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#IP 814 21-27 Apr 2008

Workshop on Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Aerospace Application

A workshop on super-hydrophobic surfaces was organized by SED at KTMD Seminar Hall on the 9 April 2008. This was the first theme workshop organized in connection with the technologies for NAL‘s envisaged RTA-70 programme. The workshop organized to discuss the recent trends in superhydrophobic surfaces and the technological challenges of applying these surfaces to aircraft. The program started with an invocation.  Dr. KS Rajam, Head, SED welcomed the chief guest Dr. A R Upadhya, Director, NAL, the Chairman Dr. Kota Harinarayana, Raja Ramanna Fellow, STTD, invited speakers from various organizations and participants. The program was inaugurated by Dr. A R Upadhya, Director, NAL. In his inaugural address he mentioned about the inspiring nature and also technologies that can be developed. He talked about the lotus effect wherein the leaf remains always clean due to the unique microstructure of lotus leaf along with nanostructure giving rise to a phenomenon called superhydrophobicity. He mentioned about the various approaches for preparing superhydrophobic surfaces.  He expressed his happiness to see experts from various organizations. Dr. A R Upadhya also reiterated that the purpose of the workshop was to pool the knowledge and expertise available in the country and come out with the right kind of material, method of application etc and to network for creating superhydrophobic surfaces for aerospace application.

Dr. Kota Harinarayana gave an insight into the envisaged RTA-70 programme with special emphasis on the need for superhydrophobic surfaces to combat the icing problem. He also explained how using anti-icing coatings and reducing drag could increase the fuel efficiency. Dr. Rajam gave a brief introduction to super-hydrophobic surfaces for aerospace applications. Dr. Bharathi Bai J Basu presented the exciting preliminary results at NAL using sol-gel and polymer routes. Prof. Venkateswara Rao from Shivaji University, Kolhapur presented their work on superhydrophobic aerogels, their applications and coatings. Prof. M S Bobji from IISc, Bangalore asked some interesting questions and explained the marvelous and splendid nature of the most abundant compound on earth - water. He explained the Wenzel and Cassie -Baxter models to explain the superhydrophobocity and also the famous Young‘s equation. Dr. Goutam De of CGCRI, Kolkata presented their work on development of sol-gel based coatings on ophthalmic lenses and textiles. The effectiveness of the development of these coatings has crossed the laboratory and resulted in technology transfer. Dr. Subasri Raghavan from ARCI, Hyderabad gave an overall view on the infrastructure available at the sol-gel technology demonstration centre and also on the hydrophobic coatings developed at ARCI for clinical and house-hold items. She also said that their facility is open for up-scaling the sol-gel process. Mr. Nirav Jamnapara the youngest speaker presented their accidental discovery of superhydrophobicity using plasma assisted process.
There was technical discussion session wherein the technological challenges and specifications of superhydrophobic coatings were addressed and discussed. Some issues related to abrasion resistance were also discussed. This workshop gave an overall bird‘s eye view on the work carried out at different organizations. It also gave a forum to discuss how each one can share the work based on their expertise and recognize some more groups working in this area.

S T Aruna

CSIR Medical Officers meet

A two-day meet of CSIR-Medical Officers was organized by NAL on 18–19 April 2008.  It was an unique meet wherein 19 Medical Officers from 14 different CSIR Labs (NAL, NEERI, IMMT, IIP, CECRI, NIO, NCL, NEIST, CFTRI, CIMFR, CIMAP, NGRI, CCMB, IICT) met on a common platform and discussed various issues relevant to their Health Centres in particular and CSIR patients at large.

The meet began with a Demo presentation on “ Arogya software” by Dr. D Amaranarayan, Medical Officer, NAL on 18 April 2008 at 6 p.m.  The software received very good response from the Medical Officers who attended the meet. This software has already been successfully implemented in CSIR Labs like NAL and IIP-Dehradun.  Many other CSIR Labs are in the process of implementing this software in their Health Centres.  Later, Dr. V K Agarwal, Medical Officer, CIMAP-Lucknow made a brief Demo presentation on “Swastham” a health software developed by him for use of Health Centre, CIMAP-Lucknow.

The meet was formally inaugurated by Dr.V Prakash, Director, CFTRI - Mysore on 19 April 2008 at 9 a.m.  In his inaugural address he made an elaborate Power Point presentation on various aspects of nutrition and its impact on health. He supported the idea of holding CSIR Medical Officers meet on a regular basis, which will provide a common forum for healthy interaction among CSIR Medical Officers.  Dr. K S Nanjunda Swamy, CMO, NAL in his introductory remarks briefly outlined the purpose of this meet.  A talk on “Telemedicine in Current Scenario” by Dr. Kananka Rao, CMO, ISRO was organized soon after the inaugural ceremony.

Later in the day all the issues listed in the agenda were discussed at length and the meet concluded with a proposal to submit a comprehensive report to the Directors of respective Labs suggesting various measures to upgrade the existing facilities at Health Centres which will enable the Medical Officers to provide effective and quality health care to CSIR staff, pensioners and their dependents.

