PHOTONIC SYSTEMS FOR DEFENCE AND CIVILIAN APPLICATIONS

This article elucidates five innovative photonic systems and technologies, indigenously developed for defence and civilian applications. These have been given the acronym PRANEEDHI (Photonic Reconnoitering of Acoustic Noise for Effective Eaves Dropping & Highlighting Intelligence), SAVDHAN (Scan, Analye, Validate, Discriminate, Highlight, Assess and Neutralise), TARANI (Technology for Air data Reckoning for Aerial Navigational Information), VEDA (Vibrational Effects-Detection Analysis) and VIDUR (Vibration Intelligence Data Unravelling Remotely).

The above systems (patents pending) were designed and developed indigenously at Visakhapatnam, using COTS – Commercially Off The Shelf technologies, and successfully deployed and demonstrated in the field during many trials to prove their higher sensitivities (compared to conventional systems) and efficacies for real time remote monitoring. The technological and manufacturing readiness levels of the systems are TRL9 and MRL 9 (as per NASA, USA Standards) respectively. All the systems and technologies are now ready for exploitation,have progressed from the design and development stages to the production ready stage.

PRANEEDHI

Designed for defence as well as civilian applications, PRANEEDHI is portable and can be employed from a remote location for eavesdropping purposes. The system primarily requires a clear line of sight for a laser beam to be focused at the target area, from where the laser beam’s reflection is received in real time and the light signals are transformed into acoustic signals, in real time – for the purpose of eavesdropping in counter terrorism applications.

This system, one of its kind in the world, has been demonstrated to be highly sensitive.The distance of the target area from the monitoring area dictates the power of the laser to be used and can be of the order of kilometres. For surveillance purposes, the laser beam’s wavelength can be selected to be in the infrared region, to make the laser beam invisible. The system can be easily adapted for various requirements of the users, once the field conditions are specified.


SAVDHAN

Although acoustic techniques are currently the ‘in vogue’ technologies for detection and tracking of submerged bodies like submarine and autonomous underwater vehicles, the advent of silent submarines and the ensuing technologies resulting in the reduction of acoustic signatures is making naval surveillance very difficult, especially in shallow water environments. Although the non-acoustic techniques such as Magnetic Anomaly Detection, LIDAR, bioluminescence detection, etc. were earlier thought to be promising, subsequent research showed their inherent limitations which restrict their use for detection over a wide area and also from a large distance. Of late, detection of physical manifestations such as turbulent wake and internal waves generated due to moving platforms in ocean, have increasingly become popular mechanisms for coastal surveillance of moving platforms. Against this backdrop, the general features of turbulent wake and internal waves generated by moving platforms in ocean were studied and we have developed a photonic system shown below, for detecting and discriminating manmade platforms and personnel moving on the surface and in the sub-surface of the ocean. The system has applications in the field of coastal surveillance.

These systems are also capable of identifying natural hydrodynamic signatures generated by biological organisms – phenomena like tsunamis, waves, tides and currents, and anthropogenic hydrodynamic signatures from ships/ submarines. The systems are first of their kind in the global scenario, with possibilities of opening up new vistas in other domains. The system can thus have military and non military applications, the latter encompassing real time monitoring of natural phenomena like Tsunami, Surface Waves, Ocean currents and Tides. It also has use for academic and R&D purposes, for remote monitoring stratified fluids (viz. oceans, atmosphere, etc.), with very high sensitivity.

TARANI

There is a growing demand to replace the ‘pitot tube’ technology currently being used by the aerospace industry on board all aircrafts with laser based remote technologies for monitoring the wind, pressure, temperature, and turbulence etc., ahead of a fast moving aircraft which are fundamental necessities for safety, navigation and stability of aircrafts.Multinational corporations, and major defence firms around the world have been working on laser based technologies for decades with multibillion dollar budgets. Their efforts have apparently resulted in technologies which are at ‘Technology Demonstration’ stage. However, the technologies may not be immediately available for use (even after successful trials) by other countries for strategic and commercial reasons

The remotely operable, portable light weight system can be easily integrated on board any platform and is evaluated to be highly sensitive, accurate and again free of the constraints associated with the many available / under development systems and technologies around the world.

The system has applications in defence and civilian domains specifically for use in the automobile and aerospace industry. A typical display (shown below) obtained during the testing and evaluation of this system indicates the various parameters which are monitored on real time.

VEDA

Novel photonic system was developed to monitor real time vibrations on bridges, platforms and highways in addition to border areas. The system is portable, can be easily deployed at any location for real time vibration and condition monitoring in a nonintrusive fashion, even at inaccessible locations.

VIDUR

The system enables vibration and condition monitoring remotely, with very high sensitivity (nanometer resolution)and has no frequency constraints usually associated with conventional displacement, velocity and accelerometer sensors generally used for vibration and condition monitoring. The innovative technologies and the algorithms employed in the development of the system ensure the real time extraction of the following information:
• Vibration and Condition of Structures/Bridges/Highways.
• Vehicular and pedestrian traffic statistics.
• Vehicular identification (type, size and tonnage)
• Structural Health diagnostics.
• Intrusion detection.

There is a growing demand to quickly and remotely monitor the health and condition of fixed and moving structures (civil, steel, FRP, glass, etc.) on land and sea for different applications. This requires rapid monitoring of vibrational displacements, velocities and accelerations remotely. These systems are capable of remotely monitoring vibrations and condition of structures simultaneously in the time and frequency domains and displays the displacement, velocity and acceleration of vibrations at even in accessible locations on a structure. The systems are sensitive, accurate and portable for use in any environment.The systems also have applications for counterterrorism and can be of use in the Mechanical/ Civil/ Electronic Engineering Industry.

Prof Dr. Rao. Tatavarti is Director and Senior Professor, GVP-SIRC and GVP College of Engineering. He is the Founder & Managing Partner, CATS (CASTLE Advanced Technologies and Systems) and CASTLE (Centre for Advancement of Science Technology Law and Engineering), Visakhapatnam.

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