• 92, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700009

S. K. Mitra Centre for Research in Space Environment

History

Year of Establishment : 2002

History of the department : Late Professor Sisir Kumar Mitra, FRS, is the pioneer of radio and space researches in this part of the globe. He established the Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics of this University in 1949 with his school of space physicists as its core group. The activities of this Institute were subsequently expanded to cover areas like Solid State Electronics, Computer and System Science, in addition to the Ionosphere and Wave Propagation. In the beginning of the current century, it was felt that the activities in the areas of radio and space science, although internationally recognized, could not sufficiently expand mainly due to lack of funds and manpower. The University, with the support of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), proposed to establish a Centre in memory of Late Professor Sisir Kumar Mitra to undertake research in the existing as well as new fields, extending from troposphere to upper atmosphere. After prolonged interactions with the Advisory Committee on Space Research (ADCOS) of ISRO four research areas namely: (i) Lower Atmospheric Chemistry, (ii) Atmospheric Electricity, (iii) Radio Remote Sensing, and (iv) Space Weather, were identified for further expansion of research activities. Late Dr. A.P. Mitra, FRS, played the key role in formulating the scientific programme of the Centre and extended his support as the then Chairman of ADCOS, ISRO. The Centre was formally inaugurated on 12 March 2002. The Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics was chosen as the nodal department to organize the Centre which would be inter-departmental in nature, involving the University departments like Radio Physics and Electronics, Physics, Chemistry, Atmospheric Science and Marine Science. Several research projects in the chosen areas were sponsored by ISRO to initiate the activities of the Centre. In 2009, the University was chosen for implementing the ISRO sponsored Space Science Promotion Scheme (SSPS) which covered M. Tech. Fellowships, Visiting Faculty Programme, support for contractual faculty and one-time grant for laboratory augmentation. Currently, a number projects sponsored by ISRO, DST, AOARD, Japan, are being implemented at the Centre. A major national project “ST Radar Facility at Calcutta University” has been sanctioned by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), DST, Govt. of India, to carry out atmospheric researches with a Stratospheric Tropospheric Radar system to be setup at Ionosphere Filed Station of the University at Haringhata, Nadia.

Academic

Faculty members :

Name Designation Area of specialisation Email
Animesh Maitra Professor Space and Atmospheric Sciences, Radio Propagation, Remote Sensing, Communications animesh.maitra@gmail.com
Ashik Paul Professor  Space Weather Studies using Geostationary Satellite Beacon, GPS, LEO satellite and geomagnetic field measurements from spatially distributed locations. ashik_paul@rediffmail.com
Souvik Majumder Assistant Professor GPS and Navigation, GPS Meteorology,    Atmospheric Physics, Weather, Remote Sensing, Communications. souvik1985.majum@gmail.com

Visiting faculty members :

Name Institutions attached with Period of appointment
Prof. Ashish Dasgupta Retired Professor, CU As an Advisor of S. K. Mitra Centre since May 2007
Dr. D. Chakrabarty Emeritus Scientist, PRL, Ahmedabad April 2013
Dr. Himadri Chakraborty Associate Professor,
Surendranath College, Kolkata
Jun – July 2014
Jun – July, October 2015

Research

Research scholars:

Name Research topic Name of the supervisor Date of registration
Imtiaz Ahammad Radio Sensing of Tropical Atmosphere using Space Borne and Ground Based Observations Prof. Animesh Maitra Enrolled as a Ph.D Student on 10 March 2016
Rohit Chakraborty Studies on Convective Rain and Associated Atmospheric Processes in Tropical Region Prof. Animesh Maitra 5 May, 2014
Samiddha Goswami Space Weather Prof. Ashik Paul Enrolled as a Ph. D student on 10 March 2016
Shamitaksha Talukdar Studies on Aerosol environment and Associated Atmospheric Parameters over a Tropical Urban Region Prof. Animesh Maitra 21 March, 2012
Soumyajyoti Jana Some Studies on Atmospheric and Climatic Parameters in the Tropical Region using Radio and Optical Techniques Prof. Animesh Maitra 16 January, 2015
Tanmay Das Studies on Characteristics of Equatorial Plasma Structures using Transionospheric Signals in the Equatorial Region Prof. Ashik Paul 09 February, 2011
Thumree Sarkar Studies on Rain Parameters Related to Earth-Space Propagation at a Tropical Location Prof. Animesh Maitra 19 January, 2015

Projects:

