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#IP 1127 28 Apr - 4 May 2014

Lab scale aerospace autoclave for IIT-Kanpur- A moment to cherish

Yet another autoclave story was successfully scripted when the aerospace grade, Lab scale autoclave was formally handed over by Sri. Shyam Chetty, Director, CSIR-NAL, to Prof. Indranil Manna, Director, IIT-Kanpur on the bright sunny morning of 25th March 2014. It was a moment to cherish not only for CSIR-NAL and its autoclave PPP (Public Private Partnership) consortium but also for IIT-K, who are the first academic institution in the country to acquire such an advanced facility. The others who graced the handing over ceremony include Prof. Sanjay Mittal, Prof. C.S.Upadhyay, Prof. S. Kamle, Prof. Rajesh Kitey, Prof. P.M.Mohite, staff and students of IIT-K's Aero department. Dr G N Dayananda, Mr G M Kamalakannan & Mr J Ramaswamy Setty from NAL and Mr. Ketan Patel from UCE also participated.

The compact lab scale autoclave (0.9m diameter and 1.0m length work space) provides all the features of a large autoclave. It provides the right process conditions (temperature upto 200 °C, Pressure upto 7 bar and a choice of vacuum levels) that are controlled as per the user programmed 'cure cycle' to cook or cure advanced polymeric composites. The entire cure process is controlled by a computer along with tamper proof data recorder and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). In short, it is built to meet the stringent quality requirements of aircraft structures enforced by the certifying authorities.

The autoclave was supplied along with all the sub-systems, such as compressor, air receiver, water softener, water cooling system, cooling tower etc, on a turn-key basis. The other salient features include state of art safety features, electrically operated Davit-arm door with steering mechanism, door lock safety device with wedge lock, pressurized fan motor, thyristor controller, three modes of operation and open communication architecture.

This 'cute little device' was successfully conceived, developed and commissioned by the NAL lead PPP consortium, in which NAL is responsible for the design, software development, integration and prove out. The other two partners M/s UCE, Mumbai and M/s DATASOL Bangalore are responsible for the manufacture, erection and installation of mechanical systems and electrical, control & instrumentation system respectively. In addition, M/s UCE takes care of marketing and project handling.

It is heartening to note that IIT-K has lead the way in the educational sector, by establishing the first, indigenous, aerospace grade, lab scale autoclave. Manipal Institute of Technology and VSSC have followed suit and would get their autoclaves shortly from the PPP consortium.

CSIR-NAL has thus successfully translated a home-grown special technology into a cost effective, societal mission product of greater outreach. It is hoped that the use of lab scale autoclave at academia would continue to grow and empower much more students and research scholars to translate their design into an advanced composite product.

G M Kamalakannan & J Ramaswamy Setty, CSMST


#IP 1126 21 - 27 Apr 2014

Half-day seminar by M/s Mathworks in CSIR-NAL 

M/s Mathworks held a half-day seminar in CSIR-NAL  on 01st April 2014 at FMCD Conference Hall . The agenda of the seminar was to give an overview about Flight Control Law using Simulink, Aerospace Defense Software Certification Standard (DO178B/C) Using MATLAB & Simulink and Design, Verification and Implementation of Signal/Image Processing and Computer Vision Systems Using Simulink.

This was followed by discussion with the relevant group working in these areas. These talks were given by experienced people ; Dr. Jon Friedman, Marketing Manager, Aerospace & Defense and Automotive Industries, MathWorks Inc.; Chirag Patel, Sr. Application Engineer, MathWorks India Pvt. Ltd.; Tabrez Khan S, Application Engineer, MathWorks India Pvt. Ltd.

Mathworks is willing to initiate pilot projects for Certification of the model-based design and development, Vision based signal processing and Processor in the loop for flight controls with the corresponding groups based on their discussion.


#IP 1125 14 - 20 Apr 2014

CSIR – NAL Officers’ Club (NALOC) -   Events conducted during March 2014
Visit to the Kavalur Observatory on 7th March, 2014

The CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories Officers’ Club (NALOC)   organized a trip to Kavalur Observatory situated in the Javadi Hills, near Vanyambadi, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu on Friday, 7th March 2014. The Vainu Bappu Observatory, or VBO for short, is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics located in Bangalore. A group of 44 members including kids of all age groups participated in the scientific excursion to Kavalur - a four and a half hour drive to the observatory from Bangalore.

