GMRT selected as an IEEE Milestone facility
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) has achieved a major landmark, with it being accorded the prestigious IEEE Milestone status. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.
The IEEE Milestones programme honours significant technical achievements and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents, which have a global or regional impact, in all areas associated with IEEE. “We are very proud to be selected, for this is only the third such IEEE Milestone recognition for an Indian contribution, to date. The previous two Indian IEEE milestones in India (recognised in 2012) are for the pioneering work done by Sir JC Bose to demonstrate the generation and reception of radio waves in 1895, and for the Nobel prize-winning discovery by Sir CV Raman in 1928,” said Prof. Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).
The GMRT is one of the largest and most sensitive low frequency radio observatories in the world, operated by the NCRA, Pune which is a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. This consists of an array of 30 antennas of 45 m diameter each, spread out over a 30 km region about 80 km from Pune, with sophisticated electronics and computing for processing the data from all the antennas.
Great to know that GMRT has been selected as a 'IEEE Milestone' facility. This is only the third such IEEE Milestone recognition for an Indian contribution todate. The earlier ones being radio waves work of Sir J. C. Bose and Nobel prize winning work of Sir C. V. Raman. 👍👏👏👍— Anil Kakodkar (@anil_kakodkar) November 27, 2020
Considering the global impact of GMRT, with users from over 40 countries worldwide, and the fact that it was designed and built entirely in India, the IEEE India office and IEEE Pune section initiated the proposal to nominate the GMRT for this prestigious international recognition. A formal proposal was submitted, in cooperation with NCRA, to IEEE earlier this year, after an initial review of the history and accomplishments of the GMRT by a team from IEEE India. After a fairly rigorous review process including an appraisal by international experts and additional information from NCRA, the proposal was first put up to the History Committee of the IEEE which cleared it for approval in October 2020. It was then submitted to the IEEE Board of Directors for the final approval, which was granted on 23rd November 2020.
Harish Mysore, Senior Director, IEEE India Operations, said, “IEEE has recognised 212 milestones all over the world for their scientific and engineering contributions. The GMRT is the third IEEE Milestone in India. This IEEE milestone not only recognises the contributions of scientists and engineers of India, it also helps to attract young talent towards fundamental science and engineering.”
Prof. Yashwant Gupta, Centre Director of NCRA, added, “It has been fantastic to work with colleagues from IEEE on this project, and I very much appreciate their support, the sense of purpose and genuine enthusiasm towards the common objective.”
The GMRT was conceived by the late Prof. Govind Swarup and included several technical innovations, which are recognised in the citation for the award, which reads “…It (the GMRT) pioneered new techniques in antenna design, receiver systems, and signal transport over optical fiber.” The citation also recognises the scientific work done using the GMRT, stating: “GMRT has produced important discoveries in domains such as pulsars, supernovae, galaxies, quasars, and cosmology, greatly enhancing our understanding of the Universe.”
The IEEE Milestone will be formalised in a special dedication ceremony that will involve unveiling of the bronze citation plaque at the GMRT premises. The event is expected to happen in 2021, soon after the Covid-19 pandemic situation allows ease of travel to India, and the IEEE President and other officials are expected to participate, in addition to several dignitaries from academia, industry and the Government of India.