Project title Funding agency Principal investigator Duration Budget (Rs.)
Atmospheric studies in geophysically sensitive tropical to sub-tropical transition region with ST radar facilities at Calcutta University SERB/ DST Prof. Animesh Maitra February 2015, 5 years 22,58,31,000
Ku/ Ka band channel modeling for SATCOM links over Indian region ISRO Prof. Animesh Maitra June 2014, 2 years 14,62,000
Studies on aerosol environment at Kolkata located near the land- ocean boundary as a part of ARFI network under ISRO- GBP ISRO Prof. Animesh Maitra July 2010, 5 years 65,00,750
Space Science Promotion Scheme ISRO Prof. Animesh Maitra December 2008, 6 years  
SCINDA Phase III AOARD Prof. Ashik Paul April 2013, 2 years 3,96,000
Impact of Equatorial ionospheric Characteristics on distributed GNSS accuracies DST Prof. Ashik Paul March 2015, 3 years 58,28,000
Multi-technique Probing of Tropospheric Phenomena Utilizing Ground-based and Satellite-based Measurements SERB/ DST Dr. Arpita Adhikari
(Young Scientist)
April 2015, 3 years 33,10,000

Collaborations:

Title of the programme Principal collaborator of the department Name and address of the collaborating institution Principal collaborator of the collaborating institution Duration of the programme
ARFI network under ISRO-GBP Prof. Animesh Maitra Space Physics Laboratory, VSSC, ISRO, Trivandrum Dr. S. Suresh Babu 2010-2017
Ku/Ka band channel modeling for SATCOM Links Prof. Animesh Maitra Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad Dr. Ashis Shukla 2014-2016
SCINDA Prof. Ashik Paul Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College, USA Dr. K. Groves 2006-2017
GNSS observations Prof. Ashik Paul Department of Physics, North Bengal University, India Dr. S. Halder 2015-2018

Thrust areas in teaching and research of the academic centre :

  • Remote Sensing of Earth’s Environment
  • Satellite Communication and Radio Propagation
  • Atmosphere and Climate
  • Satellite Beacon and Space Weather
  • Satellite based Navigational Systems

Teaching support:

  • In the Centre an extensive experimental facilty is available for research and advanced training in Space and Atmospheric sciences. This is utilized for advanced training for M. Tech students and Summer students from other institutions.

Research support :

Name of the equipment Brief description Funding agency
Radiometer (RPG-HATPRO)  Measures the atmospheric radiation in form of brightness temperature and gives temperature and humidity profiles. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Electric Field Monitor  & Lightning Detector Measures the atmospheric electric field.
Measures total lightning strikes within 20 km radius.
Centre of Advanced Studies in Radio Physics and Electronics, UGC
Laser Precipitation Monitor  Measures ground rain drop velocities and rain drop sizes with laser beam attenuation. Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India
Ku-Band Receiving System Monitors Ku-band satellite signals for earth-space propagation measurements. TEQIP Phase-II, CU
GPS receiving system and associated met sensor Measures GPS satellites signal differential phase delay providing information on tropospheric water vapour content. Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO)
Optical Rain Gauge Rain rate measurement with the help of laser beam attenuation. Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Govt. of India
Aethalometer Measures the atmospheric black carbon concentration.  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Multi-wavelength Microwave Radiometer Measures aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 10 wavelengths. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Sunphotometer Measures aerosol optical depth at five wavelengths. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Micro Rain Radar Measures the profile of rain and rain integral parameters from Doppler shift measurement of FM-CW signals and UGC Networking Resource Centre in Physical Sceinces, CU
Joss-Waldvogel Disdrometer Measures the drop size distribution of rain, rain accumulation and rain rate. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
VHF Spaced-Aerial Experiment The spaced-aerial system measures
Ionospheric irregularity drift velocity, correlation distance and corner frequency observed with VHF with L-band scintillation intensity.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Software GPS Receiver The software-based GPS receiver which is capable of providing phase of the GPS L1 and L2 signals at a high sampling rate and TEC with a resolution of 5×10-4 TEC units. TEQIP Phase-I, CU
Proton Precession Magnetometer Measures the total magnetic field at IFS that can be used for real-time monitoring of magnetically disturbed conditions. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

Major activities :

  • The Centre’s activities are mainly centred around different sponsored projects and collaborative programmes in the areas of Space and Atmospheric sciences.
  • The Centre organizes Schools and Workshops from time to time in the areas of Space and Atmospheric Sciences.

Links :

Additional information :

  • The Centre supports the M. Tech. in Radio Physics and Electronics programme of the University with specialization in Space Sciences and Microwaves.

Contact

Campus : Rashbehari Siksha Prangan

Address for communication : Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics, Sisir Mitra Bhavan, 92, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700009