This is a new centre established by the Department of Atomic Energy, India to expand the activities carried out at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, in two frontline areas of science and technology namely Lasers and Accelerators.The area surrounding the picturesque Sukhniwas lake at Indore, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh was selected as the cite for the new centre. On February 19, 1984 the then President of India, Gyani Zail Singh, laid the foundation stone of the centre. The construction of laboratories and houses began in May 1984. In January 1986, first multi-purpose shed was ready and the first scientific activity at CAT took place when a "Workshop on Plasma Diagnostics" was held here. In June 1986, the first batch of scientists from BARC, Mumbai, moved to CAT. Budget for CAT was sanctioned on 23rd March 1987, and the activity started in a full fledged manner from April 1987. Since then, the centre has rapidly grown into a premier institute for work related to research and development in lasers, accelerators and their applications. The CAT campus which is spread over a 760 hectare picturesque site on the outskirts of Indore city encompasses laboratories, housing for the staff and other basic amenities like school, sports complex, shopping complex, community centre, bank, post office, dispensary etc.
The importance of lasers was recognized early in India and many Indian laboratories started working on lasers in the early sixtees. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Mumbai, was one of the first laboratories in India to develop a semiconductor laser, which was used for setting up an optical communication link over a distance of 20 km. Since then, the laser programme at BARC under the leadership of Dr.D.D.Bhawalkar, was expanded to include development of other important lasers and to take up research in areas like non-linear optics, laser-plasma interaction etc. With the establishment of CAT, most of the laser activity at BARC has been shifted to the new centre. CAT has now been identified by the Government of India as a premier institution for the development of lasers. It is also playing a pivotal role in coordination and implimentation of the National Laser Programme, providing major thrust to laser technology in India. CAT is also the headquarter of the Indian Laser Association (ILA), which is an association of laser related personnels working all over India in laser research / development / teaching / manufacture / use etc.CAT is developing various types of lasers, laser related components and laser based instruments. There are also several researchers working in applications of lasers to industry, medicine, and basic sciences. The scientists and engineers in the CAT working in areas related to lasers are in following Laboratories:INDUS-1, the first Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) of India is under regular operation now. A maximum stored current of 175 mA which is 75% more than the design value, has been already achieved. However, for routine operation a stored beam current of 100 mA is used. At this current the life time of the beam is nearly one hour. This lifetime is limited by the pressure in the vacuum chamber which is in the order of 10-8 torr. With operation of INDUS-1, it is expected that the vacuum will improve and a pressure 10-9 torr will be reached. At this pressure, the lifetime is expected to be a few hours.
The INDUS-1 consists of an injector system – a 20 MeV microtron and 700 MeV booster synchrotron and 450 MeV storage ring. All the three accelerators and their sub-systems have been indigenously designed and developed.
The synchrotron radiation emitted by the electrons circulating in the storage ring is in the form of intense narrow fan-shaped beam. The radiation covers a wide spectral range extending from far infrared to vacuum ultraviolet – down to 20 A. Further, the synchrotron radiation seen from a fixed point is in pulses of 1-2 nanosecond duration. These properties make synchrotron radiation a powerful tool of research in a wide-ranging areas of science and technology. A high power transverse flow CW CO2 laser delivering 7.5 kW laser power has been developed for various material processing applications suchas deep penetration welding, cutting of thick sheets, laser cladding and rapid prototyping.
Several novel electrical circuit schemes, such as ballast free spark pre-ionization using mutually coupled inductors for the high repetition rate TEA CO2 laser and Series IGBT based high voltage chopper for laser power modulation of the 3.5 kW CW CO2 laser were developed. These have improved the performance of lasers considerably.
Studies towards gram-level separation of C-13 isotope by selective photo dissociation of Freon 22 with high repetition rate TEA CO2 laser were carried out. Selection of optimum experimentation parameters e.g. laser rotational lines, laser fluence, Freon gas pressure and buffer gas pressure for maximum yields and selectivity were made. Experimental set up for gas irradiation with laser pulses at high repetition rates is being made.A three axis computer controlled workstation which can provide very accurate and fast control with linear, circular and helical interpolation and can give trapezoidal and S-curve acceleration and declaration has been developed. A capacitor sensor for on-line control of gap has been integrated with Z-axis for laser contour cutting of metal sheets.High current short pulse duration capillary discharge could be a potential source of soft x-rays. An electrical circuit for generating ~40kA 50ns current pulse for capillary discharge has been developed.
Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology
Email: pdgupta (at) rrcat.gov.in
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List of facilities available at Centre for Advanced Technology for students.
Centre for Advanced Technology