K S Nanjunda Swamy

#IP 813 14-20 Apr 2008

7th AGM of ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter - Lt. Gen (Dr) V. J. Sundaram on MAV’s 

The ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter organized its 7th AGM on 4 April 2008 at Dr. SR Valluri Auditorium. Dr. RMVGK Rao, Chairman, ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter welcomed the members and introduced the Chief Guest and speaker of the evening , Lt. Gen. (Dr) V J Sundaram. Dr. A R Upadhya, Director, NAL graced the occasion and released the first circular and call for papers of the INCCOM-7, scheduled to be held on 4-5 December 2008 as part of NAL’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

The AGM started with a stimulating technical lecture by Lt. Gen. (Dr) V J Sundaram, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd.), Advisor - Micro and Nano Systems – National Design and Research Forum. Dr. Sundaram, brought out a comprehensive account of the recent advances in the development and use of MAVs for a host of applications including agriculture, disaster management, defence security, animal husbandry, health care, and many R&D end uses. Dr. Sundaram explained the multidisciplinary nature involved in the development of MAV’s, encompassing aerodynamics, propulsion,materials, structures, navigation, controls, guidance and so on with a touch of bio-inspiration. Dr. VJS flavoured his talk with an exposition on the Micro, Nano and Nano-Bio systems coupled with a range of sensors including those based on the carbon nanotubes (CNT) and the nano-bio technologies. He also narrated the exciting events covering the National Flying Competition MICAV-07, held in October 2007 at ADRDE, Agra, with participation of several educational and R&D institutions. He enthralled the audience through the video clippings, reflecting the young competitor’s passion for fixed wing / rotary wing / flapped wing MAVs and optical – flow guidance and micro-devices. The clippings also showed the flights of a flapped wing MAV in an auditorium and UGV launched fixed wing MAV in an open field. The talk also highlighted a crisp account of the MAV-08 International competition, again held at ADRDE, Agra, in March 2008, wherein he narrated upon the razor thin line demarcating the winner and the loser in this competition. Dr. Sundaram concluded urging the ISAMPE to become a forum of new materials and technologies of the future.
Dr. P Ragothama Rao, Co-Chairman, ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter, thanked the speaker for his grand exposition of MAVs, and the Director, NAL for all the support and encouragement received in organizing the event.

In the business session that followed, Dr. C M Manjunatha, Secretary, ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter outlined the achievements of the chapter for the year 2007-08, in terms of several expert lectures organized and the effective membership enhancement drive pursued. Dr. Anjana Jain, Treasurer of the Chapter, presented the statement of account showing an impressive cash surplus. Mr. M Venkateshwara Rao, Jt Secretary, proposed the vote of thanks.

The 7th AGM of the ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter thus concluded with yet another exciting guest lecture, paving the way to a new beginning in its ambitious quest for greater progresses in future. The attendance for this AGM had been an all time high.

Dr. RMVGK Rao  and Dr. C M Manjunatha

First Prof A K Rao  Memorial Lecture | ISAMPE  Workshop | Report on the Twenty  First AGM of ISAMPE | 
7th AGM of ISAMPE Bangalore Chapter - Lt. Gen (Dr) V. J. Sundaram on MAV’s |

Excellence in Karnatak classical music

Master Sumukh Surya, son of Dr. G K Suryanarayana, Scientist, NTAF is emerging as one of the upcoming vocalists of Karnatak classical music. He is gifted with a mellifluous voice and has received many awards and prizes in vocal music competitions for the young. Among them are the Padmanabhasa award, the Karthikostsava award, prizes from Girinagar Sangeetha Sabha and Swararnava. He was one among ten young vocalists in Karnataka, selected by the Avadhani Foundation for Karnatak Music in 2007. On 17 April 2008, he will be receiving the prestigious “Aryabhata award” as a young musician at a function to be held at Raveendra Kalakshetra. On 23 April 2008, he will be presenting a vocal concert at the Fort High School from 1715 to 1815 hrs., under the auspices of Sri Rama Seva Mandali, Chamarajapet, Bangalore. Music lovers in NAL are welcome to attend the concert. NAL wishes him all the best.


#IP 812 7 - 13 Apr 2008

Visit of Dr Ewa Bjorling, Hon’ble Minister for Trade, Sweden

Dr Ewa Bjorling, Hon’ble Minister for Trade, Sweden visited NAL on 2 April 2008, along with her delegation. Dr A R Upadhya, Director, NAL welcomed them and gave a presentation on NAL activities. Dr Ewa Bjorling mentioned that it was her first visit to India. The purpose of their visit was to strengthen the relations between the two countries and promote small and medium scale industries.

Mr Jan Olof Widerstrom appreciated the Director’s present- ation and mentioned that there may be a possibility of collaboration in the areas of Wind Energy Programmes, Composites, Carbon Fibers, Aero- dynamics and Civilian Aircraft Programmes.

