CSIR recognized the long-term significance of the crucial role of electronics in the overall national development and initiated R&D efforts in this area as early as in the fifties. Today, it has emerged as a major R&D agency with nearly a dozen laboratories contributing towards various aspects of electronics and instrumentation. CSIR’s R&D in the area of electronics relate to strategic sectors, e.g., space and defence, where technology/product may be denied to India; and locale-specific applications like modernizing the agro-based industries, disaster/environment management appropriate medical and analytical equipment/instruments, etc.
CSIR mandate is to:
- Undertake research design and development of electronic components/systems and instruments to meet the requirements of strategic sectors such as defence and space, industry, agriculture, healthcare, etc.
- Undertake repair and maintenance of sophisticated instruments. Offer technical assistance to industries and other users by way of fabrication, testing, calibration, analysis and performance evaluation.
- Provide advanced training in instrument technology aimed at human resource development for the benefit of precision instrument industry and R&D institutions.
Among the various laboratories contributing to the theme area, Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) Pilani, is exclusively devoted to R&D in electronics — the main areas being Electronic Systems, Semiconductor and Electron Tubes Technology. The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, carries out R&D in the area of instrumentation for the various sectors. R&D for standards and ‘Quality Assurance’ is carried out at National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi. The laboratory-wise areas of core competence of some of the major contributors are listed below:
|Labs||Area of Core Competence|
|Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI, Pilani)||Electron Systems Technology: Process control systems: Special optical sensors and machine vision systems, microcontroller/DSP based control system design, high performance ac and dc drives, high-voltage pulse generators, radio frequency network design, video and audio coding including low bit-rate, bandwidth compression, microcomputer based systems, real time systems, image processing and pattern recognition, soft computing methods, database and decision support systems, geographical information systems and spatial decision support systems
Semiconductor Technology: Optoelectronic devices, IC/VLSI digital design, processor architectures and design, CMOS analog design, microelectronics and MEMS sensors, photonics
Electron Tube Technology: TWTs, magnetrons, klystrons, carcinotrons, power triodes, gas filled devices, industrial drives, controls and automation, electromagnetics and communication, instrumentation, speech processing technology.
|Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO, Chandigarh)||Design and development of opto-mechanical and opto-electronic systems for defence and space requirements, optical system design including aspheric and zoom systems, photonics, industrial drives, controls and automation, holographic optical elements and holographic and laser speckle non-destructive testing, fibre optics based sensing and measurement techniques, passive and functional optical integrated circuits, optical characterization and evaluation, ultra-high vacuum components and system design, ion, electron and x-ray beam based technology, RF and microwave based systems design, etching and deposition of semiconductors and other materials, monochromator and polychromator design
Electronics for medical, geo-scientific, Process and pollution monitoring instrumentation: PC-based instrumentation, modular design, analog & digital signal processing, DSP & micro controller based instrumentation, image acquisition and processing, ultrasound imaging for medical diagnostics, electronic systems design suited to space and defence requirements, gas monitoring instrumentation, system design for EMI/EMC prone environment, system thermal management using non-conventional techniques
Mechanical engineering: micro movements, polycarbonate and acrylic mouldings for lenses and reflectors precision machining, fabrication of precision tools and dies for plastic and sheet metal components
|National Physical Laboratory (NPL, New Delhi)||Standards and quality assurance, semiconductor devices, microelectronics and MEMS sensors, photonics, electromagnetics and communication, instrumentation.|
|Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI, Karaikudi)||Glass electrodes, sensors, etc.|
|National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, Pune)||Analytical instrumentation|
|Central Glass and Ceramics Research Institute (CGCRI, Kolkata)||Optical communication fibre, electro-ceramics|
|National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL, Bangalore)||Instrumentation pertaining to aircraft and other aerospace application and parallel computing|
|Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI, Durgapur)||Robotics|
|National Institute of Oceanography (NIO, Goa)||Autonomous pressure based tide gauges, autonomous weather stations, autonomous surface vehicle, autonomous underwater vehicles|
|National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI, Hyderabad)||Geophysical instrumentation|
|Regional Research Laboratory (RRL, Bhopal)||Ceramic fibre preforms, etc.|
Knowledge-Based Products/Technologies Developed
Electron Systems Technology: Know-how for monitoring and control systems for agro-based industries such as sugar, tea, mushroom, and for sorting/cleaning of fruit and vegetables, etc., monitoring systems for food processing, leather, chemicals and batteries, and paper industry, Voice operated devices and speech synthesis, fully automated model tea factory at TES, Jorhat, retrofit automation and installation of QCS for Mysore Paper Mills and Siddharth Paper Mills, spatial decision support system for primary education, PWM electromechanical actuator, high voltage pulse power upto 140 KJ at 40 KV, IRD receiver, NICAM receiver, HTSC squid electronics, PROFIBUS based smart transmitter, GramNET-A network analysis tool, raster to vector conversion tool
