Electronics Engineering Group

The Electronics Engineering Group (EEG) primarily designs, develops and builds instrumentation required for carrying out research in the field of experimental physics and astronomy. The members of the group work closely with members of the Astronomy & Astrophysics group as well as other research groups and are jointly involved in activities related to the development of sophisticated analog and digital receiver systems for the experimental research projects of the Institute. EEG works with the modern design tools and test and measurement equipment for developing electronics systems using state-of-the-art technology. It has a history and current projects that involve building of antenna systems for radio astronomy telescopes; this activity is undertaken in close coordination with the Mechanical Engineering Services group of the Institute.

EEG has three activity areas: (i) millimeter wave and RF design and development, (ii) digital circuit design and digital signal processing and (iii) X-ray astronomy instrumentation.

The first theme involves the development of state-of-the-art feeds and receiver systems over a wide range of wavelengths. The workspaces developed for this activity have necessary infrastructure and testing facilities required for characterizing the receiver systems operating at wavelengths from decameters to millimeters. EEG has expertise in the development of broadband high dynamic range low noise amplifiers, broad band antennas and quasi-optical components by making use of latest technology in the relevant fields.

The digital circuit design and digital signal processing activity has a focus on building digital receivers – with the availability of high speed digital electronics components and extremely complex and versatile field programmable logic arrays much of the signal conditioning, filtering and processing steps may be implemented digitally and via operations on sampled data streams and this progress in technology has resulted in the advent of what is called a digital receiver for radio astronomy. EEG has sufficient expertise for building high quality and reliable digital receivers. Over the past several years, EEG has developed world class digital receivers and signal processing systems that are in operation in diverse science applications. It has designed and developed spectrometers, correlators and other digital systems for various telescopes across the world. It has modern CAD packages for developing FPGA-based digital systems.

A relatively new addition to the Electronics Engineering Group is a capability for the development of X-ray astronomy instrumentation. The infrastructure includes a clean room, X-ray generator, beam line, polarizer and monochromator, vacuum systems, mounts and electronics for performance evaluation of detectors. Capability for the design and building of gas filled proportional counters for use as X-ray detectors for specific applications has also been added. Activity in this area is currently focused on the development of detectors for the measurement of X-ray polarization of celestial sources.

The members of EEG have been engaged in various collaborative projects undertaken between Raman Research Institute and other national and international scientific institutions.