Mr Erik Jean Christian A Belfrage expressed interest in RTA programme since Sweden had earlier done some work for a similar transport aircraft.

Visit of Honeywell delegation

A delegation from Honeywell visited NAL on 3 April 2008. Dr A R Upadhya, Director, NAL welcomed the delegation and gave a presentation on NAL activities.
Mr Larry Eugene Kittelberger, Senior Vice President, Honeywell, USA expressed his happiness regarding the partnership with NAL especially in SARAS auto pilot and software development programmes and appreciated NAL capabilities. He thanked the Director and NAL team for the cooperation and commitment. Dr T S Prahlad briefed about the progress made on the project. Dr M K Prasad, Vice President, Honeywell appreciated the efforts made by the NAL team for the joint development of software programs, also briefly explained the present activities of Honeywell, Bangalore. He said that working with NAL has helped HTSL to develop strengths in new areas of importance to aerospace.

Mr Kittelberger and Dr Prasad wanted to continue the partnership by taking up few more projects in the field of aerospace operations, controls, software testing and development of new products. He also mentioned that they are looking at Bangalore and Hyderabad for joint collaborations and mentioned that working with NAL is very exciting. Then the team visited the Advanced Composites Division.

Academic achievements

Ms A Revathi, Technical Officer, FRP Division has been awarded the degree of M.Sc. (Engg.) by Research, in faculty of Technology from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) for her thesis entitled “Environmental Characterization of Braided and Filament Would Polymer Matrix composites”, under the guidance of Dr RMVGK Rao, FNAE. Her studies related to an important area of moisture absorption behaviour in braided and filament wound composites, exposed to hygrothermal environments.

Ms Kavitha, Technical Officer, FRP Division has been awarded the degree of M.Sc. (Engg.) by Research, in faculty of Technology from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) for her thesis entitled “Cure characterization of Epoxy resins” under the guidance of Dr. RMVGK Rao, FNAE. Her studies primarily concerned cure characterization of blends of tetra and bi-functional epoxy resins cured with an aromatic amine hardener.

#IP 811 31 Mar - 6 Apr 2008

The Importance of Digital Archiving

Ensuring the digital longevity of our scientific heritage is the ‘Giant Leap’ that we need to take.

The Apollo program, often cited as one of the greatest achievements in human history, was triggered by a soul stirring speech by the US President Late John F. Kennedy, on 25 May 1961. He set the nation’s mission for that decade as ‘landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely back to Earth’.

The first moon landing by Apollo 11 took place at 9.56 pm on Sunday, 20 July 1969 (Houston time) and Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon. That ‘one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind” was taken at 02:56 on Monday, 21 July 1969. Six hundred million people, or 1/5th of the mankind at that time, watched Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

The bandwidth for transmission from the moon was limited; voice, telemetry data, biomedical data and television had to share the link from the Lunar Module.  NASA budgeted only 500 KHz for TV from the moon surface, much less than the 4.5 MHz standard prescribed for commercial broadcast.  The video of the Apollo 11 was transmitted in narrowband non-standard Slow Scan Format (SSTV) -320 lines of resolution at 10 frames per second, instead of the US TV Standard of 525 lines at 30 frames per second.

The conversion from SSTV to Standard US TV format was achieved with the help of specially built scan converters and was simultaneously tracked at three stations, one in US (Goldstone) and two in Australia (Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes). In the scan conversion process, picture resolution, contrast, and brightness suffered, and extra system noise was introduced. The entire transmission was recorded on telemetry tapes.  The Parkes Station re-transmitted the transmission coming from the lunar module by microwave links to Sydney and relayed by Houston via satellite. The total transmission distance from the tracking stations to Houston was almost 50,000 miles / 80,000 km.

On 5 August 2006 NASA made a press release that jolted the world. The national dailies Sydney Morning Herald, the San-Diego Union Tribune, Voice of America, and the Washington Post carried headlines saying that ‘Just 37 years after Apollo11, it is feared that the magnetic tapes that recorded the first moon walk have gone missing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC) in Maryland’. A desperate search began at NASA. Over 700 boxes of Apollo era magnetic tapes were returned to GSFC for permanent retention from the US National Archives by 1984. NASA is unable to trace these tapes of the Apollo 11 mission. NASA engineers fear that the missing tapes are in the danger of deteriorating into dust unless they are quickly found and converted to digital format. If found and digitized, they could produce unsurpassed quality video images of man’s first steps onto another world.

Will the world be lucky enough to finally see the moon’s surface almost as Neil Armstrong saw it? ‘It has a stark beauty of all its own. It’s like much of the high desert of the United States. It’s different, but it’s very pretty out here’. To quote Sarkissian, operations scientist at the Parkes observatory, ‘There will only ever be one first moon walk’.

To conclude, digital archiving of an enterprise’s heritage is an extremely important task that we should now seriously pursue. The missing tapes of the Apollo 11 mission is the best example to keep in front of us to work out serious strategies to protect our scientific heritage.

R Guruprasad

NAL's archving of the SARAS programme

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