The know-how transferred in the area include: Autobas for battery industry, Vibrotone for fruit processing industry, Infra-gauge system for thickness, measurement of blown films, Paper formation analyser, Computer-aided software tool for herbal authentication, O-Frame instrumentation for paper industry
- Semiconductor Technology: Fabrication of high power (>150 mW) laser chips and bars for 980 nm applications, 2-2.5 W C-band high power GaAs power MESFETs, InGaAs/InP PIN photo-detectors, Design and fabrication of 155 Mbps hybrid and integrated PIN-FET/622 Mbps APD-FET optical receiver modules, fabrication of silica-on-silicon based splitters and multiplexers for WDM applications; and design of ‘voice chip’ that combines the fields of speech synthesis research, VLSI design and embedded system design, piezo-resistive pressure sensor, piezoelectric acoustic sensor, MEMS based RF switch, bulk micromachined three axes accelerometer, polysilicon load cell, infra red burglar alarm
- Electron Tubes Technology: C-band 60 W Space TWT, Ku-band 140 W Space TWT, Sub-assemblies of broadband microwave TWTs, C-band 70 kW coupled cavity TWT, S-band 2 MW Magnetron, S-band 3.1 MW Magnetron, 40 kV, 3 K Amp. thyrotron, 6 MW (peak) 24 kW (average) S-band Klystron, 200 kW, 42 GHz Gyrotron,
- Instrumentation for Strategic & Defence Applications: Explosive detector, multi-fibre intrusion detection system, optical pyrometer for transient explosion temperature, head up display system (first version), 35mm mini panoramic camera for remotely piloted vehicle, Non-Linear junction detector, velocity panel for small caliber projectiles, electronic stethoscope, fibre optic intrusion detection system (fence and buried type)
- Optics & Opto-electronics (including Coherent Optics): semi automatic pick & place machine for fine pitch & standard SMDs, extrinsic Fabry Perot Interferometric (EFPI) sensor, night driving filter, relay lens system 1.5x, relay lens system 2.3x, fake currency detector using integrated transmission and reflective spectral response, fake currency detector using visual and automated integrated reflective spectral response
- Medical, Analytical, Agricultural & Environmental Instrumentation: Micro-hardness tester, integrated system for measurement of metallic impurities in edible oils (oil spectrophotometer), digital titration kit, glow discharge lamp Atomic emission spectrometer, portable stack opacity monitor, digital aflatoxin meter, gold analyzer, digital cereal/grain analyzer, rheometer, dispergraph, digital automatic moisture computer, portable metal oxide human breath sensors for the detection of alcohol, clinical chemistry analyser, anaesthesia ventilator, atomic force microscope (improved version), instrument for chemical sensing of pollutants, system for evaluation of proteins in soyabean, oil, cakes and other foods, electronic gadget for bird scare, microwave microbial decontaminator, low cost stack gas oxygen analysis for oil fired boiler, gold analyser (improved version)
- Instrumentation for Geo-Science & Disaster Mitigation: Ultrasonic-based snow depth measuring probe (for snow bound run off water applications), ambient temperature measuring probe above snow surface, intelligent data logger for processing and recording of various snow parameters, infra-red based snow surface temperature measuring probe, snow temperature profiler system along with data logger, multi-user field operated data recorder and analyzer for geo-technical applications, 24-bit seismic data acquisition system with dial up facility for data transfer, digital seismic clock, IR-based snow surface temperature sensor probe with accessories (improved version), 16-bit seismic recorder
- Energy Management & Mechanical Instrumentation: Condition monitoring system for critical rotating machines, energy management system, triaxial force balanced accelerometer, Lonwork based energy node for energy management system, Lonwork based physical parameter node for energy management system
Ophthalmoscope and otoscope diagnostic set; digital indicator for inclinometer/tiltmeter; neo-natal oxygen monitor; resuscitation bag (Ambu bag) for neonates; drug infusion pump and controller; pulse oximeter; servo controlled baby care incubator; single puncture laparoscope; on-line analyser for energy monitoring and conservation; iodine value meter; micro hardness tester; oil spectrophotometer; digital titrator; glow discharge lamps (of atomic emission spectrometer); semi automatic pick and place machine for SMDs; portable stack opacity monitor; digital aflatoxin meter; explosive detector; clinical chemistry analyser; energy management system; digital cereal/grain analyser; dispergraph for measuring carbon black dispersion in rubber; multifiber intrusion detection system; Non Linear junction detector; electronic stethoscope
- Mid Face Facility for CO2 level prediction in the Asian Region (in collaboration with IATA-CNR, Italy)
- Post-earthquake rescue system for remote detection of victims
- Design and development of differential absorption lidar
- Retarding potential analyzer (RPA), aeronomy payload for SROSS-C2 satellite
Besides developing several instruments for aerospace applications, the laboratory has also developed the India’s first supercomputer, the FLOSOLVER. Also see Sector Aerospace.
- NIO: Development of small AUV for oceanography (Collaboration with ISR, Portugal)
- CGCRI: Development of Erbium-doped fibre for optical amplifier-a fully packaged amplifier is under development in association with CEERI, Pilani and an industry; polarization maintaining fibre for optical gyro-to be used by defence; Bragg grating fibres for sensor application; radiation sensitive fibre to be used as radiation dose monitor
- NGRI: Portable multiprobe borehole logger, salinity testing device, transient EN Unit, data storage magnetometer
- CMERI: SCARA robot
Designs for the Future
The focus of CSIR in the coming years would be on:
- Meeting the strategic requirements of the country in the domain of electronics and instrumentation
- Societal applications and competence building in the areas of agriculture, health and natural disaster mitigation
- Catching up with the new technological trends in the areas of MEMS and sensors for diverse applications, bio molecular electronics and nano-technology
- Venturing into non-conventional areas, e.g. prosthetics, special security systems
- Emphasis on synergistic approach