under Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
In 1963, he was selected as a team member for the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), near Thiruvananthapuram and for that work he was deputed to work at Goddard Spaceflight Centre, NASA, USA. Before becoming Director, VSSC in 1994, he has held several key positions in ISRO viz Head-Electronic Division (Satellite systems), Space Science and Technology Centre, now Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. 1967-1969; Resident Representative of ISRO at Goddard Space Flight Centre, NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA 1969-1972; Project Manager – Electronics and TV Hardware, Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), 1974-1976, Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad; Project Director, INSAT 1 Space Segment Project, Department of Space, Bangalore, 1977-1987; Director, Space Application Centre, Indian Space Research Organization, Ahmedabad, 1987-1994 and his contributions were multi-disciplinary in nature.
Later Dr Kale functioned as Executive Director and Head, Microwave Antenna Division, Global Wireless Technology Limited, Pune (1996 till Mar 2002). He was also Director, Global Information Technology Academy, Pune (from June 2000 till Jul 2002).
He is the recipient of several awards. Prominent among them are the Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Award for System Analysis and Management Problems (1975), Shri RL Wadhawa Gold Medal of Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (1991), Bharat Jyoti Award presented by Front for National Progress (1999) and the Aryabhata Award presented by the Astronautical Society of India (2006) in recognition of life time contribution to the promotion of astronautics. The nation honoured him awarding Padma Shri in 1984.