GMRT accorded the prestigious IEEE Milestone status



The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at Narayangaon, Pune, Maharashtra


GMRT accorded the prestigious IEEE Milestone status


In a proud moment for the Department, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) indigenously developed by TIFR, a grant-in aid institution of DAE, and located at Narayangaon, Pune, has been accorded the prestigious IEEE Milestone status. GMRT is an array of 30 radio telescopes used for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical phenomenon ranging from nearby Solar system to the edge of observable Universe. The IEEE Milestone status recognizes the global impact of GMRT, with users from 40+ countries worldwide, and the fact that it was designed and built entirely in India, with some innovative ideas.


A Coveted Milestone


The IEEE Milestone will be formalized in a special dedication ceremony that will involve unveiling of the bronze citation plaque at the GMRT premises. The event is likely to take place in 2021 subject to easing of the COVID-19 pandemic and resumption of international travel.


GMRT is only the third such IEEE Milestone recognition for an Indian contribution, to date. The previous two Indian IEEE milestones in India are for the pioneering work done by Sir J. C. Bose to demonstrate the generation and reception of radio waves in 1895, and for the Nobel Prize winning discovery by Sir C. V. Raman in 1928.


The complete citation for the GMRT that will be on the IEEE Milestone plaque:


Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), 1994

GMRT, consisting of 30 antennas of 45 m diameter each, spanning 25 km near Pune, India, is one of the largest and most sensitive low frequency (110–1460 MHz) radio telescopes in the world. It pioneered new techniques in antenna design, receiver systems, and signal transport over optical fibre. GMRT has produced important discoveries in domains such as pulsars, supernovae, galaxies, quasars, and cosmology, greatly enhancing our understanding of the Universe.


Read More: NCRA-TIFR Press Release »



About GMRT

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of TIFR has set up the GMRT as a unique facility for radio astronomical research at metre wavelengths. Late Prof. Govind Swarup, widely regarded as father radio astronomy in India, played an instrumental role in establishing the GMRT facility. The GMRT was conceptualised in the late 1980s, built and made operational during the 1990s, and was opened for use by the global astronomy community in 2002.


The GMRT is one of the most challenging experimental programmes in basic sciences undertaken by Indian scientists and engineers. It is one of the largest and most sensitive low frequency radio observatories in the world. The GMRT consists of 30 fully steerable gigantic parabolic dishes of 45 m diameter each spread over distances of up to 25 km with sophisticated electronics and computing for processing the data from all the antennas. The construction at a relatively small cost has been possible due to an important technological breakthrough achieved by Indian Scientists and Engineers in the design of light-weight, low-cost dishes. The design is based on SMART - Stretched Mesh Attached to Rope Trusses – concept. The GMRT was also one of the first radio antenna arrays to use optical fibre for transporting the signals from the antennas to the central processing location.


About IEEE and the IEEE Milestone

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), headquartered in New Jersey, United States, is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.


The IEEE Milestones program honours significant technical achievements and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents, which have global or regional impact, in all areas associated with IEEE.