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#IP 1196 31 Aug - 6 Sep 2015

Make in India excellence Award 2015
(CSIR –NAL received this award for Drishti under R & D category)

“Make in India excellence Award 2015” is given to organisations that have made extraordinary contributions under different categories to fulfill the vision of the honorable Prime Minister. CSIR –NAL received this award for Drishti under R & D category. The award was presented to CSIR-NAL by Sri Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister for MSME, on 18th August 2015 at a function held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Dr Shubha V, Chief Scientist, received the award.

#IP 1195 24 - 30 Aug 2015



Active Radar Cross Section Reduction Theory and Applications
(By Hema Singh and R.M. Jha CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India)

This book emphasises the contemporary methods and the emerging trends in the area of active Radar Cross Section (RCS) reduction as applicable to the aerospace low observable platforms. The major aspects covered are RCS estimation of phased arrays with and without mutual coupling, multipath mitigation, multilobe beamforming, sidelobe cancellers, blind adaptation towards the understanding of active RCS reduction.

The RCS reduction cannot be achieved in its totality without understanding the EM propagation characteristics of the materials. The material can be perfect electric/magnetic conductor, dielectric or metamaterial or multilayered combination of one or more. Finally the emerging RCS reduction techniques in aerospace sector are discussed. Recent developments in the area of embedded antennas, conformal load bearing antenna, FSS-based RCSR, and metamaterial-based RCSR are outlined.

This book provides a first self-complete analytical estimation of active RCS with applications of phased arrays towards the low observable aerospace platforms. It is expected to serve as a book for supplementary reading for the graduate students and researchers, and as a reference book for the engineers working in the area of electromagnetics.






#IP 1194 17 - 23 Aug 2015

Soft Computing in Electromagnetics  Methods and applications
(By Balamati Choudhury, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India and R.M. Jha, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore, India)

Better communication systems demand high performance electromagnetic structures along with accurate, reliable and fast techniques to solve electromagnetic (EM) problems. A novel computing technique, called soft computing, is gaining popularity in a multitude of EM applications in order to tackle computationally intensive problems. It differs from conventional computing techniques by not relying on strict mathematical formulations. Soft computing techniques often seek to emulate biological systems like neural networks, swarm behaviour, etc. Fast-converging algorithms that mimic animal and human behaviour are currently emerging as the choice for replacing computationally intensive, time consuming, three-dimensional EM simulations; this development has simplified the process of EM design immensely.

Characterized by their ability to provide quick, robust and economically viable solutions despite imprecision, uncertainties and approximations in the formulation, soft computing methods such as genetic algorithm (GA), artificial neural network (ANN) and fuzzy logic have been widely used for microwave design. Similarly, they also play an important role in design and optimization applications in electromagnetics, such as EM design and performance enhancement of antennas, frequency selective surfaces (FSS), radar absorbing material (RAM) and metamaterials. This book emphasizes the suitability of soft computing techniques such as particle swarm optimization (PSO), bacterial foraging optimization (BFO) along with GA and ANN, for various EM design and optimization applications.

The application of soft computing concepts in the field of metamaterial antennas, radar absorbers, transmission line characterization and optimized radar absorbing material (RAM) is discussed in detail along with their usage for optimizing fault detection, EM propagation and path loss prediction. This book also introduces systematic implementation of soft computing tools in a relatively new area of metamaterials. Soft computing is presented here as an effective tool to minimize computations in a CAD package for quick and accurate solutions. The development of two such CAD packages for design of metamaterial split ring resonators (SRR) and path-loss prediction is presented. Numerical examples and MATLAB codes are provided to facilitate understanding of the principles of soft computing techniques by a wider readership.

Balamati Choudhury works as Scientist at the Centre for Electromagnetics, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. Her areas of interest include soft computing techniques, computational electromagnetics, and novel applications of metamaterials. Dr. Balamati was recipient of the CSIR-NAL Young Scientist Award for the year 2013-2014 for her contribution in the area of Computational Electromagnetics for Aerospace Applications.

Rakesh Mohan Jha heads the Centre for Electromagnetics, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. He worked as an SERC (UK)  Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Dept. of Engg. Sci., University of Oxford, England (in 1991-1992), and as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Institute for High Frequency Techniques and Electronics of the University of Karlsruhe, Germany (in 1992-1993 and 2007). He was awarded Sir C.V. Raman Award for Aerospace Engineering for the Year 1999. Dr Jha was elected Fellow of INAE (FNAE) in 2010, for his contributions to the EM Applications to Aerospace Engineering.

