SOUREX Campaign

This campaign envisages the comprehensive in-situ measurements of the ionosphere-thermosphere system using the indigenously developed ENWi payload. Neutral wind measurements are extremely sparse in the lower thermospheric region. Hence the unique capability of ENWi payload to provide neutral wind measurements in the crucial altitude region with simultaneous electron density measurements is expected to bring out significant new insights into important problems pertaining to this region like Blanketing Es, Equatorial Electrojet and counter electrojet.

VHF radar

To gain a deeper insights into the plasma processes over the equatorial ionosphere and atmosphere, an initiative was taken during last year to start the process of augmenting a new active aperture VHF backscatter radar at 50MHz to the existing experimental facilities of SPL. As per the suggestions by Scientific Advisory Committee, a team having inter-centre experts in various areas concerning a radar system was formed. After several deliberations on the best possible antenna configuration and radar parameters, the committee has recommended a near circular antenna configuration as the best configuration and other radar details. It has emerged that the radar development will be done in a phased manner in order to cater to the needs of both ionospheric and atmospheric researchers. Details regarding the transmitters/receivers and other sub-systems have been worked out and an appropriate place has been identified for housing this radar. At present, preparation are being made to commence the process of procurement of radar subsystems.

Small Satellite

ITMP polar Research

The primary objective of SPL's polar research program is to initiate a sustained, systematic and long term study of the energetic coupling between Sun-Earth system (EcSES) and its impact on near Earth environment.As a part of this program, a beginning was made this year through participating in the 32nd Indian Antarctic Expedition and making measurements of the ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) on-board ship during Jan, 23-31, 2013 on the way to Antarctica as well as from the Indian stations there namely Bharati (Feb, 2-18, 2013) and Maitri (Feb, 28, to March, 19, 2013). A GPS TEC-receiver has been installed permanently at Bharati. The systematic measurements of TEC from this station would enable detailed investigations on the dynamic nature of polar cap as well as the coupling between high and low latitudes. Aspects related to the nature of movement of the Antarctic polar cap / auroral zone vis-a-vis prevailing space weather conditions, among many others, are the subject matter of our research using the abovementioned Antarctic TEC data, which are being analysed currently.

Planetary Science Projects

I) Planetary Missions


Following are the contributions to the planetary missions of India.


1. Chandrayaan-1


Chandrayaan-1 was the first Indian Planetary Mission for the scientific exploration of Moon. Lauched on 22 October 2008, Chandrayaan-1 was a polar orbiter around Moon with altitude of 100-200 km from the lunar surface. Chandrayaan-1 had 11 scientific experiments onboard; two of these experiments were from SPL.


2. Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Mars Orbiter Mission is the first Indian inter planetary mission and the mission to Mars Launched on 5 November 2013. MOM escaped the mother earth on 5 December 2013. MOM will be inserted into MARS Orbit on 24 September 2014. MENCA from SPL, VSSC is one among the five scientific experiments onboard MOM.


3. Chandrayaan-2


Chandrayaan-2 is the second Indian Lunar Mission which will be launched in near future. Chandrayaan-2 consist of an Orbiter, a Lander and a Rover. SPL, VSSC, has the following experiments onboard Chandryaan-2 orbiter and Lander.


4 . Aditya-L1 Mission

Aditya-L1 is an upcoming Indian Mission to the L1 point of Sun-Earth System which is aimed at the investigation of the Sun as well as the Sun-Earth connection. PAPA is one of the payloads onboard the mission.



II) Ground Based Observations


In addition to the planetary missions, the ground based techniques are also used for the studies of the planetary bodies.


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