“Applications Closed”. The results will be declared by the End of June 2021”

Space Technology Cell at IITs

Space Technology Cell at IITs

Space technology is increasingly being used in multiple applications such as weather forecasting, disaster management, transportation, management and conservation of natural resources, urban planning,  communications and remote sensing satellites, telecommunications, and many more. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set up Space Technology Cells (STC) at premier Indian Institutes of Technology – Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Guwahati to carry out advanced research in several fields related to space technology and applications. Space Technology Cells at IIT Bombay and IIT Madras were established in the year 1984 and 1985, respectively. The STC at IIT Kharagpur, known as Kalpana Chawla Space Technology Cell (KCSTC) was founded in 1998. The ISRO-IIT Kanpur Space Technology Cell was established in 2001. Recently, in 2019, Space Technology Cells were also created in IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi. Space Technology Cells set up in these premier institutes in the country play a major role in raising the space technology research and applications to newer heights and intend to harness the advanced areas of space science & technology by taking up initiatives to carry out researches of high importance to the Indian Space Programme, thereby contribute to the all-round development of the nation.

The achievements of Space Science and Technology constantly bring new challenges to space technologists that encourage them to face it head-on and come up with brilliant solutions. Through STCs, several projects are given to the faculty of IIT, after a peer review of the proposals. In most of these research projects, there are active interactions between IIT faculty members and research scientists of various laboratories of ISRO. The broad areas of research by STCs include Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Communications, Space Physics, Composite Materials, Heat Transfer, Power Electronics, Cryogenics, Gas Dynamics, Structures, Space Radiation, Remote Sensing, Supersonic Flow Studies, Materials Metallurgy, Combustion, Aerospace and Controls, Data CompressionTechnology etc.

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ISRO has agreed to support eight joint research projects mooted by the STC of IIT Delhi. ISRO will support these projects under its RESPOND programme with varying duration of 1-3 years. The eight collaborative research projects on which the scientists from different ISRO centres and IIT Delhi will work jointly include:

  • Establishing a Coupled Indian Land Data Assimilation System (ILDAS) for identifying hydrologic extremes – This system will have widespread water resource applications, including drought and flood forecasting and understanding land-atmosphere interactions.
  • Classical Trajectory Monte Carlo Simulations of the Plasma dynamics in electrode-less plasma thruster – The project aims to understand the plasma dynamics in electrode-less thrusters, which are used for electric propulsion and have a longer lifespan than their electrode-based counterparts. Electric propulsion schemes exhibit high fuel efficiency and lower thrust than chemical propulsion schemes and are therefore preferred for deep space missions.
  • Analysis of Variable Stiffness Composite Honeycomb Sandwich Structures with Embedded Delamination – The project aims to develop an efficient finite element formulation to evaluate displacements and stresses in composite structures widely used in aerospace and space applications.
  • Indigenous Sensor-based Real-Time Flood Warning Smart System – This aims to provide real-time warning to the community, by assimilating information through sensor networks and corrected satellite products, thereby providing a faster, more reliable warning system that will ensure protection to the community infrastructure and lives.
  • Impact of Satellite Observations in a Coupled System for Predicting Storm Tides and its Coastal Inundation – The project aims at real-time prediction of the vulnerability of the Indian coasts to tropical cyclones through satellite observations well in advance to minimize damages wreaked by a cyclone.
  • Development of a Numerical Simulator for Micro-fabricated Electrospray Thrusters – Develop advanced computational tools to simulate miniaturized electrospray thrusters to speed up the design of such thrusters for small spacecraft. This addresses the need for a miniaturized propulsion system for manoeuvring and orbit control of the micro and nanosatellites at a low cost.
  • Designing Speciality Glasses Employing Machine Learning and Meta-Heuristic Optimization – Speciality glasses are ubiquitously used in space applications such as telescopic lenses and window shields in space vehicles. The aim of the project is to develop new glasses with improved thermal and mechanical performance, which can withstand conditions of extreme cold or hot weather in outer space.
  • Low-Pressure Systems (LPSs) and their nonlinear interaction with other scales in the atmosphere through the lens of Scale Energetics.

While welcoming the joint research activities between ISRO and IIT Delhi under the Space Technology Cell, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi is committed to taking its interactions with ISRO to the next level. The Institute has some of the world’s experts in various technology domains such as land surface modelling, remote sensing, molecular dynamics simulations etc. who will extend their expertise to ISRO and play a key role in making its future endeavours successful”. On the ISRO side, the projects will be coordinated by the agency’s scientists at the Space Applications Centre (SAC), the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), the Semi-conductor Laboratory (SCL) and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

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