National Science Day at IIT Dharwad

Speaker: Prof. Yashwant Gupta

Title: Probing the Universe using radio waves: where engineering meets astronomy

Abstract: The demonstration of how to transmit and receive radio waves, first done by Sir J.C. Bose in 1895, led to the opening up of a new window to the Universe. India has a strong tradition in this new field of radio astronomy, starting with Prof. Govind Swarup who kicked off activities in this area at TIFR in 1963. In this talk, we will trace the fascinating story of Radio Astronomy and the engineering behind it, with special emphasis on its growth and current status in India, ending with the frontline Indian facility -- the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). The GMRT, a world class low frequency radio observatory operational since 2002, consists of 30 fully steerable antennas of 45 metre diameter each and can be used as an aperture-synthesis array for imaging, as well as a phased array to study compact radio sources such as pulsars. It uses several interesting and innovative ideas and technologies. We have recently completed a major upgrade of the GMRT that is targeted to improve its sensitivity by a factor of upto three and make it a much more versatile instrument. This upgrade, which employs some cutting edge new technologies, will keep the GMRT at the forefront as one of the most sensitive facility in the 100 to 1500 MHz range for the next decade or so. In this talk, we will look into some of these technological aspects of the GMRT, and also take a quick look into how it has improved our understanding of the Universe, and what the future holds

Speaker Bio: Prof. Yashwant Gupta is the Centre Director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune, since March 2018. He did his B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur (1985) and MS and PhD in Radio Astronomy from University of California San Diego (1990). He is a recipient of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar 2007 (Physical Sciences) and the URSI Young Scientist award 1996 (at the XXV General Assembly of the URSI, Lille, France). He heads the Indian Team in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) where we have the PATH FINDER status, due to our successful commissioning of GMRT and its upgradation. He is the Science Director for India in SKA. He is in the Scientific Advisory Board of many Institutions, such as the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany. He is the Chair, Software Committee, of the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) and Member, Governing Council for IIA. GMRT was the largest Interferometric Array when it was built (Govind Swarup and team, 1984-1996).

Event Date: March 13, 2021 (Saturday)

Event Time: 03:30 PM

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