#IP 1193 10 - 16 Aug 2015

#IP 1192 3 - 9 Aug 2015

An immaculate life

It pains me deeply that my friend Rakesh Mohan Jha won’t read this note in the Information Pasteboard. During the years that we were together at NAL (1993-2006) Jha read every word I wrote here. He often had kind things to say, but if he felt that something I wrote was wrong or out of step he never hesitated to say it loud and clear.

That was Jha all over: fastidious to the core, but never without reason. In his book, there was always a ‘right’ way to do something, and, therefore, that was the only admissible way.

But this judgement on right vs wrong wasn’t based on whim, fancy or petulance. It was based on what science had established to be right and valid.

Jha was a true servant of science. The seeds were sown in his early years when he excelled as a student of both science and engineering at BITS, Pilani, and the fledgling sapling was nurtured at Indian Institute of Science, most notably by his guide and mentor Professor P R Mahapatra. But Jha eventually found his true métier when his idol – everyone’s idol? – Professor Roddam Narasimha invited him to join NAL.

By joining NAL, Jha’s career acquired the right direction and focus at the most opportune moment – he would go on to become a truly successful, and much decorated, aerospace scientist. His deep knowledge in electromagnetics (EM), and his skill and ability to cross over from science to engineering, made him a truly valuable and formidable national ‘asset’.

If Jha could have been reading this, he’d have given me that questioning look to enquire how a ‘person’ could became an ‘asset’. A moment later he’d have given me that endearing smile to acknowledge that I now work for the private industry where only assets, and their ability to create profits, matter.

We had several occasions to laugh and smile together, usually in the neighbourhood of the Flosolver Lab where the eternal karmayogi, Dr U N Sinha, was at work. Often Dr Sinha would invite us for a work break over a cup of lemon tea to discuss history, science, culture or the Satisfiability Problem. These were splendid interactions that created deep bonds and contributed to NAL’s joie de vivre. When the ‘togetherness’ (I won’t call it a ‘meeting’) ended, Jha would always part after making sure that he rinsed his cup of tea. An unfinished task was anathema to him.

But once a task was properly finished – and it could be no other way with him – Jha didn’t much like to return to the familiar and conquered territory; he would seek newer pastures of adventure. An example is the huge radome that NAL built to house ISRO’s Doppler weather radar at Sriharikota over a decade ago: building that 13m diameter radome, and enhancing its EM performance, was a challenging and enticing technological problem … but once the job was done Jha had no real interest in going back even though his fellow scientist Dr R M V G K Rao was doggedly persuasive.

Jha’s mission in life – and this became even more apparent in his last years – was to create and leave behind an outstanding edifice that would serve aerospace science and technology with distinction. The CEM Lab. that he lovingly and assiduously created, is a prime example. Of course a lab isn’t just an assembly of hardware, software or instruments; it is even more an assembly of knowledge and people. Jha realized this very early and endeavoured to make NAL’s CEM Lab a learning portal for a large number of engineering graduates. To spread the knowledge farther, Jha chose to be a prolific writer: he wrote hundreds of research papers and four excellent books.

Jha loved books; he still belonged to the old school that believed that scholarly books offered far greater knowledge and education than a Google search.

Jha spoke as well as he wrote. Over a decade ago, when we heard that Jha was heading for a critical heart surgery to fix a recalcitrant aortic valve, I got deeply worried and sought out NAL’s doctor to ask what that surgery was all about. The doctor gave me a detailed answer full of medical terms and expressions … but I understood little. When Jha heard that I was making enquiries, he summoned me to his room and, on the blackboard with a tiny piece of chalk, gave me a precise sketch of what Dr Devi Shetty proposed to do in the operation theatre with a truthful estimate of the probability of failure.

To our great joy the surgery was a great success. Post-surgery, Jha’s technical achievements became even more prolific and his life was on song – although not being able to eat his favourite rajma dish was always a matter of some grief.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically, the music stopped on 22 July 2015. But Jha’s elegant musical notes, and his compelling technological rhapsody, will always stay with us. He led an immaculate life, and the sound of the music he created will always captivate and enthrall. It will however bother him that he wasn’t given the time to play that last melodious and magical note.

Srinivas Bhogle

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