This place is also informally called "Telescope City". The observatory gets its name after Dr M K Vainu Bappu who was the first Director of the Kodaikanal Observatory and later the Indian Institute of Astrophysics..

The observatory is at an altitude of 725m above mean sea level (longitude 78° 49.6' E; latitude 12° 34.6' N). Apart from being reasonably away from city lights and industrial areas, the location has been chosen in order to be closer to the earth's equator for covering both northern and southern hemispheres with equal ease. In addition, its longitudinal position is such that it is the only major astronomical facility between Australia and South Africa for observing the southern objects.

The 1 metre telescope (Installed at Kavalur in 1972) is associated with two unique discoveries in the solar system. In the year 1972, atmosphere was detected around Jupiter's satellite Ganymede and in the year 1977 rings were discovered around the planet Uranus. In 1984, Kavalur reported the discovery of a thin outer ring around Saturn. On 17 February 1988 a new minor planet was discovered using the 45 cm Schmidt telescope. It has been named 4130 Ramanujan after the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. This is the first such discovery from India in the 20th century.

The observatory is home to the Vainu Bappu Telescope, the largest telescope in Asia. It has a diameter of 2.3 meters (93 inch) aperture telescope and was first used in 1986. The telescope has been completely designed and fabricated within the country. Along with the Vainu Bappu telescope, the observatory has two other telescopes: A 1 meter Zeiss manufactured and another 75 centimeter Cass grain reflector currently being refurbished. The observatory also has a Fabry–Pérot interferometer .

The telescope is so powerful that it can easily resolve a 25 paise coin kept forty kilometres away. Deep sky observations are carried out with this telescope using a variety of focal plane instruments. The equatorially mounted horse-shoe-yoke structure of the telescope is ideally suited for low latitudes and permits easy observation near the north celestial pole. The telescope has an F/3.25 paraboloid primary of 2.3 m diameter with the prime focus image scale of 27 arc sec/mm and a Cassegrain focus image scale of 6.7 arc sec/mm. This telescope has been operated as a national facility and attracts proposals from all over the country and sometimes from outside India.

Front-line research is being carried out with the help of the optical telescopes at Vainu Bappu Observatory using several focal plane instrumentational facilities. The ongoing programmes include observations of stars, star clusters, novae, supernovae, blazars, galaxies, optical imaging of gamma-ray burst fields, stellar populations, solar system objects and many others.

Observational studies of evolved stars, in particular studies related to their evolutionary aspects, carried out at this observatory, have received critical acclaim and international recognition.

All of us were very lucky to have been there on a night when the sky was clear We had an amazing sight of the Moon, Jupiter with its four moons, Moon, Saturn  with its rings, Binary, the Orion nebula  and Alpha centric throughout the night.

A detailed and well laid out presentation by Dr Ashok Pati from 11:30 PM in the night to 1:30 AM in the wee hours of the morning kept us totally engrossed. His lecture was in three parts.

  1. What they do at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics
  2. About the Kavalur Observatory
  3. All about telescopes of the world

The staff at Kavalur had made elaborate arrangements for our stay and provided us with a sumptuous dinner in their sprawling green campus. The lights are dimmed as it interferes with the spectral data being received by the telescope but that did not dither the spirits of our group. We watched all we could and to say the least it was a great NIGHT! to remember.

Dinner for members and their families:

The annual dinner was organized in the sprawling, green lawns of the institute on Saturday, 22 March 2014. The Janani Music orchestra entertained the crowds with melodious rendering of songs in all languages. The well decorated venue and the stalls set up by charity organizations were well appreciated. Paintings by Mr. B Vinoth, Scientist, STTD, drew large crowds. It was an evening filled with fun and frolic and a befitting farewell to Dr. Girija Gopalratnam, NALOC Secretary, who will be superannuating in March 2014.

Gomathy Sankaran


#IP 1124 7 -13 Apr 2014

Congratulations Soma!!!

Dr Soma Dutta, Senior Scientist of Materials Science Division,received an award for best paper presentation in the International Conference on Emerging Materials and Processes, held at CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha during 26-28th February,2014.

She presented the paper on "  Preparation and characterisation of Ca3CoMnO6-PZT composite"  which has  application as multi ferrite transducers and photo-voltaics.


Congratulations Aruna!!!

Dr S T Aruna, Principal Scientist, SED has published two chapters in the book  “Inorganic Hydrazine Derivatives-Synthesis, Properties and Applications”published by Wiley.



 

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